Closing the Numeracy Gap:  Using Technology to Support Increased Student Success
Graham Orpwood
Professor Emeritus, York University, Toronto
 
Anand Karat
President, Vretta Inc.
 
Many countries in the developed world are experiencing a numeracy challenge.  Their students arrive in secondary school, or college, or even the workplace, with inadequate basic knowledge and skills in mathematics.Partly this is due to society’s indifference towards numeracy (especially compared with the attention properly given to literacy); partly it may stem from inadequate teaching at the primary school level.   But, whatever its cause, a gap exists in many countries between the levels of numeracy required for the 21st century and the levels actually found among many children and adults; and “closing the numeracy gap” is now a priority for colleges, schools and businesses.
Vretta, a Canadian e-assessment and e-learning company with the vision of a world where everyone enjoys maths, has developed a suite of programs, called “Elevate My Maths,” to address the numeracy gap; and these have been recently recognized with an award from the e-Assessment Association.   Using diagnostic assessment to identify an individual’s mathematical strengths and weaknesses, individualized and modular “catch-up” e-learning resources, and summative assessment to confirm mastery, Elevate My Maths is fully customizable for individual institutions and is finding application in secondary schools, colleges and universities, and also in corporate training contexts.