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Engagement in Practice: Co-creation process in higher education contexts to innovate in Pre-calculus curriculum

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Humanitarian Engineering, Social Entrepreneurship and Communitarian Innovation in the Global South

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

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Paper Authors


Martha Janneth Salinas S Minuto de Dios University Corporation

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Martha Salinas is a Professor at Minuto de Dios University Corporation in the master's program in Social Innovations in Education. Prior joining to research teams at the Education Faculty in UNIMINUTO, she was academic vice-rector of the Cundinamarca Headquarters of the institution. She is currently engaged in research on innovation and technology education and belongs to the STEM team of the Social Innovation Science Park. Her experience of 25 years in all levels of colombian educational system has allowed her to work as a consultant in projects of innovation and technological research applied to the educational field.

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viviana Garzon UNIMINUTO

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Engineer Control Electronic, STEM Robotics UNIMINUTO Program Director

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Iván Darío García is a professional belonging to the Social Innovation Science Park of Minuto de Dios University Corporation as a researcher of STEM Robotics group. With more than 8 years of experience as Professor at the Engineering Faculty of the institution, he has worked as first semester and professional practices coordinator and academic secretary of accreditation processes. Electronic Engineer, Specialist in Quality Management with disciplinary and investigative training in project management, process optimization through the integration of mobile technology solutions, Hand Held, information management, implementation of new technologies, maintenance, installation and debugging of electrical systems in production, planning and installation of electrical and data networks.

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Miguel Gonzalez Universidad Minuto de Dios

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Director of Project Management Office at the Social Innovation Science Park. Master in Organizational Management. More than 5 years of experience working in social innovation projects related with green business, innovation in education and housing.
Research Interests:
1. Social Innovation.
2. Social Appropriation of Knowledge.
3. Social Digital Entrepreneurship.
4. Green Business Management.
5. Innovation Education
6. Regional development

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Results of PISA 2016 Mathematics Test ranked Colombia in the 61st position. This fact shows mathematics low level of students entering the undergraduate programs in the country. Furthermore, the national dropout rate for first-semester students in engineering programs is around 25%. According to the Ministry of Education, one of the reasons is related to students failing Pre-calculus courses more than once.

Looking solutions to this challenge, UNIMINUTO (higher institution characterized by the fact that the majority of its students belong to the low income segment), through its Social Innovation Science Park (SISP), had implement a STEM Robotics program, which developed mathematics skills in more than 2.000 school students. As result of this project, it was evident that this type of methodologies motivates learning of mathematics in children, and consequently improves academic results. Taking the lessons of this experience, UNIMINUTO's team developed a model that facilitated the application of mathematical concepts to solve Colombian problems trough robotics, to be implemented in the Pre-calculus course of Engineering programs.

Based on Community – engaged principles, a process of co-created investigation – innovation was developed. As a result, ten context and challenge – based didactic guides were developed, using topics such as real numbers, equations, and functions to solve real problems. The guides were structured in four phases: i) presentation of a problem in the Colombian context; ii) context analysis, mathematical and robotic concepts; iii) solution of the challenge using the phase II concepts; iv) evaluation.

The implementation of the model took place in UNIMINUTO's Regional Center at Zipaquirá, where 29% of students fail their Pre-calculus courses, caused probably by the low level of mathematical competences upon admission to the institution, low motivation of the students for this subject and the disconnection that calculus has with real problems. In the first semester of 2017, a pilot of the program was developed with a group of first semester of civil engineering program at Regional Center of Zipaquirá, using a control group of the same program oriented by the same professor.

As a result of the exercise, it was evidenced that the dropout from the Pre - calculus course with the program was 0% while for the control group was 15%. According to the surveys applied to the students at the end of the course they show that it generates emotion to lead to practices the theoretical concepts by implementing them in a robot, to show how mathematical concepts transcend the classroom and contribute to the challenges of developing society. Thus, the successful community – engaged strategy of co-creation, co-investigation, co-innovation, shows an interesting alternative to solve mathematics education challenges in Colombia.

Salinas, M. J., & Garzon, V., & GARCIA, I. D., & Gonzalez, M. (2018, June), Engagement in Practice: Co-creation process in higher education contexts to innovate in Pre-calculus curriculum Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30381

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