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UNI LIFE

Study Skills - Maths and Statistics

By RGrant 17 May 2021

Hello, my name is John Little and I am the Study Skills maths and statistics tutor. 

I offer one to one and small group appointments for help with maths, basic statistics (including use of SPSS) and basic IT skills on Wednesdays and Thursdays 9am-5pm together with scheduled large group classes on related topics (see the Study Skills success programme, for example) through first and second semester. 

Maths and Stats Appointments

Appointments are free of charge and last for up to one hour at a time.  Just email studyskills@rgu.ac.uk to book your appointment.

Online Appointments

During the covid-19 pandemic appointments have largely been delivered via Blackboard Collaborate which affords students the facility of screen sharing and helps to make discussion more interactive but I’ve also briefly used Zoom, Teams and Whereby and email and Panopto video recordings support both appointment follow up and preparation.

Wealth of Experience

I have been in post for eighteen years now, twelve as a full-time staff member and part time for the last six years.  That has enabled me to build up some experience but also reminds me yearly that students’ course demands and course content change and that the learning environment changes.  Nevertheless, I still find myself engaged in helping both STEM-based and non-STEM based students develop their maths, statistics, numeracy and numerical reasoning skills and their basic IT skills (that can include formatting of thesis Word documents) and this has, surprisingly, extended across all eleven of RGU’s Academic Schools over the years.  

Resits

I also make a point of making myself available to students during the lead-up to the re-sit period and that has been the case over the last eighteen years.  I think that students who have failed modules but successfully take advantage of re-sit opportunities deserve great credit for reflecting on where they went wrong and putting it right.  It is a cliché now but “failure” really can promote learning in a deep sense and can, in fact, be a springboard for future success; the student who never has to question their own ability also never has to equip themselves with the skills to analyse what went wrong and what can be done to put it right which is an inevitability for us all.

Partnership

Maths support at RGU formally had its origins in the nineties (!) and, whilst it is now a small post with a broad remit, it is actually part of a wider effort across UK HEIs to address the disproportionate difficulty and anxiety students face in dealing with mathematical, statistical, quantitative and numerical course content.  Consequently, there is a legacy of organisations and resources that inform practice.  In particular, I often refer students to the www.statstutor.ac.uk site for background on SPSS and statistics and to www.mathcentre.ac.uk for refreshers on entry level maths.  In parallel with that my own practice development is supported by the Scottish Maths Support Network and by the UK’s sigma maths support community as well as, more formally but more peripherally, The Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications, The Institute of Engineering and Technology and the Higher Education Academy which is, in turn, I think a reflection on or bi-product of RGU’s longstanding focus on engagement with professional bodies.

How to Make an Appointment

So, if you encounter course-related maths, basic statistics or basic IT skills issues please do not hesitate to contact studyskills@rgu.ac.uk where experienced help is at hand!

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