Widening participation in higher education: student quantitative skills and independent learning as impediments to progression

Pokorny, Michael and Pokorny, Helen (2005) Widening participation in higher education: student quantitative skills and independent learning as impediments to progression. Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 36 (5). pp. 445-467. ISSN 0020-739X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207390500062621

Abstract

The UK government's widening participation strategy, and the concomitant development of a mass higher education system, has imposed a variety of pressures on higher education institutions. Not least of these is the changing nature of the student population, and the assumptions that can be made about its skills and knowledge base. It should not be surprising that this rapid expansion of the higher education system has resulted in declining student progression and retention rates. This paper takes a case study approach and attempts to identify the range of factors that might explain the variability of student performance on a first year undergraduate introductory statistics module. The paper concludes that there are no simple predictors of success or failure. However, there is evidence to suggest that any innovations in delivery need to take account of individual student development and that the presumption that students can rapidly become independent learners upon initial entry to higher education is an unrealistic one.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Online ISSN 1464-5211
Uncontrolled Keywords: Quantitative methods, higher education, widening participation, independent learning
Subjects: University of Westminster > Westminster Business School
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2006
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2011 10:35
URI: http://westminsterresearch.wmin.ac.uk/id/eprint/2851

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