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Improving Core Mathematical Skills in Engineering Undergraduates
Carr, Michael; Bowe, Brian; Ní Fhloinn, Eabhnat
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.
Keyword(s): Mathematics; Mathematics Diagnostic Test; Core Skills Initiative
Publication Date:
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: Dublin City University
Citation(s): Carr, Michael, Bowe, Brian and Ní Fhloinn, Eabhnat ORCID: 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
File Format(s): application/pdf
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First Indexed: 2017-01-26 06:21:50 Last Updated: 2019-02-09 06:11:59