Sigma Northwest and North Wales Maths Network Hub Event

The University of Liverpool is hosting a sigma northwest and North Wales maths network hub event on Friday 15th June 2012 (10.45 – 4.00pm) in Continuing Education, 126 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, L69 3GW.

 All are welcome to attend this free event which we hope will be of use to those supporting nursing students as well as other healthcare occupations, or those involved in embedding numeracy into the curriculum.

Buffet and refreshments will be provided.


‘Safety in Numbers: Supporting Development and application of Numeracy in Pre-registration Nursing Students’.

Professor Keith K. Weeks, University Professor of Healthcare Numeracy & Education, University of Glamorgan & Research and Design Director, Authentic World Ltd.

Professor Weeks will present work from a team of international numeracy in healthcare specialists with whom he has worked extensively.  The team work in different aspects of numeracy and collectively worked together on a three year numeracy in nursing programme commissioned by NHS Education for Scotland (2007-2010).  Professor Weeks will be drawing on that work, to discuss safety in numbers and how we can support development and application of numeracy in pre-registration nursing students.

‘Preparing students for numeracy examination interviews: adding value through Curriculum’.

Amanda Miller and Suzanne Waugh; Salford University

In October 2010 there was a unique opportunity locally to ‘add value’ and enhance student experience in a Nursing (Child) curriculum – specifically in one module as a pilot. Working in partnership with a skills tutor lecturers planned an 8 week course running from November to January 2011.  The aim being to develop and enhance student numeracy skills, it was open to all 60 students enrolled on the module with sessions run in small groups of 20. These ran twice on Wednesday afternoons with one evening session. Evaluations were positive overall, although following initial self-assessment activities not all students felt the need to attend all sessions. A clear link to employability and preparation for interviews in the final year of the programme was identified and local Trusts currently ask potential applicants to sit a numeracy examination at interview stage.

 ‘Accrediting Numeracy Skills – an Employability Route’

Sarah Fox, University of Central Lancashire

 The presentation describes a 5 week mini module “Numeracy for Nurses” which is an optional academically accredited course that develops nurses’ numeracy skills and gives them credits towards UCLan’s Futures Award in Employability & Enterprise. The presentation addresses the learning outcomes, course content, teaching and learning resources, assessment and the challenges and triumphs of running the course over the last 3 academic years.

  ‘Online Numeracy Skills for Drug Calculations: eLearning Approaches’

Tim Crawford, Queen’s University Belfast

 This presentation discusses an interactive resource that seeks to equip students with essential numeracy skills and to help students prepare for drug calculation tests. The materials have been split into sections by year and intake and each section takes the format of a multimedia presentation followed by example questions to practise; correct answers may also be checked.  Usage statistics to date average 1200 unique visitors per month and feedback from both staff and students has been very positive.

  ‘Healthcare and Numbers: a blended constructivist approach’

Colin Loughlin, Kingston University

 Based on a successful face to face module Kingston University have recently completed an online learning object in basic numeracy for healthcare workers, including applied healthcare calculations. The learning object is currently live within Kingston University and undergoing student evaluation, but early feedback is positive. The model is constructivist in nature with the students first being walked through an example of the problem and then given the opportunity to try some formative questions. The equations are then applied to healthcare calculations following the same pattern of a worked example followed by self  test questions. Several different approaches to the same question are included to cater for different learning styles.

 ‘From Fighting Fear to Improving Care:  Supporting Student Nurses in their Numeracy Skills Acquisition’

David Maynard and Philip Dee, Birmingham City University

Since September 2007 there has been a Numeracy Strategy in operation within the Faculty of Health at Birmingham City University.  This grew out of a partnership between the university and local NHS Trusts.  The strategy’s aim is to develop competence and confidence in the application of numeracy among students.  Our presentation will outline how the strategy has evolved and how we work towards this aim by showcasing good practice in the following areas:

•             Our teaching philosophy of acceptance and empathy •             Facilitating Learning with a large student population •             Example resources 

‘Sharing Approaches for Nursing Calculations’

Larry Krause, London South Bank University

 Larry will share his some of methods and approaches to supporting nursing numeracy in students. Also he’ll discuss  “Passing calculation tests for nursing students” a text co-authored  with Susan Starkings, and explain how his work with students as a maths support tutor resulted in an informal, pragmatic style for their book.

Contact Sarra Powell,,  tel  0151 794 1180 for further details

Please click here for a registration form  to  book onto this  event – all welcome!

Click for travel details  (114/C4 on map)

An update on the PASS project

On Friday last (11.05.2012) Professor Peter Hartley came to speak to a few EdDev colleagues about the Programme Assessment Strategies (PASS) project which involves a consortium across a number of universities.

The session was essentially offering us an update on the project which is drawing to a conclusion. Further details available on the PASS web site PASS aimed to address the failure to assess the espoused intended outcomes of an entire programme because assessment can be atomised, focusing on the micro level within modules and hence on what is easiest to assess. In this way, it is argued, the complex, higher order learning that programmes seek to engender in students is not assessed. And indeed, if both students and staff fail to see the links between modules, its a moot point as to whether, for many students, this higher order learning is being achieved. So, with that challenge to chew on …
“The first and most critical point is that the assessment is specifically designed to address major programme outcomes rather than very specific or isolated components of the course. It follows then that such assessment is integrative in nature, trying to bring together understanding and skills in ways which represent key programme aims. As a result, the assessment is likely to be more authentic and meaningful to students, staff and external stakeholders.” From the PASS Position Paper The project is now in the implementation phase. The ideas are stimulating, the examples draw from practice in a range of universities and the possibilities extremely exciting.

The project ends in November 2012, but all the resources will be avaiable beyond that.