First-year engineering students’ affective behavior about mathematics in relation to their performance

Areti Panaoura 1 * , Marios Charalambides 1, Eleni Tsolaki 1, Savvas Pericleous 1
More Detail
1 Frederick University, Nicosia, CYPRUS
* Corresponding Author
EUR J SCI MATH ED, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp. 128-138. https://doi.org/10.30935/scimath/13884
Published Online: 10 November 2023, Published: 01 January 2024
OPEN ACCESS   746 Views   497 Downloads
Download Full Text (PDF)

ABSTRACT

The present study examines the first-year engineering students’ attitudes towards mathematics, their beliefs and self-efficacy about mathematics, as part of their affective performance, in relation to their mathematical academic performance before and after attending an introductory mathematics course. It aims to contribute on the ongoing discussion about the teaching of mathematics at the level of higher education in engineering programs. First-year engineering students completed a questionnaire and a test after their entrance at the university. Their mathematical performance was examined by using their results at the midterm and the final mathematical mark during AMAT111 course offered at the first semester of their studies. Results indicated that aspects of the affective domain were related with students’ performance, while the predominant role belonged to their previous mathematical knowledge and skills (as learning outcome of the high school education), which undoubtedly need further enhancement. The belief about a formalistic perspective of mathematics and the lack of understanding of the implementation of the mathematical concepts on engineering problem solving situations were obstacles for them on recognizing the importance of attending mathematics courses as part of their engineering studies. Discussion concentrates on the following up steps, which have to be done at the level of higher education in order to face the initial difficulties, which have been identified.

CITATION

Panaoura, A., Charalambides, M., Tsolaki, E., & Pericleous, S. (2024). First-year engineering students’ affective behavior about mathematics in relation to their performance. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 12(1), 128-138. https://doi.org/10.30935/scimath/13884

