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National Evaluation of the Maths Arcade

CETL-MSOR Conference 2014, Cardiff University (09/09/2014). Kingsley Webster (speaker), Peter Rowlett, Noel-Ann Bradshaw and James Hind.

The Maths Arcade is a drop in session where a wide variety of strategy games and puzzles are available for students to play with other students and staff. These might be simply played, to develop a mathematical-themed social environment as an informal support mechanism for students, or strategies might be analysed, to develop students' mathematical thinking and stretch more confident learners.
The Maths Arcade was initiated by Noel-Ann Bradshaw (2011) at the University of Greenwich, and was developed by Bradshaw with Peter Rowlett to eight universities as part of the National HE STEM Programme (Bradshaw and Rowlett, 2012). A Maths Arcade was set up at NTU in 2013 as a staff/student collaborative partnership (Webster and Rowlett, 2013).
A Maths Arcade User Conference at Sheffield Hallam University in March 2014 agreed a joint evaluation strategy for Maths Arcades at Nottingham Trent and Sheffield Hallam universities and the universities of Greenwich, Bath and Reading. This evaluation strategy focuses on the benefits of the Maths Arcade that are perceived by staff, and on identifying good practice around the operation of a Maths Arcade. An undergraduate summer scholarship project in summer 2014 performed analysis for the evaluation and the results of this will be presented. The work was funded by a Nottingham Trent University Scholarship Projects for Undergraduate Researchers (SPUR) bursary.
Bradshaw, N., 2011. The University of Greenwich Maths Arcade. MSOR Connections 11(3), pp. 26-29.
Bradshaw, N. and Rowlett, P., (eds.) 2012. Maths Arcade: stretching and supporting mathematical thinking. Birmingham: HEA Maths, Stats and OR Network.
Webster, K. and Rowlett, P., 2013. A Maths Arcade at Nottingham Trent University. Mathematics Today, 49(3), p. 120.