DSpace Collection:
https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/10063
2016-05-30T03:12:19ZA framework for mathematics curricula in engineering education: a report of the mathematics working group.
https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/14747
Title: A framework for mathematics curricula in engineering education: a report of the mathematics working group.
Authors: Alpers, Burkhard A.; Demlova, Marie; Fant, Carl-Henrik; Gustafsson, Tommy; Lawson, Duncan; Mustoe, Leslie; Olsen-Lehtonen, Brita; Robinson, Carol L.; Velichova, Daniela
Abstract: This document adapts the competence concept to the mathematical education of engineers and
explains and illustrates it by giving examples. It also provides information for specifying the extent to
which a competency should be acquired. It does not prescribe a particular level of progress for
competence acquisition in engineering education. There are many different engineering branches
and many different job profiles with various needs for mathematical competencies; consequently it is
not appropriate to specify a fixed profile. The competence framework serves as an analytical
framework for thinking about the current state in one’s own institution and also as a design
framework for specifying the intended profile. A sketch of an example profile for a practice-oriented
study course in mechanical engineering is given in the document. This document retains the list of
content-related learning outcomes (slightly modified) that formed the ‘kernel’ of the previous
curriculum document. These are still important because lecturers teaching application subjects want
to be sure that students have at least an ‘initial familiarity’ with certain mathematical concepts and
procedures which they need in their application modelling.
In order to offer helpful orientation for designing teaching processes, teaching and learning
environments and approaches are outlined which help students to obtain the competencies to an
adequate degree. It is clear that such competencies cannot be obtained by simply listening to lectures,
so adequate forms of active involvement of students need to be included. Moreover, in a
competence-based approach the mathematical education must be integrated in the surrounding
engineering study course to really achieve the ability to use mathematics in engineering contexts.
The document presents several forms of how this integration can be realized. This integration is
essential to the development of competencies and will require close co-operation between mathematics
academics and their engineering counterparts. Finally, since assessment procedures determine
to a great extent the behaviour of students, it is extremely important to address competency
acquisition in assessment schemes. Ideas for doing this are also outlined in the document.
The main purpose of this document is to provide orientation for those who set up concrete
mathematics curricula for their specific engineering programme, and for lecturers who think about
learning and assessment arrangements for achieving the intended level of competence acquisition. It
also serves as a framework for the group’s future work and discussions.
Description: This report was produced by the mathematics working group and published by European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI), Brussels.2013-01-01T00:00:00ZEngineering students understanding mathematics (ESUM): research rigour and dissemination
https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/11998
Title: Engineering students understanding mathematics (ESUM): research rigour and dissemination
Authors: Jaworski, Barbara; Matthews, Janette; Robinson, Carol L.; Croft, Tony
Abstract: The Engineering Students Understanding Mathematics (ESUM) project was a developmental research project aimed at enhancing the quality of mathematics learning of students of materials engineering in terms of their engagement and conceptual understanding. The initial phase of the project consisted of an innovation in mathematics teaching-learning which was designed, implemented and studied, with feedback and concomitant modification to practice. Details are reported in Jaworski (2011b). The second phase of the project, reported here, focused more overtly on the analysis of data in relation to theoretical perspectives. In particular, Activity Theory (AT) was used to make sense of emerging findings. A literature review was undertaken and showed evidence of so-called ‘constructivist’ methods being introduced to the teaching of mathematics in higher education (HE). Dissemination has taken place both internally within the institution and externally and is still ongoing. It has generated interest and activity beyond the local setting. Findings from the project include students’ views on elements of the innovation, improved scores on tests and examinations compared with earlier cohorts and students’ strategic approaches to their studies and ways in which this creates tensions with lecturers’ aims in designing the innovatory approach. The gains from the projects can be seen in terms of developing knowledge of the complexities of achieving principles for more conceptual understandings of mathematics within the context and culture in which teaching and learning take place.
Description: This report is part of Enhancing Engineering Higher Education: Outputs of the National HESTEM Programme. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-ND)2012-07-01T00:00:00ZGraduates’ views on the undergraduate mathematics curriculum
https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/10053
Title: Graduates’ views on the undergraduate mathematics curriculum
Authors: Inglis, Matthew; Croft, Tony; Matthews, Janette
Abstract: In Winter 2011 we surveyed the views of 428 mathematics graduates from the 2008/9
graduating cohort. Each graduate was asked to reflect on the knowledge/skills they believed
that they developed during their mathematical study, and to assess how useful these skills have
been during their career to date. We were also able to benchmark these data against an earlier
survey of incoming undergraduates’ expectations.
Our overall goal was to determine whether the higher education mathematics syllabus
adequately prepares students for the workplace.
We found a mixed picture:
• An overwhelming majority of graduates believed that they successfully developed generic
cognitive skills during their studies (e.g. logical reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving).
Furthermore, there was widespread agreement that these skills are useful in the workplace.
• However, fewer students believed that their studies had developed generic non-cognitive
skills such as making presentations, oral and written communication, team working or
computer literacy. All these skills were considered to be useful in the workplace, but are
apparently not well developed by studying undergraduate mathematics. Furthermore, we
found that incoming undergraduates expected to develop these non-cognitive generic skills
during their mathematical study, suggesting that there is a mismatch between students’
expectations and outcomes.
• When asked to select what skill graduates wished they had had the opportunity to develop
more during their mathematical studies, the most commonly selected was “applying
mathematics to the real world”. Over 90% of incoming undergraduates expected to develop
this skill, whereas only around 60% of graduates believed that they had.
This report raises two issues to consider. First, whether the mathematical community is (or
should be) satisfied with the range of skills that graduates perceive the current higher education
curriculum to develop. And second, if the community is satisfied by the current situation, how
the apparent mismatch we observed between incoming students’ expectations and graduates’
perceived outcomes can be addressed.
Description: This is a report.2012-01-01T00:00:00Z