REFERENCES

  • Bandura, A. (1993). Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning. Educational Psychologist, 28(2), 117-148. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15326985ep2802_3
  • Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. W. H. Freeman.
  • Bengmark, S., Thunberg, H., & Winberg, M. (2017). Success factors in transition to university mathematics. International Journal of Mathematics Education, 48(7), 988-1001. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020739X.2017.1310311
  • Charalambides, M., Panaoura,A., Tsolaki, E., & Pericleous, S. (2023). First year engineering students’ difficulties with math courses. What is the starting point for academic teachers? Education Sciences, 13(8), 835. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13080835
  • Charalambous, C., Panaoura, A., & Philippou, G. (2009). Using the history of mathematics to induce changes in preservice teachers’ beliefs and attitudes: Insights from evaluating a teacher education program. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 71, 161-180. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10649-008-9170-0
  • Demostheouns, G., Panaoura,A., & Eteokleous, N. (2020). The use of collaborative assignment in online learning environments: The case of higher education. International Journal of Technology in Education and Science, 4(2), 108-117. https://doi.org/10.46328/ijtes.v4i2.43
  • Diane, H., Black, L., Hernandez-Martinez, P., Pepin, B., & Williams, J. (2015). Mathematics and its value for engineering students: What are the implications for teaching? International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 46(3), 321-336. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020739X.2014.979893
  • Eichler, A., & Gradwohl, L. (2021). Investigating motivational and cognitive factors with impact the success of engineering students. International Journal of Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, 7, 417-437. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40753-020-00127-4
  • Ernest, P. (1991). Philosophy of mathematics education. Falmer Press.
  • Goldin, G. A. (2002). Affect, meta-affect and mathematical belief structures. In G. Leder, E. Pehkonen, & G. Torner (Eds.), Beliefs: A hidden variable in mathematics education. Kluwer. https://doi.org/10.1007/0-306-47958-3_4
  • Goold, E. (2014). Mathematics: Creative value of engineering students. In Proceedings of the 17th SEFI Mathematics Working Group Seminar.
  • Guedet, G., Bosch, M., & DiSessa, A. (2016). Transitions in mathematics education. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-31622-2
  • Harris, D., Black, L., Hernandez-Martinez, P., Pepin, B., & Williams, J. (2015). Mathematics and its value for engineering students: What are the implications for teaching? International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 46(3), 321-336. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020739X.2014.979893
  • Lithner, J. (2011). University mathematics students’ learning difficulties. Journal Education Inquiry, 2(2), 289-303. https://doi.org/10.3402/edui.v2i2.21981
  • Lopez-Diaz, M., & Pena, M. (2021). Mathematics training in engineering degrees: An intervention from teaching staff to students. Mathematics, 9, 1475. https://doi.org/10.3390/math9131475
  • Margolinas, C., & Drijvers, P. (2015). Didactical engineering in France; an insider’s and an outsider’s view on its foundations, its practice and its impact. ZDM, 47, 893-903. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11858-015-0698-z
  • Maron, A. (2016). Priorities of teaching mathematics in universities. IEJME–Mathematics Education, 11(9), 3339-3350.
  • Nortvedt, G., & Siqveland, A. (2019). Are beginning calculus and engineering students adequately prepared for higher education? An assessment of students' basic mathematical knowledge. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 50(3), 325-343. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020739X.2018.1501826
  • Pepin, B., Biehler, R., & Gueudet, G. (2021). Mathematics in engineering education: A review of the recent literature with a view towards innovative practices. International Journal of Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, 7, 163-188.
  • Philipp, R. A. (2007). Mathematics teachers’ beliefs and affect. In F. K. Lester (Ed.), Second handbook of research on mathematics teachers’ and learning (pp. 257-315). Information Age Publishing.
  • Rahman, R., Yusol Y., & Baharun, S. (2012). Improving the teaching of engineering mathematics using action research. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 56, 483-493. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.09.680
  • Rensaa, R. (2018). Engineering students’ instrumental approaches to mathematics; some positive characteristics. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 6(3), 82-99. https://doi.org/10.30935/scimath/9525
  • Saiman, M., Wahyuningsih, P., & Hamdani, U. (2017). Conceptual and procedural mathematics for engineering students at University of Samudra. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 855, 012041. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/855/1/012041
  • Sazhin, S. (1998). Teaching mathematics to engineering students. International Journal of Engineering Education, 14(2), 145-152.
  • Singh, T. P. (2015). Enhancing teaching of engineering mathematics. Zenodo, 1110896. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1110896
  • Song, J. (2019). How to strengthen mathematics teaching in college education. Advance in Higher Education, 3(2), 117-120. https://doi.org/10.18686/ahe.v3i2.1426
  • Tossavainen, T., Rensaa, R., & Johansoon, M. (2019). Swedish first year engineering students’ view of mathematics, self-efficacy and motivation and their effect on task performance. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 52(1), 23-38. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020739X.2019.1656827
  • Tossavainen, T., Rensaa, R., Haukkanen, P., Mattila, M., & Johansoon, M. (2020). First–year engineering students’ mathematics task performance and its relation to their motivational values and views about mathematics. European Journal of Engineering Education, 46(4), 604-617. https://doi.org/10.1080/03043797.2020.1849032
  • Tossavainen, T., Viholainen, A., Asikanen, M., & Hirvonen, P. (2017) Explorations of Finnish mathematics students’ beliefs about the nature of mathematics. Far East Journal of Mathematical Education, 17(3), 105-120. https://doi.org/10.17654/ME017030105
  • Woodward, C., Groat, B. F., Howe, C. S., Waldo, C. A., Williams, C. B., Webb, J. B., Eddy, H. T., Barton, S. M., Haynes, A. E., Huntington, E. V., & Campbell, D. F. (1908). The teaching of mathematics to students of engineering: What is needed in the teaching of mathematics to students of engineering? Science, 28(714), 289-299. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.28.714.289
  • Zakariya, Y., Nilsen, H., Goochild, S., & Bjorkestol, K. (2020). Self-efficacy and approaches to learning mathematics among engineering students: Empirical evidence for potential causal relations. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 53(4), 827-841. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020739X.2020.1783006