Professional Development

Self-Explanation Training and the Transition to Undergraduate Mathematics

Undergraduate mathematics students often have to do a lot more reading than they expect. Many have previously learned by copying procedures demonstrated by a teacher, and they are unaccustomed to studying the many theorems and proofs that appear in their lecture notes. So how can they study effectively? This video addresses this question by 1) presenting evidence from an eye-tracking study on differences between mathematicians' and undergraduates’ mathematical reading, and 2) introducing self-explanation training, and demonstrating using both eye-tracking and experimental evidence that applying this training makes learning more effective.

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About Dr Lara Alcock

Dr Lara Alcock is a Reader in the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University. She conducts research on mathematical thinking and learning, specialising in reasoning among undergraduate mathematics students and professional mathematicians. She is author of three research-informed study guides - How to Study for a Mathematics Degree, How to Think about Analysis and How to Think about Abstract Algebra - and the popular mathematics book Mathematics Rebooted: A Fresh Approach to Understanding.


Ages: Secondary, Higher Education