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Open Nottingham 2011: Use of OER by an Open University Maths Course - Tim Lowe

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8 April 2011

Tim Lowe talking about Maths course and resources and "Maths Help"

Reasons for applying for course:

a. Support module to do other courses (eg science, business etc)

b. Introduction to Maths in order to then progress to more advanced maths course; and...

c. To overcome fear of doing maths.


Aims of re-writing the materials:

  • Increase retention
  • Better prepare students for subsequent modules
  • Remove preparatory material

What is Maths help?

"Maths Help" on the OU OER site OpenLearn allows students to begin to prepare for maths course before they receive their course materials. Basic maths skills modules on OpenLearn, based on previous (printed) materials, enhanced with interactive activities and linked to the course website. Mathshelp is a door into everyday mathematics, points also within course materials, available for all to use (lined to from OU “Skills for Study”; STEM: North of Scotland; TechFest-SetPoint) and reuse (via Jorum). Materials from books into web friendly format. Plus very useful guide of how to use the maths calculator (used also by other organisations).

The challenge: When students are reading materials and sending materials, the communication of maths should be enhanced, we should be able to teach more How do we say maths? Who do we speak it?  Solution by using audio frames)

Usage and feedback: Unique visitors: 1/1/2010 – 13/9/2010. users: 500-1000 per module. Modules rated 4.5-5 stars (via OpenLearn – not many people do ratings). Students recommending to each other in forums. Tutors reporting better initial understanding. High take-up (95%) and achievement (mean:94%) in first early assignment

Final thought from the room: Students doing other courses that need such support for other course – this could help so much.

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