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Developing Student Competencies In Scientific Calculations Exploiting Numbas Expertise at CIT


Engineering & Science


Science & Informatics



Team Members

  • Ms Lauren Daly (FYP)
  • Dr David Goulding
  • Dr Clodagh Carol
  • Dr Eileen O’ Leary


  • To develop an interdisciplinary collaboration between chemistry and mathematics and exploit interdepartmental experts to enhance students learning
  • To provide a platform to support students’ learning through assessment by embedding hints within the questions, providing immediate feedback and encouraging students to partake in this self-directed learning
  • To progress student development in a structured fashion by scaffolding and incrementally increasing the difficulty of the questions


Progress to date

  • Survey results have been gathered on the length of practicals, calculations students find difficult and pre and post practical support desired, but the results need to be collated.
  • Software packages were evaluated through a series of focus groups and it was found:
    • Videoscribe – easy to use and effective for disseminating information however a license is needed.
    • Splice Video Editors Video – free video editing application that works on iPhone and the iPad.
    • NUMBAS – found to be complex initially for non-experts but has huge potential.
  • Resources for students to be developed
    • Pre-Practical Videoscribe outlining the theory and aims of the experiment.
    • Pre-practical video to enhance students learning through better preparation.
    • Formative assessment – specific questions with in-built hints and immediate feedback to aid students understanding and critical thinking skills.
  • Resources for Staff to be developed:
    • ‘How to Guide’ on creating video recording of a practical technique.
    • ‘How to Guide’ on creating interactive questions with inbuilt hints and formative feedback on Numbas.
  • Students opinions of the resources developed will be collected through focus groups.

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