About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 8383-8391
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1952

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain


Recent studies have shown that, in general, freshmen students at “Tecnológico de Monterrey” have strong deficiencies in algebra. It is found that approximately one-half of the students pass the mathematics placement exam and only 75 percent of the students are successful in the Introductory Math course. On the other hand, an educative approach aims to develop disciplinary skills and mathematical thinking through tutorials, mathematics labs and Smart trainers that are organized on web courses. This approach has worked to help students in their algorithmic skills and to develop their graphic and problem solving skills as well.

The main difficulties found are:
1) Not having an adequate placement test that allows the professor to determine the knowledge and skills of freshmen students and
2) the lack of a flexible course on “Introductory Mathematics”, which takes into account the skills of freshmen students and the areas in which they are majoring.

Our proposal is to develop a Massive Online Course (MOOC) on “Introductory Mathematics”, which must be flexible, self-contained and have a system of lab experiences and semi-adaptive computational experiences to support the student during his (her) learning experience.

This work has been developed in two phases. In the first one, a semi-adaptive test was applied to 212 freshmen students in order to determine the deficiencies of students and to evaluate the statistical quality of test. On the second phase, a MOOC in the Open-EdX platform was built. After that, the impact on 340 students was studied. The students performed several activities and were evaluated through another semi-adaptive system based on free response and multiple-choice questions. The results were compared with those obtained by students that had taken the conventional course.

All versions of the modular examination it is found that at least, 50% of the students are able to develop basic skills in algebra, a result that coincides with the historic data obtained by freshmen students from CEM and with those reported for the entire country by PISA. On the one hand, this work indicates that freshmen students require much more attention from in the Introductory Mathematics course, to surpass their deficiencies. On the other hand, there are differences and similarities with those authors that have used the adaptive system Aleks. These authors have found that 42.6% of their students do not pass the test on basic algebra and they improve up to 89% after they take the course. Our results are very similar.

To summarize, it is very important to acknowledge that students are individuals with different backgrounds and skills and for this reason, each one of them requires a specific plan that fits their needs. This approach, offers new perspectives for educational research. On the one hand, we show that with the modular test it is easier to identify the strengths and weaknesses of freshmen students from Tecnológico de Monterrey, on basic mathematics. On the other hand, new educational technologies are constantly emerging, and these technologies may produce significant improvement on the performance of students. One example is our MOOC whose results indicate that freshmen students participate more actively than in conventional courses.
author = {Santiago Acosta, R.D. and Quezada Batalla, M.L. and Prado P{\'{e}}rez, C.D. and Hern{\'{a}}ndez Cooper, E.M.},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.1952},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.1952},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {8383-8391}}
AU - R.D. Santiago Acosta AU - M.L. Quezada Batalla AU - C.D. Prado Pérez AU - E.M. Hernández Cooper
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1952
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 8383
EP - 8391
ER -
R.D. Santiago Acosta, M.L. Quezada Batalla, C.D. Prado Pérez, E.M. Hernández Cooper (2018) EXPERIENCES IN A MASSIVE BASIC MATH COURSE, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 8383-8391.