INVERTING THE ROLES IN TUTORING: A COLLABORATIVE LEARNING EXPERIENCE IN FIRST COURSE OF MATHEMATICS

P. Tradacete

Universidad de Barcelona (SPAIN)
We present a recent experience developed with first course students of the Mathematics degree at the University of Barcelona. More precisely, the corresponding subject was “Introduction to differential calculus”.

This task consisted in designing an innovative use of the tutoring time of the faculty in which the students, divided in smaller subgroups, had the chance to explain in their own words the problems they had been working with in previous lessons.

Our aim in this project was twofold: On the one hand, this was designed in order to have a better indicator of the understanding of the material that had been presented up to several points during the course. Moreover, since our students were in their first course of Mathematics, this was also made in order to familiarize them with the Mathematics language and to make them aware of the skills needed for a proper communication.

Although this was an optional activity, and therefore, there was no independent evaluation, from a total population of 68 students, 20 of them attended at least once to these tutoring hours. It turns out that the final score of these students was in average 28% higher than the global mean score. This certainly indicates it has been a successful achievement.

Moreover, we are glad to say that the students attending these sessions considered the experience as something very positive and valuable. Some of them highlighted the benefits of this activity as being highly personalized, and enjoyed the proximity atmosphere that was created there.