To assess the potential impact of STEMReader we engaged widely with tutors and their learners who were studying functional skills, Maths GCSE (alongside vocational qualifications) and degree level STEM subjects. We also demonstrated and discussed STEMReader features with support workers and stakeholders working in the sector. Access to students was limited in the latter part of the project with examinations and school/college/university holidays dominating student schedules. However, we were able to able to meet students from National Star College, Wirral Metropolitan College and the University of Southampton (13 students, 6 tutors in total). We also gathered feedback through:
- A focus group with the maths support team at the University of Loughborough
- Workshops at 3 conferences. We also presented at the Enable conference that has led to potential collaboration opportunities.
- 8 one-to-one meetings with tutors, support workers and learners including 2 FE colleges, 2 supporting leaners on work placements and 3 working in HE.
We collated feedback based upon the critical success factors identified in our feasibility plan, namely:
- The potential impact of the STEMReader and mathematical speech output to assist learners struggling with maths and its notation.
- The technical outcomes required for STEMReader to be a marketable product.
- Potential for income streams to ensure the future sustainability.
This feedback has enabled us to tailor the STEMReader concept to the needs of learners and potential customers.
Here are two videos capturing an example of the comments we have received.
Eldar as an undergraduate student at the University of Southampton and English is his second language – he has been working as an computer science intern this summer.
The second video comes thanks to Kerry Pace has her own company supporting diverse students via online and face to face sessions.