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Improving Core Mathematical Skills in Engineering Undergraduates

Carr, Michael, Bowe, Brian and Ní Fhloinn, Eabhnat orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-3840-2115 (2010) Improving Core Mathematical Skills in Engineering Undergraduates. In: 15th SEFI-MWG Seminar on the Mathematical Education of Engineers, 20-23 June 2010, Wismar, Germany. ISBN 978-3-939159-97-1

A large number of engineering undergraduates begin their third-level education with significant deficiencies in their core mathematical skills. Every year, in the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), a diagnostic test is given to incoming first-year students, consistently revealing problems in basic mathematics. It is difficult to motivate many students to seek help in the Maths Learning Centre to address these problems. As a result, they struggle through several years of engineering, carrying a serious handicap of poor core mathematical skills, as confirmed by exploratory testing of final year students. In order to improve these skills in engineering students, a pilot project was set up in which a “module” in core mathematics was developed. The course material was basic, but a grade of 90% or higher was required to pass the module. Students were allowed to repeat the module as often as they liked until they passed. An automated examination for this module was developed on WebCT, and a bank of questions created for it. Initially, this project was piloted in the third-year Ordinary Degree mathematics module in Mechanical Engineering in the DIT, where it proved very successful. Subsequently, the pilot project was extended to five Ordinary Degree engineering programmes in the DIT, across three different year-groups. Full results and analysis of this extended pilot will be presented, including the responses to in-depth interviews carried out with a selection of the students involved.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Event Type:Conference
Uncontrolled Keywords:Mathematics Diagnostic Test; Core Skills Initiative;
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science and Health > School of Mathematical Sciences
Published in: Proceedings 15th SEFI MWG Seminar and 8th Workshop GFC. . ISBN 978-3-939159-97-1
Official URL:http://sefi.htw-aalen.de/Seminars/Wismar2010/SEFI/...
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:21673
Deposited On:25 Jan 2017 16:47 by Thomas Murtagh . Last Modified 30 Jul 2018 10:16

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