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Scholarship Seminar - MU123: 10 years and still nailing it!

Dates
Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 13:00 to 14:00

Speaker: Andrew Potter and Gerry Golding (The Open University)

Abstract

Since its first presentation in 2010B, MU123 Discovering mathematics has provided a gentle-yet-exciting whirlwind introduction to mathematics for over 30 000 Open University (OU) students. The module contributes to approximately 100 awards across the university and student satisfaction rates and retention rates for MU123 have been consistently excellent across twenty presentations. Students are drawn from a diverse range of qualifications such as Computing & Communications, Business & Economics, Open qualifications, and of course, Mathematics & Statistics.

So what is the secret to MU123’s success, especially with such a diverse student body? In this session we will present some of the scholarly initiatives the MU123 module presentation team has used to keep its teaching fresh and vibrant over 10 years:

We listen to and act on feedback from students, tutors and colleagues from across the Faculty and beyond. In this session we will show how we are beginning to develop use of tutor contact hours, liaising with tutors and staff tutor colleagues, to deliver inspiring module-wide events on a wide range of subjects, and discuss how we continually update our assessments to highlight the relevance of mathematics in other subjects. This has led to eSTEeM scholarship projects and collaboration with the module teams of other key Level 1 STEM modules, such as SDK100.

We will also discuss the improvements being made to the module during the 20J-to-21J rebranding exercise. We have replaced the now-unsupported Flash-enabled software with innovative teaching methods which use screencasts to increase student engagement. We will also show how we are improving accessibility and updating content in a “light-touch” manner. 

Finally, we will show how we have improved Equality, Diversity and Inclusion by refreshing our module’s cartoons, historical content, and assignment questions.

We hope that participants will be inspired by MU123’s story, and be enthused to share ideas from their own modules. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and engage with the MU123 module team.