Mathematics support for adult learners

Gill, Olivia and O’Donoghue, John (2008) Mathematics support for adult learners. CROSSING BORDERS–RESEARCH, REFLECTION & PRACTICE IN ADULTS LEARNING MATHEMATICS.


In 1997 a scheme to help “ at risk” or mathematically under prepared; first year undergraduates in the University of Limerick was undertaken by; O’Donoghue to assess the extent of the ‘Mathematics Problem’ and try to; ascertain the best means of dealing with it. Diagnostic testing was; introduced in a bid to diagnose those students who were most prone to; failure and/or dropping out. This procedure also served to make students; themselves aware of their level of expertise and helped to classify major; areas of weakness in the group of first years as a whole. The main; intention, however, of diagnostic testing is to identify the support that will; be needed to help remedy the situation. It was discovered that 30% of first; year service mathematics undergraduates required extra support. This; was one of a number of contributing factors leading to the establishment; of a Mathematics Learning Centre. In October 2001, the University of; Limerick’s Mathematics Learning Centre opened. One of the aims of the; Mathematics Learning Centre is to address the mathematics needs of; mature students and adult returners. In this paper, the authors discuss the; facilities/resources provided by the Mathematics Learning Centre for; Adult learners of mathematics in the University of Limerick.

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