### Abstract

Mathematics is an essential part of many degree subjects. Despite this, many students come to university ill-prepared for, and struggle with, the mathematical concepts on their course. One particular course where these issues are often prevalent is nursing. Indeed, a lack of numerical ability has been shown to be the main factor in predicting drug calculation ability (McMullan, Jones, and Lea, 2012); a skill that is vital for a safe and successful nursing career (Choudhary and Malthus, 2017). A method that could improve students’ understanding of the mathematics on their course is called “self-explanation training”. Self-explanation training has previously been shown to be successful in improving students’ understanding in various subjects including mathematics and, in particular, mathematical proofs (Hodds, Alcock, and Inglis, 2014). There has, however, been little research on the use of self-explanation training to improve the understanding of mathematics for non-mathematicians. This paper describes a small-scale study (N = 26) that investigated the use of self-explanation training in two forms (a booklet and a video) designed to improve nursing students’ mathematical under-standing. Although performance in the tests was still far from ideal, the results suggest that self-explanation training has the potential to improve nursing students’ understanding of the mathematics on their course and, in particular, significantly improve their ability to solve more complex questions that require greater conceptual understanding.

Original language | English |
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Publication status | Published - Jul 2017 |

Event | Mathematics Education beyond 16: Pathways and Transitions - University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom Duration: 10 Jul 2017 → 12 Jul 2017 https://ima.org.uk/2996/mathematics-education-beyond-16-pathways-transitions/ |

### Conference

Conference | Mathematics Education beyond 16 |
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Abbreviated title | IMA and CETL-MSOR 2017 |

Country | United Kingdom |

City | Birmingham |

Period | 10/07/17 → 12/07/17 |

Internet address |

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## Cite this

Hodds, M. (2017).

*Using self-explanation training to improve nursing students’ mathematical understanding*. Paper presented at Mathematics Education beyond 16, Birmingham, United Kingdom.