Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Data analysis and student support in maths

Improved data collection, analysis and student support in Mathematics.

Principal applicant: Dr Toby Bailey, School of Mathematics

Team members:

  • Lois Rollings, School of Mathematics
  • Dr Chris Theobald, School of Mathematics
  • Dr Pamela Docherty, School of Mathematics


The project builds on a small PTAS grant for UG Mathematics and Statistics students to analyse data on the mathematics diagnostic test and performance of incoming students and relations with student background. The bulk of the statistical work will be carried out by UGs. We will investigate the validity of the reduced length test we have developed with the earlier grant and we will extend the analysis to track cohorts in to later years. We will follow up two worrying indications from the earlier project: that there is a gender gap with males outperforming females, with the amount being variable and extreme in one particular year 1 course; that there is a disparity in student performance with Scottish students obtaining significantly poorer results than those from RUK.

During the project we will develop a suite of scripts in the R data analysis package that will enable us to monitor and act on this important data routinely in future years. The findings will feed in to School Teaching Policy, in particular in to designing approaches and interventions to support underperforming students.