Building confidence through doing: Support maths for bioscientists

Hazel Corradi, Nicola Coyle, Natalie Ring

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In addition to the decreasing number of first year bioscientists with A-level maths, there is also an increasing recognition that many of the students also suffer from maths anxiety. This means that although they struggle to do maths required in their course, they are also less likely to take up extra support provided. Combatting maths anxiety requires helping the students to change their mind-set, and helping them achieve small victories. Using regular computational assessment to encourage students to attend support workshops, we then use the workshop time to encourage students to try new ways of working whilst reinforcing ‘can do’ approaches. This has been achieved by postgraduate tutors working with small groups in bespoke classes. Students are encouraged to tackle conceptual and word problems and tutors try to balance ‘letting the students puzzle through by themselves’ with supportive comments to keep them going and to push back against negative mind-sets. We are keen to discuss with you the successes where we have been able to tackle misconceptions and build confidence and things that we have learnt don’t work so well regarding the logistics of the classroom.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2018
Event4th Enhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship Conference - Bristol, Bristol, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jul 201812 Jul 2018


Conference4th Enhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship Conference
Abbreviated titleESLTIS18
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom
Internet address


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