Integration of technology in mathematics and science teaching and learning

Bradley, Teresa, Wallace, Leah and Boyle, Liam (2011) Integration of technology in mathematics and science teaching and learning. [Conference Proceedings]


The literature abounds with research on the difficulties students experience in learning mathematics and science and on the challenges that this poses for instructors. The situation is particularly acute for students who take ordinary level Leaving Certificate in these subjects and who then pursue courses in science and engineering in third level. Much research has been carried out on students’ state of preparedness, confidence, motivation and learning styles. An initial response was the establishment of learning support centres in third level institutions. However, further pedagogic research is necessary to identify long term solutions. In 2009 a national centre for excellence in mathematics and science teaching and learning (NCE-MSTL) was established in the UL with a distributed Centre of Expertise established in LIT.This paper discusses the operation of the LIT Centre of Expertise in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning. The aims of the Centre are:- Use technologies to cater for different learning styles, to enhance understanding and improve retention.- Increase student participation in mathematics and science lectures by actively engaging them in the lectures.- Develop the students’ skills in problem solving and critical thinking using mathematical tutorial software and physics multimedia.- Develop a suite of online applications based on mathematical methods, physics methods and techniques covered in lectures.The Centre seeks to generate evidence-based research to inform best practice for effective teaching and learning in the Institute of Technology sector. Research is being conducted in the centre into the seamless integration of technologies (use of VLE, multimedia in presentations and classroom response systems) into good teaching for first year students in engineering mathematics and physics.The Centre also acts as a ‘drop-in’ facility for lecturing staff who wish to explore new pedagogical techniques and technologies. Lecturers have access to real-world data and to techniques designed specifically to best suit the LIT student profile.

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