Innovative Maths project celebrated on podcast

4th December 2021

A Maths lecturing duo from Solihull College & University Centre recently appeared on a podcast to discuss their in-depth research project ‘Busy on the Bus in Solihull’.

Holly Bayliss, Teaching and Learning Maths Coach and Sarah Bellard, Head of School for Maths at the College, were given funding as part of the Education and Training Foundation’s Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment (OTLA) programme to create a specialised research project.

The successful ‘Busy on the Bus in Solihull’ project encouraged learners to study independently, away from the classroom, and better prepare for lessons.

“The students needed something short and sharp, accessible and mobile-friendly,” says Holly.

“Instead of homework, they focused on preparatory tasks, 15 minutes in length, which could be completed on the bus or outside of lesson.”

Holly and Sarah in front of their project presentation
Holly (Left) and Sarah (Right) were delighted to see students improving their grades after engaging with the project

The students were sent a text message reminder ‘Are you ready for your Maths lesson?’ by the lecturers 48 hours in advance of the lesson.

Holly comments: “The students appreciated that prompt on their phone and they could then begin work on their phone. We had fantastic results with the group, and they could see the impact of their independent study first-hand; it increased the students’ skills, knowledge and confidence. It is an empowering and different way of independent learning.”

The pair also created ‘cheat sheets’ to help students with revision and tough study sessions, jam-packed with top tips and handy hints for revision success.

Watch the duo discuss the project in more detail from 1.40-13.30 in the video below:

As well as the podcast appearance, Holly and Sarah also presented at an international online Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN) Conference. The presentation was focused on ‘Doing Action Research in Post-16 Education and Training’.

Holly encourages everyone wanting to improve their maths skills, whether to improve job prospects or for use in everyday life, to explore the options available at the College. She comments: “We are a really supportive team here at Solihull. We are innovative in the way we do things, we put a focus on soft skills and also offer a Maths hub. So, it’s a really nice package that we offer to all students.”

You can listen to Holly and Sarah on the FEresearchpodcast on Spotify.

Find out more about the College’s Maths courses for adults: Maths courses