Deakin University

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A practitioner's guide to implementing cross-disciplinary links in a mathematics support program

Version 2 2024-06-04, 02:58
Version 1 2018-03-22, 10:37
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-04, 02:58 authored by DC Jackson, Liz JohnsonLiz Johnson, TM Blanksby
With widening participation in the university sector and the reduction in pre-requisites for entry into many university science courses, students are arriving at university with reduced competencies in mathematics. As quantitative skills are crucial for study in science, under-preparation has direct effects on multiple disciplines. The Maths Skills Program for first year science and statistics students at La Trobe University was developed in collaboration with science coordinators to provide students with mathematics support that highlights the relevance of mathematics to their disciplines. In a recent paper (Jackson & Johnson, 2013), the authors discuss this program and its effect on students' mathematics confidence, mathematical skills and subject learning outcomes. This current paper focuses on the challenges faced in developing such programs, how and why crossdisciplinary links were highlighted, and what responses were obtained from surveys of students and interviews with science coordinators. The model used for this support, from creation to implementation, is also detailed in this paper. Questionnaire results indicated the students saw the relevance of the program to their educational goals, believed the questions written in context helped them learn their subject, and the focus on relevance helped them understand how mathematics was related to their subject. This corresponded with the responses from the science coordinators who found the program to be relevant to their disciplines and assisted students in applying mathematics in context.



International journal of innovation in science and mathematics education






Sydney, N.S.W.





Publication classification

CN.1 Other journal article

Copyright notice

2014, The Authors




Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education