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The Engineering Mathematics Self Learning Modules: Independent Learning For Engineering Freshmen

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Integrating Math, Science, and Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1132.1 - 8.1132.8

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Paper Authors

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Conchita Javier

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Clarita Guevara

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session Number 2365

Engineering Mathematics Self-Learning Modules: Independent Learning for Engineering Freshmen

Cristino A. Carbonell, Fe P. Tabamo, Clarita R. Guevara, Conchita H. Javier Faculty of Engineering, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines

1. Introduction

Independent learning is not a method of instruction. It is a human act. Despite the very comprehensive learning materials provided the learner; the well-thought lesson plans prepared by the teacher and the well-designed class schedules, not a single person nor institution has complete control of the learning process. Not even the bell can signal the start and end of learning.

Learning absolutely resides in the learner himself. The learner has the ultimate and supreme capability to gain and apply knowledge for his personal welfare and his society’s progress. The challenged posed by this fact to engineering educators is to provide a learning situation where the learner may discover his potentials and utilize them to the fullest in order to obtain, comprehend and practice the knowledge required of future engineering professionals.

The Engineering Sciences Department of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, has introduced modular instruction in two Mathematics courses during the second semester of the school year 1998-1999. Printed learning modules of Plane Trigonometry and Solid Geometry were developed to allow its Engineering Freshmen to learn these courses at their own pace.

The authors of this paper were tasked to prepare the learning materials of the courses; to design and implement the program of activities for both the learners and the teacher; and to conduct a research on the feasibility of this novel project for continuous implementation and the possible adoption of other courses in the Faculty of Engineering. The authors perceived the project as a tough act considering that learning with instructional modules is a novel concept in tertiary education and in Engineering Mathematics courses at that.

2. Independent Learning: Then and Now

Oxford University in England is credited as the first institution to develop techniques of independent study1. This was the tutorial system, described as “Oxford’s most important contribution to educational practice” in the Handbook to the University of Oxford, provided a “morals” tutor to selected young citizens who would govern and direct society in the future. The finest education was provided to these students and tutors instructed them on good manners and on exercising control over financial matters. Reforms were introduced and a second tutor was added - the “academics” tutor.

In the United States, Harvard University was the first to introduce the elective systems. The Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exhibition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

TABAMO, F., & CARBONELL, C., & Javier, C., & Guevara, C. (2003, June), The Engineering Mathematics Self Learning Modules: Independent Learning For Engineering Freshmen Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015