ERIC Number: EJ1021769
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
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; Sexton, Justin
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, v44 n6 p877-892 2013
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, first 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.
Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Feedback (Response), Mathematics Skills, Self Efficacy, Interdisciplinary Approach, Educational Change, Mathematics Anxiety, Questionnaires, Focus Groups, Student Surveys, Instructional Improvement, Curriculum Enrichment, Science Course Improvement Projects, College Freshmen, Foreign Countries, Mixed Methods Research
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A