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Publication - Dr Steve Fitzjohn

    Using Blackboard quizzes to support and improve student confidence in using numeracy skills

    Citation

    MacMillan, F & Fitzjohn, S, 2018, ‘Using Blackboard quizzes to support and improve student confidence in using numeracy skills’.

    Abstract

    Numeracy skills are a key part of STEM degree programmes but the confidence of our incoming first-year students in using these has decreased in recent years. We have developed a series of quizzes on the Blackboard VLE to assess student confidence with common numeracy skills and provide opportunities to develop these in the first term of our biomedical science units.
    Students completed a numeracy skills and confidence quiz of 16 questions grouped into three themes: units and expressing numbers; averages and percentages; solutions and dilutions. For each question they indicated how confident they were in their answer. Students then completed a quiz on each theme (12-20 questions randomly selected from question banks). They could attempt each quiz as many times as they wanted but had to achieve >80% correct for the next quiz to become available. Finally, students completed the numeracy skills and confidence quiz again.
    Twenty-five students completed all quizzes, with correct answers for the numeracy skills and confidence quiz significantly increasing between first and second attempts. Student confidence in their answers also increased. Utilising automated Blackboard quizzes can identify particular numerical skills that students struggle with and can provide opportunities for them to improve their skills and confidence.

    Full details in the University publications repository