About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6008-6016
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0241

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SOUTH AFRICAN UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING STUDENTS IN MATHEMATICS - A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

S. Ramaila, P. Seloane

University of Johannesburg (SOUTH AFRICA)
Student under-preparedness for tertiary studies has been a key focus area as it is intrinsically linked to the complexity of the articulation gap between school and higher education. Adequate academic performance in the mathematics, science, engineering and technology programs in particular hinges to a large degree on the skills levels of students entering the programs. In light of this key imperative, a comparative analysis of South African undergraduate engineering students' academic performance in mathematics was carried out with a view to reflect on the skills levels of the student cohorts in the extended and mainstream engineering curriculum programs. The admission of students into the extended and mainstream engineering curriculum programs is guided primarily by specific stipulations of the relevant admission criteria underpinning each curriculum program. Students with higher admission scores are afforded direct access to the mainstream engineering curriculum programs while students with lower admission scores are placed in the extended engineering curriculum programs. Comparative analysis of undergraduate engineering students' academic performance in the extended and mainstream engineering curriculum programs was carried out by tracking their performance in a series of mathematics assessments undertaken throughout the academic year and performance in the final summative assessment. Key findings of the study demonstrated that the academic performance of both students in the extended and mainstream engineering curriculum programs was largely inadequate during the period under review. The inadequate academic performance can be attributed to pervasive knowledge gaps exhibited by the students when grappling with the complexities associated with introductory mathematics content knowledge areas at university. Areas of difficulty which posed enormous cognitive challenges to the students include differential and integral calculus, trigonometry, matrices and complex numbers. Theoretical implications for meaningful curriculum reform are discussed.
@InProceedings{RAMAILA2018ACA,
author = {Ramaila, S. and Seloane, P.},
title = {ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SOUTH AFRICAN UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING STUDENTS IN MATHEMATICS - A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0241},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0241},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {6008-6016}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Ramaila AU - P. Seloane
TI - ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SOUTH AFRICAN UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING STUDENTS IN MATHEMATICS - A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0241
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 6008
EP - 6016
ER -
S. Ramaila, P. Seloane (2018) ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SOUTH AFRICAN UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING STUDENTS IN MATHEMATICS - A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 6008-6016.
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