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ERIC Number: EJ1084897
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0020-739X
Factors Affecting Student Success in a First-Year Mathematics Course: A South African Experience
Kizito, Rita; Munyakazi, Justin; Basuayi, Clement
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, v47 n1 p100-119 2016
In spite of sustained efforts tertiary institutions implement to try and improve student academic performance, the number of students succeeding in first-year mathematics courses remains disturbingly low. For most students, the gap between their mathematical capability and the competencies they are expected and need to develop to function effectively in these courses persists even after course instruction. In this study, an instrument for identifying and examining factors affecting student performance and success in a first-year Mathematics university course was developed and administered to 86 students. The overall Cronbach's Alpha coefficient for the questionnaire was found to be 0.916. Having identified variables from prior research known to affect student performance, factor analysis was used to identify variables exhibiting the greatest impact on student performance. The variables included prior academic knowledge, workload, student approaches to learning, assessment, student support teaching quality, methods and resources. From the analysis, students' perceptions of their workload emerged as the factor having the greatest impact on student's performance, followed by the matriculation examination score. The findings are discussed and strategies that can be used to improve teaching and contribute to student success in a first-year mathematics course in a South African context are presented.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A