About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7472-7478
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain

STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN A QUANTITATIVE UNIT: DO PREREQUISITES AND ACCESS TO SOCIAL MEDIA MATTER?

M.E. Varua, F. Evangelista

University of Western Sydney (AUSTRALIA)
The mathematical ability of students entering Australian Universities has been a matter of some concern and debate for a number of years and this concern has been felt strongly on courses for which mathematics is a primary requirement. Recent research (Mallik and Varua 2008) have highlighted the increasing variability in the mathematical background of business students entering university and the abolishment of the 2 unit math requirement for the Bachelor of Economics (BEc) and Bachelor of Business ( BBus) Applied Finance. At University of Western Sydney (UWS), there has been concern about increased drop-out rates from mathematics units in the business degree. To address this problem, the university have offered two streams of Mathematics and Statistics-Business Statistics (STAT) and Introduction to Economic Methods (IEM) for those who did not attain a 70% in the Computer based Aptitude Test.

In addition, the Australian government has set an ambitious target known as the 20/40 target for universities by 2025. The 20/40 target involves a 20 percent enrolment equity target, meaning that there will be a considerable increase in the proportion of target equity groups such as students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, students of non-English speaking backgrounds, women from remote areas. Further, the project aims that 40 percent of all 25-34 year olds will have bachelor level qualifications or above.

This study aims to provide some insights into the potential problems associated with mathematical units at university. The research attempts to isolate key variables that are associated with failing marks as to be able to identify areas to improve to increase retention rates. Obviously, the implications of this research are of significance to universities to attain the 20/40 target for little will be achieved if increased enrolment simply leads to increased failure rates and thus lower retention rates.

This paper investigates the significance of prerequisites in the study of an important second year Econometrics unit known as Economic Modelling (EM). Currently, students are required to enrol in either one of the two first year prerequisite units of Introduction to Economic Methods (IEM) and Business Statistics (BS). The results of the analyses suggest that student performance in Economic Modelling is significantly related to the grades students’ receive in their core knowledge courses. Other variables examined include: attendance in lectures and practical classes, frequency of access to blackboard, previous enrolment, ethnicity, and frequency of access to social media, gender, university entrance ranking and lag of entry to university.
@InProceedings{VARUA2015STU,
author = {Varua, M.E. and Evangelista, F.},
title = {STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN A QUANTITATIVE UNIT: DO PREREQUISITES AND ACCESS TO SOCIAL MEDIA MATTER?},
series = {7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN15 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-8243-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {7472-7478}}
TY - CONF
AU - M.E. Varua AU - F. Evangelista
TI - STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN A QUANTITATIVE UNIT: DO PREREQUISITES AND ACCESS TO SOCIAL MEDIA MATTER?
SN - 978-84-606-8243-1/2340-1117
PY - 2015
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2015
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN15 Proceedings
SP - 7472
EP - 7478
ER -
M.E. Varua, F. Evangelista (2015) STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN A QUANTITATIVE UNIT: DO PREREQUISITES AND ACCESS TO SOCIAL MEDIA MATTER?, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, pp. 7472-7478.
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