6 research outputs found

    Learning from their mistakes - an online approach to evaluate teacher education students\u27 numeracy capability

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    Teachers’ numeracy capability is essential for student learning in the classroom and important across all subject areas, not only within mathematics. This study investigated the use of online diagnostic tests as a form of assessment for learning, to evaluate and support teacher education students (TES) in developing their numeracy skills. Data was collected using the “Test” feature through the Blackboard learning management system at two Australian universities. In this paper, we report on trends amongst TES who showed growth in their numeracy capability through the repeated use of the diagnostic test

    Assess, Address, Progress: An Online Approach to Evaluate and Develop Teacher Education Students’ Numeracy Capability

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    For as long as numeracy has been assessed as a major domain in Australia (since 2003), Australian school students’ numeracy levels have been declining (Thomson et al., 2019). This decline is evident despite it being a national requirement for teachers to teach numeracy skills across all subject areas at all year levels (Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA), n.d.). Although there are several definitions of numeracy, fundamentally it is the application of mathematics and the ability to interpret and utilise mathematical information (Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), 2017). Given that teachers’ mathematical knowledge has been shown to affect their students’ performance in the classroom (Shirvani, 2015; Tchoshanov et al., 2017), it is possible that teachers’ personal numeracy capabilities also have an impact on their students’ numeracy skills. To that end, it is essential that initial teacher education providers have mechanisms to evaluate teacher education students’ (TES) numeracy capabilities and provide support for their development. To date, limited research has been conducted to evaluate TES’ numeracy capabilities during their tertiary education (Callingham et al., 2015; Forgasz & Hall, 2019; Sellings et al., 2018). As such, this research addressed this need by exploring the following research question: To what extent is the use of an online Diagnostic Test associated with improvement in TES’ numerical skills? This study is positioned within the positivist paradigm, which is guided by the belief that real life is scientific and phenomena are measurable (Brown & Baker, 2007), and explored numeric measures of the numeracy skills of TES. The study adopts overlaps identified between commonly used online learning theoretical frameworks (the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), the Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation (ADDIE) Model, and the e-learning systems framework of Aparicio et al. (2016)) and the Assessment for Learning (AfL) theory of Black and Wiliam (1998) to embed into the design of the research. Furthermore, the elements described in the more recently proposed triangulated AfL framework by Tan (2013) were used to interpret the findings and determine whether numeracy skills can be improved through the use of an online practice test. Test and Assessment was chosen as the methodology as it is commonly used to measure achievement and potential (Cohen et al., 2011). This methodology guided the development of the online test as the data collection instrument. Initially, a Pilot Test was conducted consisting of 40 numeracy items. Based on the Pilot Test results, a total of 272 questions were developed for the main Diagnostic Test. For each attempt in the main Diagnostic Test, 40 questions were drawn from the larger pool of items which were categorised into mathematical strands (Number and Algebra (NA), Measurement and Geometry (MG), Statistics and Probability (SP), and Non-Calculator (NC)), and then sub-divided into mathematical content areas following the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, n.d.). Items were further categorised into item type (Fill in the Blank, Multiple Choice, and True/False), their context domain (Personal and Community, Workplace and Employment, and Education and Training) according to the ACER Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) Assessment Framework (ACER, 2017), and their level of difficulty (Level 2-5) according to the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) levels (Department of Employment, 2015). A specific number of items was drawn from each pool of questions (strand and content) to ensure that an even spread of mathematical areas were presented on each test attempt. Furthermore, worked solutions were developed for each item and displayed at the completion of each test attempt for the items that had been answered incorrectly on that attempt. Quantitative data were collected from two Australian universities (Institution A and Institution B) between March 2018 and March 2019 using the testing module through the Blackboard Learning Management System. Overall, there were 1283 attempts made (n=878 for Institution A, and n=405 for Institution B). The data were analysed using both raw score analysis and also through the application of the Rasch Measurement Model to ensure valid comparisons could be made between test attempts. Findings from this study describe the extent to which TES’ numeracy skills can be evaluated and developed using an online practice test. It is expected that knowledge gained from this research will provide a model for initial teacher education providers to understand the skills TES are taking to the classroom and also the skills in which they require further development. The results will allow for further, more targeted, teaching and learning strategies to be implemented into university education programmes. Finally, this research provides a method of assessing, tracking and developing TES’ numeracy skills. In the long term, this research will benefit schools by having increasingly more numeracy-competent teachers educating Australian students

