Sidney Tyrrell, Senior Lecturer in Statistics, Priscilla Appiahene and Neema Jaffary, Year 12 Students

‘It has given me a real insight into how to teach’

Name: Sidney Tyrrell, Priscilla Appiahene, Neema Jaffary

Organisation:  Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Engineering Science, Coventry University

Sidney Tyrrell is a Senior Lecturer in Statistics at Coventry University. During the months of July and August 2009, Priscilla Appiahene (a Year 12 student from Blue Coat School) and Neema Jaffary (a Year 12 student from Grace Academy) worked under the supervision of Sidney on a Nuffield Bursary placement within the Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Engineering Science.

Can you tell us a little about the department?
Sidney : Here at Coventry University we have many initiatives to provide Mathematics and Statistics support to our students. In particular, we have a Centre of Excellence in the teaching and learning of both subjects as well as a Drop In Centre available to the whole university.

Can you describe the project which was completed in the 5 week placement?
Sidney : Priscilla and Neema have been producing support materials and learning objects to help me to support many students in the university with the mathematics elements of their course.
Priscilla : We have been building accessible web-based learning objects in mathematics for undergraduate students. These will hopefully help them to understand basic mathematical topics such as making a pie chart and performing a regression analysis. We also made a Morph-like animation video using plasticine blocks to convey the addition of fractions.
Neema : We used the screen capture software packages Jing and Camtasia to create video tutorials on how to use Excel 2007 for many mathematical problems. We also used Flash to make videos which take students through the various steps in simple calculations.

What have you learned in the project?
Neema : I learned how to use Excel 2007 and also Camtasia and Jing. I’m not used to hearing myself back as I did on my voice over video tutorials so that was a strange experience!
Priscilla: In addition to the new software packages, I saw how much effort is required in creating teaching resources. The placement was fun and I learned how to present myself well and give a presentation to a large audience.
Sidney : I always benefit from being around creative people and both Neema and Priscilla have been very enthusiastic about using Jing, which I have never used before and also this brilliant morph-like animation video which is a completely new idea. I’m sure the developed resources will be of great benefit to my students.

To find out more about the Nuffield Foundation and Nuffield Science Bursaries visit the websit