In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the AMSP has moved many of its events to an online format; this is true of the support for Year 12 students within our region who were planning to sit challenging university admission tests. Each week, over sixty students meet twice a week with me, the AMSP Area Coordinator for Derby and Derbyshire, for a lesson on a particular theme. Because the restraint of distance has been removed, the free-of-charge course has attracted students from outside the region.
The lessons are delivered through a platform called BigBlueButton. This platform enables some interactivity – students are able to speak to the tutor and to each other, for example. The lessons are backed up by a student-tutor forum, which allows students to share their work with the tutor and with each other.
The course consists of sixteen lessons, covering number theory, geometry, trigonometry, curve sketching, combinatorics, logs and exponentials, polynomials, and sequences and series, among other topics. Each week students are taught a particular topic, and also given MAT, TMUA and STEP questions to do. Fully worked-out solutions are provided, as well as comprehensive sets of notes with plenty of worked examples.
Delivering this course online has been an interesting experience for me. Needless to say, it has necessitated many changes from the regular face-to-face course. Teaching online has certainly enabled the AMSP in the East Midlands to offer the course to a much greater number of students from a much wider area.
By Chris Luke