The role of technology in mathematics support: A pilot study

Mac an Bhaird, C. and O'Shea, A. (2011) The role of technology in mathematics support: A pilot study. In: Teaching Mathematics Online: Emergent Technologies and Methodologies. IGI Global, pp. 367-383. ISBN 9781609608750 (ISBN)


In this chapter we will discuss the importance of using technology to enhance mathematics education and mathematics support. We present our initial steps in the use of technology in the National University of Ireland Maynooth as a pilot study. This essentially falls into two categories: the use of online courses to address mathematical issues faced by incoming at-risk students; and the development and use of additional resources such as pdfs (using touchscreen technology), podcasts and screencasts to complement existing services. We give a detailed description of the introduction, development, and implementation of these strategies including the advantages and disadvantages from both the teaching and learning perspectives. We also present the initial feedback concerning the use of these technologies with mathematics support services. This shows that students who made use of the help available reported that it had a significant impact on their learning experience. However, we will also discuss the major issue of getting students to actively engage with these extra supports. We also present the changes we are making to these services as a result of this pilot study and how they tie in with our long term strategy for a more complete mathematics support system for our students. We consider the implications for the future of mathematics education and mathematics support and give an overview of activities and resources already in existence. © 2012, IGI Global.

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