Dr Poh Wah HillockAn innovative first year mathematics support program has earned School of Mathematics and Physics lecturer Dr Poh Wah Hillock a UQ Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.

UQ Provost Professor Aidan Byrne presented Dr Hillock with an award for Programs that Enhance Learning at at the 2016 University of Queensland Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Learning celebrations at Brisbane’s Customs House.

Her citation read:

“For developing a first year mathematics support programme which builds confidence and fosters hard work, perseverance and discipline, resulting in high achievement levels.

“MATH1051 (Calculus and Linear Algebra I) is the first university level mathematics course at UQ and is compulsory in engineering and mathematics programmes.

“The course has a high failure rate of 30%. Key reasons for failure are weak prerequisite mathematical skills and the difficult transition from high school mathematics to university mathematics.

“In 2012, Poh designed and implemented the Support Learning Tutorial (SLT), an enhanced weekly tutorial programme aimed at students identified as having a high risk of failing MATH1051.

“By providing targeted, timely and sustained support which builds confidence and fosters hard work, discipline and perseverance, Poh has helped SLT students to overcome learning deficits, improve their mathematical skills and attain high levels of achievement.

“SLT students have consistently outperformed the cohort both in pass rates and quality of performance.

“The average SLT pass rate is 84%, 15% higher than the whole cohort; 53% of SLT students achieved a credit or better, 8% higher than the corresponding rate for the whole cohort.

“Repeat students who attended the SLT made significant gains in their learning, achieving a pass rate of 78%, 30% higher than for unsupported repeat students.

“In addition, 42% of SLT repeat students achieved a credit or better.”

For details of all award winners please read the UQ News story.