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NONLINEAR EQUATIONS AND MATHEMATICAL SKILLS

M. Caligaris, G. Rodríguez, L.F. Laugero

Universidad Tecnológica Nacional, Facultad Regional San Nicolás (ARGENTINA)
It is often necessary to obtain the solution of nonlinear equations when solving engineering problems, but not always the exact solution can be found. In that cases, numerical methods are required. Therefore, it is necessary that engineering students acquire the pertinent skills to solve this type of equations with approximation techniques.

So as to facilitate the discussion of certain concepts involved when applying numerical methods, especially those that are usually difficult to acquire or require tedious calculation processes for their comprehension, different learning objects have been elaborated with Mathematica for the Numerical Analysis courses at the Facultad Regional San Nicolás (FRSN), Universidad Tecnológica Nacional (UTN) from Argentina. These tools are available on the Web, so students can use them outside of class time.

Bloom´s taxonomy, developed in 1956, is a classification of outcomes and skills that students should achieve during the teaching and learning process. It has been extensively revised and improved over decades. The last revision (2008) lead to the Bloom´s taxonomy for the digital age. This one distinguishes six levels that the student must overcome in order to produce a true learning process: remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create.

In order to analyze if students in Numerical Analysis courses achieved the required mathematical skills, given by the Digital Bloom’s Taxonomy, a first assessment was proposed at the end of the first unit of the syllabus, numerical methods for nonlinear equations. For its resolution, students had to solve problematic situations, putting into practice diverse skills while using one of the designed learning object.
This paper aims to discuss the learning object and to show some activities proposed to the students along with the rubric that was used to analyze each one of the answers given by them. The obtained results and some reflections about the students’ achievements are also presented.