Student-centricity in the teaching and learning of business mathematics (2014)

Stephen Dobson & Jayne Revill

To aid global relevance and competitiveness, the undergraduate module Financial Analysis for Business (FAB) at Sheffield Business School is now accredited by the Chartered Institute for Management Accounting (CIMA).  The module delivers maths and statistics core competences in line with CIMA recommendations.  However, not all students share the same levels of experience, competencies, and confidence in maths and so the provision of inclusive pedagogic ‘scaffolding’ in this context can be a challenge. The impacts of using an in-class voting system are reported here, not just as a means to provide an engaging and dynamic way for students to interact with the subject, but primarily for students to gain immediate and, most importantly, anonymous formative feedback.  After voting results are displayed, summaries illustrate how the whole class voted in each case enabling students to track their own progress against that of their peers in a safe and anonymised environment.  This paper presents evaluation questionnaire results (n=240) from the 2013-14 FAB cohort on student perception of using in-class voting technology for CIMA maths.  Additionally, a comparison of phase test results statistics between 2012-13 and 2013-14 is reported to identify any performance impacts after the change in CIMA maths delivery using in-class voting in 2013-14.

It is hypothesised that the benefits of in-class voting for CIMA maths delivery are,

  • Anonymity encouraging all to participate – not just the most confident;
  • Question statistics summarise how the whole class voted providing an indicator of week by week progress to each student;
  • Provides a supportive and safe environment to the less confident maths user;

Provides immediate feedback to the tutor on areas where the class may be struggling and so helps focus areas for class-specific support.