Maths Concurrent Assistance On-line
Program of Adult Basic Education, Victoria University, Australia
Many students enrolled in vocational and educational training
courses [VET] find maths components of the courses particularly
challenging due to specific vocabulary and learning skills required.
This is reflected by the significant number of students in some
courses who seek additional support. Organisations such as Victoria
University, Australia, invest in various forms of concurrent
support but there is always a pressing need to find innovative
ways to extend and diversify that support. The Maths Concurrent
Assistance (MCA) Online Project was funded by Open Training Services
(OTS), Melbourne, Australia. The project aims to create a web
based learning environment for concurrent assistance in Maths.
This online environment has developed maths learning sites for
Engineering, Business, VCE (years 11-12) and General Maths. Each
section will offer content-specific maths resources based on
12 learning units which are common to one or more of the above
areas. The online environment provides three main sections: Resource
Section - the Resource section of the MCA online provides students
with solved and unsolved examples of common maths problems based
on maths skills which may be required by students in their field
of study. It also provides access to java enabled maths learning
on content-specific number skills, algebra, trignometry, mensuration
(including geometry) and statistics. Discussion Forum - this
section provides a discussion board for students to ask questions.
Teachers and students can support each other via this discussion
board. In addition, a list of "Frequently Asked Questions"
on discipline-specific maths content enables students to look
for answers to commonly asked questions about the courses in
the selected area. Real-time tutorials - this section provides
tutorial support using web-enabled synchronous chat facilities.
The tutorials are topical and run at advertised times.
This workshop will provide participants with opportunity to experience
the tutor-student interaction of the online environment as well
as join in critical discussion of access and resource issues.