MATHEMATICAL BACKGROUND OF STUDENTS BEGINNING ENGINEERING DEGREES
Universidad de Oviedo (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:University of Oviedo has been offering academic degrees in engineering and technology for a long time. In Spain after finishing the compulsory education students spend two academic years at secondary school and then they have to pass an exam before starting at higher education. It is well known that students face relevant difficulties in order to pass the first year of engineering degrees. The success or failure at this level is directly connected to the mathematical skills students have previously acquired. The aim of this study is to investigate the difficulties related to mathematical background of students beginning engineering degrees. The research instrument consisted of questionnaires asking students about the mathematical obstacles they have experienced during their first year in engineering. Many of these difficulties are related to their deficient level on some important topics and also the differences between the styles of learning at school and higher education. In addition, lecturers working with first-year undergraduates are surveyed on mathematical background of students. Here, we propose some of the reasons why these problems arise together with possible solutions. Collectively, our results point out that the exam students have to pass after secondary school to go to university plays a major role in the learning process.
Keywords: Mathematical background, engineering, Higher Education.