
05763290
j
2010d.00301
Gill, Olivia
O'Donoghue, John
Faulkner, Fiona
Hannigan, Ailish
Trends in performance of science and technology students (19972008) in Ireland.
Int. J. Math. Educ. Sci. Technol. 41, No. 3, 323339 (2010).
2010
Taylor \& Francis, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
EN
D64
D65
mathematical entry standards
first year students
service mathematics courses
diagnostic testing
empirical investigations
mathematics learning centre
doi:10.1080/00207390903477426
Summary: {\it D.N. Hunt} and {\it D. A. Lawson} [Teach. Math. Appl. 15, 167173 (1996)] displayed the evidence of decline in the mathematical standards of firstyear students in Coventry University between 1991 and 1995. {\it O. Gill} sought to investigate if this was also the case in the University of Limerick. The results of diagnostic tests administered to firstyear undergraduates in the science and technology groups (service mathematics courses) between 1997 and 2002 displayed the evidence that the mathematical standard of students entering the University of Limerick's service mathematics courses had declined over the 6 years studied. In this article, the authors revisit the University of Limerick's database, which currently holds data for over 6200 students, to investigate current mathematical entry standards of students in service mathematics courses. The University of Limerick's responses to the `Mathematics Problem' are also described. Ireland presents a unique situation in terms of the mathematical homogeneity of its thirdlevel students; most students enter via the same route, i.e. the Leaving Certificate, on completion of 13 years of formal mathematics education. However, while research results and coping mechanisms in terms of learning support are not generalizable, they are portable. It is hoped that mathematics educators worldwide can learn from the Irish situation.