Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
NSF Grantees Poster Session
The low retention of students in engineering has been a source of concern; graduation rates in engineering varies between 40-60%. The retention of non-calculus ready first year students in engineering is even lower than those of calculus ready students. One of the factors contributing to this low retention rate is students’ struggles in their math courses. This paper summarizes the results from a two year study aimed at improving the retention of non-calculus ready first year students in engineering.
This NSF-IUSE grant involves the development of a course to improve students’ math and engineering reasoning skills. One hundred first-year engineering students, enrolled in college algebra, participated in the study. The course introduced students to Paul-Elder’s theory of critical thinking, in the context of engineering problem solving, engineering design, and experimentation. The investigators found that students’ misconceptions in math impaired students’ ability to solve math and engineering problems. As part of the study, students’ misconceptions were identified in a series of topics presented in class, including order of operations, simplifying rational expressions, simplifying radical expressions, and solving quadratic equations. A series of learning modules were developed to improve students’ math skills and to identify and address student’s misconceptions. This paper will discuss the misconceptions found, and will present the learning modules developed to assist students in recognizing and correcting their misconceptions.
Santiago, L., & Pirkey, A. C., & Markle, H. A., & Hensel, R. A. M., & Morris, M. L. (2018, June), Board 129: Algebra-Related Misconceptions Identified in a First-Year Engineering Reasoning Course Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29915
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