** Implementing Diagnostic Testing for
non-Specialist Mathematics Courses**

*Peter Edwards, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK*

The above Handbook, for which this is an overview, is published by The Open
Learning Foundation, London,UK. Tel: 0171 636 4186

ISBN 1 86050 034 X

**The Handbook Overview**

The handbook aims to convey the challenges facing those who wish to introduce diagnostic testing and to highlight some of the solutions that have been instituted. However, it should also promote reflection on the modus operandi for those already using diagnostic testing. Consequently, the handbook is not just for 'beginners'. The handbook:

- places the need for diagnostic testing within the background of the mathematical ability of current undergraduates
- gives a brief overview of the telephone and visit surveys
- indicates the reasons for the choices of the institutions visited
- examines responses from the completed survey questionnaires
- interprets responses, where necessary, and highlights issues and implications relating to key areas of diagnostic testing
- provides a checklist of points to consider in key areas and suggests 'ways ahead'
- provides Appendices of reference information.

**Using the Handbook**

It should be noted that the survey from which data was drawn and used in the compilation of this handbook relates predominantly to first-year undergraduate courses in which mathematics was not the major subject (e.g. Business Studies and Engineering). Consequently, the handbook is directed primarily to those who wish to use diagnostic testing to make some assessment of the mathematical ability of first-year undergraduate non-specialist mathematicians. However, this should not preclude its use elsewhere, since there will be sections within this handbook that should prove useful to those wishing to use diagnostic testing in other areas of the undergraduate curriculum. The handbook can be used in a variety of ways and in a range of contexts as:

- a resource for information purposes
- a discussion document in the preparation, or restructure, of courses in which mathematical weakness is likely to be a problem
- an aid to staff and educational development (e.g. in teaching and learning workshops)