NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1178007
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0020-739X
Outcomes of a Service Teaching Module on ODEs for Physics Students
Hyland, Diarmaid; van Kampen, Paul; Nolan, Brien C.
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, v49 n5 p743-758 2018
This paper reports on the first part of a multiphase research project that seeks to identify and address the difficulties encountered by physics students when studying differential equations. Differential equations are used extensively by undergraduate physics students, particularly in the advanced modules of their degree. It is, therefore, necessary that students develop conceptual understanding of differential equations in addition to procedural skills. We have investigated the difficulties encountered by third-year students at Dublin City University in an introductory differential equations module. We developed a survey to identify these difficulties and administered it to students who had recently completed the module. We found that students' mathematical ability in relation to procedural competence is an issue in their study of differential equations, but not as severe an issue as their conceptual understanding. Mathematical competence alone is insufficient if we expect our students to be able to recognize the need for differential equations in a physical context and to be able to set up, solve and interpret the solutions of such equations. We discuss the implications of these results for the next stages of the research project.
Taylor & Francis. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland (Dublin)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A