A Flexible Learning Approach to Numerical Skills

Duncan Lawson

Abstract


A recent development at Coventry University has been the introduction of Numerical Know-How, a module open to any student in the University who wishes to improve his or her numerical skills. The module is taken by students as one of the free choice modules in the first year of their programme of study. To meet the requirement of being accessible to every student it was decided that the module should be resource-based rather than lecture-based. Indeed there are no timetabled classes for the module. This avoids clashes with other modules which would deny some students access to this module.

This paper describes the resources available for students studying this module, the mode of operation and the students' reaction to the module. A variety of resources are used including paper, video and electronic. The electronic resources were originally made available over a local area network but in 99/00 were transferred to the Internet. This option was made particularly attractive following Coventry University's decision to adopt WebCT as a standard. In 99/00 all the University's modules had a WebCT site which students could easily access through a locally developed front-end, called Learn On-line. Whilst many of the University's modules made little or no use of their WebCT site, the site for Numerical Know-How became integral to the running of the module.

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