    Using an online numeracy practice test to support education students for the numeracy component of the LANTITE

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    In Australia, teacher education students must pass the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) to meet accreditation requirements. Although this has been mandated since 2016, there are currently few resources available for students to use in preparation for the test. To help students prepare for the numeracy component of the LANTITE, we developed an online Numeracy Practice Test (NPT) through the institution’s learning management system. This study assessed the learning analytics from the NPT between students who subsequently passed the numeracy component of the LANTITE with those that failed. Our results show that students who passed performed significantly better in the NPT, had fewer attempts, spent less time on the NPT, and accessed it closer to the date of the LANTITE, which demonstrate students’ ability to self-assess the level of support required

    Using an online numeracy practice test to support education students for the numeracy component of the LANTITE

    No full text
    In Australia, teacher education students must pass the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) to meet accreditation requirements. Although this has been mandated since 2016, there are currently few resources available for students to use in preparation for the test. To help students prepare for the numeracy component of the LANTITE, we developed an online Numeracy Practice Test (NPT) through the institution’s learning management system. This study assessed the learning analytics from the NPT between students who subsequently passed the numeracy component of the LANTITE with those that failed. Our results show that students who passed performed significantly better in the NPT, had fewer attempts, spent less time on the NPT, and accessed it closer to the date of the LANTITE, which demonstrate students’ ability to self-assess the level of support required

    Mammographic surveillance in women younger than 50 years who have a family history of breast cancer: tumour characteristics and projected effect on mortality in the prospective, single-arm, FH01 study.

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    BACKGROUND: Evidence supports a reduction in mortality from breast cancer with mammographic screening in the general population of women aged 40-49 years, but the effect of family history is not clear. We aimed to establish whether screening affects the disease stage and projected mortality of women younger than 50 years who have a clinically significant family history of breast cancer. METHODS: In the single-arm FH01 study, women at intermediate familial risk who were younger than 50 years were enrolled from 76 centres in the UK, and received yearly mammography. Women with BRCA mutations were not explicitly excluded, but would be rare in this group. To compare the FH01 cohort with women not receiving screening, two external comparison groups were used: the control group of the UK Age Trial (106,971 women aged 40-42 years at recruitment, from the general population [ie, average risk], followed up for 10 years), and a Dutch study of women with a family history of breast cancer (cancer cases aged 25-77 years, diagnosed 1980-2004). Study endpoints were size, node status, and histological grade of invasive tumours, and estimated mortality calculated from the Nottingham prognostic index (NPI) score, and adjusted for differences in underlying risk between the FH01 cohort and the control group of the UK Age Trial. This study is registered with the National Research Register, number N0484114809. FINDINGS: 6710 women were enrolled between Jan 16, 2003, and Feb 28, 2007, and received yearly mammography for a mean of 4 years (SD 2) up until Nov 30, 2009; surveillance and reporting of cancers is still underway. 136 women were diagnosed with breast cancer: 105 (77%) at screening, 28 (21%) symptomatically in the interval between screening events, and three (2%) symptomatically after failing to attend their latest mammogram. Invasive tumours in the FH01 study were significantly smaller (p=0·0094), less likely to be node positive (p=0·0083), and of more favourable grade (p=0·0072) than were those in the control group of the UK Age Trial, and were significantly less likely to be node positive than were tumours in the Dutch study (p=0·012). Mean NPI score was significantly lower in the FH01 cohort than in the control group of the UK Age Trial (p=0·00079) or the Dutch study (p<0·0001). After adjustment for underlying risk, predicted 10-year mortality was significantly lower in the FH01 cohort (1·10%) than in the control group of the UK Age Trial (1·38%), with relative risk of 0·80 (95% CI 0·66-0·96; p=0·022). INTERPRETATION: Yearly mammography in women with a medium familial risk of breast cancer is likely to be effective in prevention of deaths from breast cancer
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