STUDENTS’ CHALLENGES REGARDING MATHEMATICAL CONCEPTS IN THE PROCESS OF INTEGRATION AT FIRST-YEAR UNIVERSITY LEVEL
Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The improvement of teaching and learning in universities has long been a discussion point. The sciences, in particular, are an area of priority due to the contribution that science provides to nations through applications in economic areas such as business and engineering. Mathematics (Math) is the priority area because it is the foundation of science fields. The quality of Math students is believed to have dropped in the recent years, particularly since the changes of the education system in the era of democracy. This paper presents difficulties, which students experience in first-year Math integration. A sample of 68 exam scripts of 2015 first-year Math students at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU), South Africa, were investigated and analysed. The analysis found that students demonstrate some difficulties in integration at first year level at university. The study signals that some myths are formed in the interpretations of concepts and difficulties ensue in the understanding. Major causes of this difficulty indicate to be lack of continual practice of concepts and the ensuing rustiness when students attempt to follow the procedures.
Keywords: Integration by parts, integration of rational functions by partial fractions, integration by substitution.