# Guides & Case Studies resources

### Guides (3)

Getting started with data manipulation in Microsoft Excel

This is one of four "Getting started with ..." developed by Cheryl Voake-Jones and Emma Cliffe from the Mathematics Resources Centre at the University of Bath covering equations in Microsoft Excel. The resource includes an audio tutorial with transcript and associated files. These resources were developed with funding from sigma.

Getting started with effective entry of equations in Microsoft Word

This is one of four "Getting started with ..." developed by Cheryl Voake-Jones and Emma Cliffe from the Mathematics Resources Centre at the University of Bath covering equations in Word. The resource includes an audio tutorial with transcript and associated files. These resources were developed with funding from sigma.

Getting started with LaTeX

This is one of four "Getting started with ..." developed by Cheryl Voake-Jones and Emma Cliffe from the Mathematics Resources Centre at the University of Bath covering LaTeX. The resource includes an audio tutorial with transcript and associated files. These resources were developed with funding from sigma.

### Staff Resources (19)

A Game Show Format for First Year Problem Classes in Mathematical Modelling

Problem classes are traditionally used in the teaching of mathematics. For a first year Chemical Engineering course in mathematical modelling, a quiz based on the TV programme Ã¢??Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?Ã¢?? has been introduced, in a problem class supporting lectures. Following group work, with one set problem per group, students present their solutions to the rest of the class. The quiz follows the presentations. Each group is represented by a volunteer, who attempts to win chocolate prizes. The questions are both general, and specific to the particular problem done by the group. Besides reinforcing earlier learning, the quiz is fun. Certainly it appears to have been appreciated by two successive student cohorts. The lecturer and postgraduate demonstrator have also enjoyed the problem classes more than traditional formats.

Diagnostic Testing within Institutions - Brunel University

Brunel is well advanced in promoting good practice in the use of Computer Aided Assessment (CAA). The diagnostic tests are of CAA type, delivered on-screen with full animation at the testing level required (post-GCSE or post A-Level). 200 students are involved on programmes ranging from financial computing to mathematics.

Diagnostic Testing within Institutions - Coventry University

Diagnostic testing at Coventry University encompasses various disciplines. Co-ordinated by the Maths Support Centre, the test is used to assess the students' ability and target appropriate mathematics support as early as possible. This case study reviews the testing process and how it is linked to appropriate support material, advice and learning resources.

Diagnostic Testing within Institutions - Keele University

All students are assessed via 20 computer-based multi-choice questions (MCQs). These questions are selected at random from a large question bank, developed jointly by Nottingham and Keele Universities. The main objective is to provide a profile of each studentâ??s mathematical abilities. Each question tests a number of different skills simultaneously and hence contributes to an assessment of the different aspects of this profile. The profile becomes a diagnostic report, which then directs each student to a series of specific modules in â??Mathwiseâ?? that will reinforce their knowledge and correct any problems.

Diagnostic Testing within Institutions - Queen Mary, University of London

All students are assessed using a paper-based written test of multi-choice questions (MCQs). The test has 15 questions of which the students must pass with 12 correct. Two hours were allowed. All of the questions were on routine arithmetic and algebra with emphasis on manipulative drill and practice, e.g. decomposition into powers of primes, long division, fractions, BODMAS, surds, elementary function definition, and inequalities. The test is quite demanding and was introduced last year 2001. It is repeated for those who fail six times during the course of the year in a programme called Ã¢??Essential MathematicsÃ¢??. Passing it is a mandatory requirement to proceed into the second year.

Diagnostic Testing within Institutions - UMIST

All students are assessed using a paper-based written test on their first day in the department. The students are allowed to use any non-graphical calculator to help answer 48 questions of the type and standard that they should be familiar with from A-Level. The questions range across simple arithmetic and algebra through logs to differentiation and integration, finishing with some questions on vectors. Final solutions are filled in on an answer grid. The temporary streaming of the students is based on the results.

