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Diversity in numbers: Developing quantitative skills and personal connection to discipline content

Warburton, N.ORCID: 0000-0002-8498-3053, Etherington, S.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-6589-8793, Maker, G.L.ORCID: 0000-0003-1666-9377, Koh, S.H. and Bennett, R. (2022) Diversity in numbers: Developing quantitative skills and personal connection to discipline content. In: 37th Annual Research Forum. Western Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER), 6 August 2022, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle.


Poor numeracy/quantitative skills (QS) development is a widespread issue across Australian tertiary education. Lack of fundamental QS can impede students' progression in STEM degrees, and disadvantage individual students across other domains of life (e.g., financial literacy and active citizenship). Our ACDS-funded Diversity in Numbers (DiN) project seeks to evaluate a targeted, course-wide, just-in-time model for undergraduate development of QS. Digital numeracy modules will be designed to scaffold QS development through embedded interactive content and rich automated feedback.

Each module targets a core QS concept (e.g., statistical testing, unit conversions, mathematical relationships) and is framed around a published article relevant to unit content, to expand student awareness of numbers as a tool across diverse fields of science. Given the ongoing under-representation of women, LGBTIQA+ people and other minorities in STEM, the selection of journal articles aims to increase students' appreciation of diversity from many different viewpoints, while developing their QS. At a broader level, the project aims to address the ongoing lack of diversity among STEM graduates and within the STEM workforce by enabling students to "see themselves" within published research.

Here we will present the design of our research project to assess the success of our pilot DiN modules.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
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