6. Sept. 2023
Mathematics and statistics. A topic that is gaining importance in many areas of human life around the world. The MSLS Net project has brought together five partner institutions to focus on developing effective practices in tutor training, designing teaching and training materials, and delivering, monitoring and evaluating mathematics and statistics learning support.
The project ran from August 2021 to July 2023 between universities in the Czech Republic (Brno University of Technology, Masaryk University and Tomas Bata University in Zlín) and Norway (UiT Norges Arktiske Universitet and Universitetet i Agder). A consortium of institutions was formed, some of which had several years of experience and others were just beginning to support mathematics and statistics education. This combination allowed the project participants to gain a variety of perspectives and approaches to the topic and to enrich established practice, as the real needs of the universities differed and each had different ways of specifically implementing student support.
The project included four workshops (in Brno, Kristiansand, Alta and Zlín) and two promotional events (in Brno and Hradec nad Moravicí, Czechia). Regular online meetings and workshops were also organised to enable ongoing cooperation between the partners.
One of the important objectives of the project was to consider the possibility of creating a special interest organisation to develop cooperation in the field of promoting mathematics and statistics teaching at universities. The university representatives focused on the importance of these networks and discussed the potential benefits of a professional association to support further development on this topic beyond the end of the project. Such an organization would have the potential to attract the interest of international groups and higher education institutions interested in promoting the teaching of mathematics and statistics at the university level.
"It was very encouraging for me to work with people on the same wavelength," says Josef Rebenda from CEITEC BUT, the project coordinator. "During the two years of the project, we learned a lot, not only about the topic itself, but also about us, about people. I was pleased that during the workshops and online meetings we were able to create together. It was obvious that we enjoyed and fulfilled our collaboration and that it would be worth continuing. It showed that the interest in the topic goes beyond the project. So we started collecting contacts and building a network, informal for now, which we call [pí Network]."
The MSLS Net project has provided valuable insights and new best practices that can inspire other initiatives and projects in this area.