Diagnostic Testing within Institutions - University of Bristol

All students are tested via two computer-based tests each consisting of 10 multi-choice questions (MCQs). These tests are set from a large bank of questions using the Ã¢??TALÃ¢?? (Teach And Learn) computer system developed at the University of Bristol. The topics covered include arithmetic, algebra, geometry, functions, calculus, and probability. A Ã¢??leave unansweredÃ¢?? option is provided and negative marking used to discourage guessing. The tests are accessed through a Web interface, so in principle could be accessed from anywhere. It has been run with large-scale simultaneous access and, although a little slow, is relatively robust.

Diagnostic Testing within Institutions - University of Strathclyde

The mathematics department at the University of Strathclyde introduced in 2001 a paper-based diagnostic test to test the elementary mathematics skills of their first year mathematics students.

Diagnostic Testing within Institutions - University of Sussex

First year students in mathematics have been tested at the University of Sussex over the past 25 years using a paper-based diagnostic test. The test has hardly changed during that time. The test and remedial measures are co-ordinated by a senior member of staff, but administered by two postgraduates.

Diagnostic Testing within Institutions - University of York

Since 1977 a paper-based diagnostic test has been presented to first year mathematics students at the University of York. Based on an interview with the administering lecturer and a student questionnaire this case study examines the procedure, results and student responses to the diagnostic testing process.

National Perspective on Diagnostic Testing

Examines the use of diagnostic testing amongst engineering, mathematics and physical science departments.

New Approaches to Teaching and Learning in Engineering at the University of Strathclyde

Mathematics is perceived as a difficult subject within engineering or science degree courses. Traditional lectures, with students passively listening to the lecturer or transcribing notes, do little for the studentsÃ¢?? image of mathematics. This style of lecturing and its lack of feedback can also be very unsatisfactory for the lecturer. In an attempt to overcome these problems, an element of interaction has been introduced into lectures. This has been achieved by encouraging communication via the Personal Response System, part of the Interactive Classroom developed by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Strathclyde. Lectures are problem-based, with students immediately given the opportunity to put the methods they have learnt into practice.

Simulation of Linear and Non-linear Dynamic Systems using Spreadsheets

EXCEL has been used to provide simulation facilities in support of teaching control to engineers. This dictates a sampled data approach which fits in naturally with digital implementation of control. The technique also allows students to explore the affects of non-linearities in systems such as control signal saturation. It provides a Ã¢??hands-onÃ¢?? dimension which students find valuable. The approach is capable of use with other dynamic systems and is not restricted to teaching control.

Student Support and the Bridging Course at University College London

University College London has established a wide selection of teaching resources to support a dramatic increase in the number of entrants to the Mathematics Department. This includes a diagnostic test for all entrants, a workbook for students to complete before the first semester and an integrated system of tutorials, lectures and a problem class. An intense Bridging Course also provides students with a valuable and comprehensive perspective of university mathematics.

Student Support Based on the Three Stream System at UMIST

UMIST introduced a three level course structure to help students entering civil engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, chemistry, mechanical engineering, computing and optometry to cope with the maths content of each of the courses. Based on previous qualifications and a diagnostic test, students are allocated places within the P, Q and R stream.

The Changing Relationship: Civil/Structural Engineers and Maths

Mathematics is vital for civil engineers but its role is changing. Arup chairman Duncan Michael [1] has argued for less emphasis on the teaching of mathematics. Here we report on a necessary change of emphasis but also argue the importance of a good mathematical education for all engineers

Using Mathematics Diagnostic Testing on Engineering Courses

Even as long ago as the mid-1990s, a survey for the Open Learning Foundation [1] found that most universities were using some form of mathematics diagnostic testing on their first-year undergraduates, usually during Induction Week. With the advent of computer-aided mathematics diagnostic systems such as DIAGNOSYS [2], it has become easier to obtain an off-the-shelf diagnostic system. Even so, many people still use their own in-house tests. This study considers one such example.

Using the Graphics Calculator to Support Mathematics for Engineering Students

For first and second year engineering students at Napier University, the TI-83 graphics calculator plays a major role in an integrated technological approach to mathematics. This case study reviews the process of integration and its current position in the teaching of students.