The GMMDC's Tablet-Assisted Maths and Science Incubator School Programme (ISP)


The Programme:

The ISP is an annual incubation programme for FET Mathematics and Science selected learners with potential from under-resourced schools in six districts of the Eastern Cape Province. The main aim of the programme is to facilitate access to Higher Education for these learners and to assist them with knowledge and skills to be successful in STEM-related study programmes. The ISP programme, which normally takes place on Saturday mornings, utilizes  eighteen  selected weeks during term time from February to September each year. A secondary aim of the ISP programme is to expose learners to the  modern techno-blended teaching and learning model of the GMMDC and to encourage self-directed and cooperative learning via Tablets and customized curriculum-aligned digital learning material.

Features of the programme include:

  • 24/7 access from February to November to the interactive TouchTutor® digital support package on an Android tablet which covers the full CAPS curriculum in Mathematics and Science;
  • Facilitation by experienced Mathematics and Science facilitators trained by the GMMDC ;
  • Small group & self-directed learning based on structured guides and the TAPS model (Tablet assisted peer support);
  • Regular offline tablet-based self-assessment with immediate feedback;
  • Paper based Term Tests and feedback which are aligned with Departmental Pace Setters;
  • Examination preparation support programme and workshops;
  • Interactive Mathematics language support in eight indigenous languages - all part of the TouchTutor® package.

Learner Selection, Materials and Commitment:

ISP learners are selected on the basis of bench-mark tests in mathematics and physical sciences, school results, a personal application and recommendations from school teachers. Selected learners receive a 7” Android Tablet with the TouchTutor® package pre-installed, a Casio calculator, programme guides and various additional Mathematics and Physical Science support materials.

Learners must commit themselves to the full programme, including attendance at all ISP sessions, by signing a memorandum of understanding with the GMMDC. Learners who do not fulfil their responsibilities during the ISP implementation period may be asked to withdraw from the programme.

The Tablet-assisted ISP programme has been very successful over the past five years. Data collected from project learners across all nodes have shown noticeable positive impact on learner’s results as well as their attitudes towards learning mathematics and physical sciences.

The slides below show summaries of salient trends that have emerged from the Grade 12 incubation programme across 5 project nodes in 2018: