- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Developing your number skills
- 2 Sources of help
- 3 Key skills assessment units
- 4 Structure of the assessment units
- 5 Effective use of number skills
- 6 What you should present
- 7 Part A: Evidencing skills to develop a strategy, monitor progress and evaluate performance
- 8 Part B: Evidencing your number skills
- 9 Notes to help you complete your assessment
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Key skills assessment unit: Application of number
Numerical and mathematical skills are used to describe and tackle a wide...
Numerical and mathematical skills are used to describe and tackle a wide range of problems. These key skills are about understanding when particular techniques should be used, how to carry them out accurately and which techniques should be applied in particular situations. Developing your numerical, graphical and algebraic skills means being able to plan how you are going to use your skills over a period of time, monitoring your progress and then reviewing your approach. In developing and assessing this key skill, you will learn to use and adapt your skills confidently and effectively in different situations and contexts. This unit is designed to be studied for 1 hour per week over 50 weeks.
Having studied this unit you should be able to:
- develop a strategy for using skills in application of number over an extended period of time;
- monitor progress and and adapt your strategy as necessary, to achieve the quality of outcomes required;
- evaluate your overall strategy and present the outcomes from your work.
Key skills assessment unit: application of number
This key skill develops your number skills in your studies, work or other activities over a period of time. To tackle all of this key skill, you need to plan your work over at least 3–4 months to give yourself enough time to practise and improve your skills, to seek feedback from others, to monitor your progress and evaluate your strategy and present outcomes.
Application of number (simply called ‘number’ in this key skill) is all about using numerical and mathematical skills to frame and solve problems effectively. Applying these skills may help you to tackle an activity or a problem that is part of a larger task. Once you have identified that you need to solve numerical or mathematical problems, you can use the three-stage framework to help you organise your work. For example you may need to collect data from various sources to explore an issue or answer a question, then do something with that data such as display it appropriately, carry out calculations on it, or use it to check the predictions of a mathematical model, and then interpret and present what you have found. The three-stage framework supports all these components of the key skill.
But the key skill of using number is not simply about working through calculations or drawing graphs, although they are useful techniques that you may need. It is knowing when using mathematical techniques can help you complete a task more effectively, how to carry out a range of mathematical techniques proficiently, and being able to make decisions about which particular technique you should apply to achieve a desired outcome.
Improving your number skills involves you planning strategically how you will go about developing your skills, as well as identifying which skills you should focus on. In monitoring your progress you will need to apply and practise your skills to achieve the goals you have set yourself and to reflect on, and possibly modify your approach in the light of your own assessment of progress and feedback from others. Evaluating your strategy and presenting results gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your numerical and mathematical skills, and to assess how successful your strategy was in achieving what you set out to do. This unit is designed to be studied for 1 hour per week over 50 weeks.
This unit is from our archive and it is an adapted extract from Key skills assessment unit: application of number (U075) courses no longer in presentation. If you wish to study formally at The Open University, you may wish to explore the courses we offer in.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Mathematics Education course units or view the range of currently available OU Mathematics Education courses.
Copyright & revisions
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
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