Using student feedback to improve student attitudes and mathematical confidence in a first year interdisciplinary quantitative course: from the ashes of disaster!

Everingham, Yvette, Gyuris, Emma, and Sexton, Justin (2013) Using student feedback to improve student attitudes and mathematical confidence in a first year interdisciplinary quantitative course: from the ashes of disaster! International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 44 (6). pp. 877-892.

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Abstract

Today's scientist is faced with complex problems that require interdisciplinary solutions. Consequently, tertiary science educators have had to develop and deliver interdisciplinary science courses to equip students with the skills required to solve the evolving real world challenges of today and tomorrow. There are few reported studies of the lessons learned from designing and delivering first year compulsory interdisciplinary science subjects at regional universities. Even fewer studies assess the impact that teaching interventions within interdisciplinary courses have on students’ attitudes towards mathematics and technology, and mathematics anxiety. This paper discusses the feedback received from the first student cohort of a new compulsory, 1st year interdisciplinary science subject at a regional Australian university which resulted in curricular revisions. These revisions included a greater emphasis on the subject relevance and increased student support in tutorials. Assessment practices were also dramatically modified. The change in student attitudes and anxiety levels a priori and a posteriori to the interventions was measured quantitatively and qualitatively. Post intervention, female and non-mathematics major students had grown in mathematical confidence and were less anxious. It is important that positive and negative research findings are reported, so science educators can learn from one another, and can better prepare their students for the challenges they will face in bringing interdisciplinary solutions to contemporary real world problems.

Item ID: 28780
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1464-5211
Keywords: mathematics; anxiety; confidence; engagement; interdisciplinary
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2013 00:16
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130208 Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement @ 50%
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