In Summary

  • Mathscasts collection has attracted more than 1.4 million online hits since 2011
  • More than 400 maths tutorials are available on Swinburne’s website

One of Swinburne’s MathsCasts online mathematics tutorials has reached 110,000 views on YouTube.

The video, on eigenvectors of 3x3 matrices, was created by Swinburne mathematics lecturer Stephen Bedding.

MathsCasts – online tutorial videos that explain how to solve various maths problems – have been helping first-year university students get up to speed with maths since 2011.

The collection has attracted more than 1.4 million online hits.

The videos complement other support programs offered through Swinburne’s Maths and Stats Help (MASH) Centre.

Former head of MASH, Associate Professor Birgit Loch, came up with the idea of the online tutorials to help students who had not grasped a concept in class. She says she found many students needed help with the same problems.

“Rather than coming into the centre, where we’re explaining the same thing over and over, students can watch the MathsCasts online,” she says.

Swinburne’s maths lecturers and tutors record the tutorials and upload them to the website. Students can then watch the tutorials outside the MASH Centre opening times.

“The students still come in if they don’t understand something, but chances are they do understand and can spend time on more difficult problems,” Associate Professor Loch says.

MathsCasts and PhysCasts teams with the 2014 Swinburne Vice-Chancellor's Award

Swinburne's MathsCast team won the 2014 Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Excellence award.

MathsCasts is an international collaborative effort between three universities: Swinburne, the University of Limerick in Ireland and Loughborough University in England.

Associate Professor Loch says each university specialises in different areas of maths – engineering or maths major students, for example – so between the three, the MathsCasts address a huge range of topics.

While MathsCasts are aimed at helping first and second year students, some are also suitable for high-level secondary school students.

There are currently more than 400 available on Swinburne’s website. MathsCasts are also featured podcasts on iTunes U and on YouTube.