I throughly enjoyed the Mathematics for Understanding (MfU) module. It was a module that the university call ‘long and thin’ as it runs from September through to March across both terms.
As someone who doesn’t enjoy maths the most, I didn’t think this module was going to be as enjoyable as it turned out to be! The two main lecturers on this module are Carol and Steph, and both the lectures and the workshops are interactive and enjoyable. They would usually involve using resources that are commonly used in primary schools to teach maths such as tens and units or 3D shapes.
This module ran on a Wednesday. In term 1, we were in university between 9 and 12 and then after Christmas we were in university between 9 and 1. Each week, we would have a lecture between 9 and 10 as a whole year group, and then there would be 2 workshops running, but each section of the year group (the year group is split into sections at the start of the year – Section 1 and Section 2) would only go to one, and then the following week they would attend the workshop that the other section went to. For example, the lecture might be on mental methods for addition and subtraction, and then the 2 workshops might be on measure and symmetry. One week section 1 would go to the measure workshop and section 2 would go to the symmetry workshop, then the following week they would swap.
If you love maths or hate maths, there is something in this module for you. My favourite sessions were the ones on 3D shape, symmetry, history of maths and angles. My least favourite sessions were problem solving and place value/number bases.
In preparation for starting the module, we were advised to buy a book by Robert Haylock and the associated student workbook. For each lecture and workshop there would be pre-reading to complete that would help understanding during the sessions. After the session, you could complete questions from the student workbook to help understanding of the content of the workshop.
The assessment for this module takes the form of a non-calculator written exam. It lasts for 2 hours and is split into 2 parts. The first part is 10 questions, worth 20 marks, which assess your personal knowledge and ability in maths. The second section is worth 60 marks and is about learning theory. In this section you could be asked to show 4 ways of calculating 80%, or identify counting principles. Unfortunately, as a result of the coronavirus, no one in my year group sat the final exam so I don’t know what it was like to sit the exam, but I did feel well prepared for it.
During the year, you are asked to fill in a reflective journal. You don’t have to analyse every session, and no maximum or minimum was given, but if you fail to submit it, 10% is docked from your final grade. I filled it in after every session, as it didn’t take too long, and it helped me to see which areas I would need to spend the most time revising before the exam