Numeracy of First Year Commerce Students: Preliminary Analysis of an Intervention
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Literacy and numeracy have become important global educational issues. Numeracy has been shown to impact on the performance of first year tertiary students and evidence suggests that students without recent maths studies are underprepared for programs such as science, IT, economics and accounting (Belward et al., 2007; Alcock et al., 2008). This paper uses a maths aptitude test developed by Ballard and Johnson (2004) to measure commencing commerce student maths abilities. Participating students are then offered a place in a maths workshop to assist with their basic maths skills. We find that the maths skills test is predictive of students' performance in the first year statistics course. Qualitative evidence suggests that students benefited from the workshop in terms of skills development and confidence. We therefore suggest that commencing student attributes will influence graduate attributes and hence demand further attention.
The International Journal of Learning
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Vocational Education and Training Curriculum and Pedagogy