id: 06585989
dt: j
an: 2016d.00204
au: Treacy, Páraic; Faulkner, Fiona
ti: Trends in basic mathematical competencies of beginning undergraduates in
Ireland, 2003‒2013.
so: Int. J. Math. Educ. Sci. Technol. 46, No. 8, 1182-1196 (2015).
py: 2015
pu: Taylor \& Francis, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
la: EN
cc: C45 D35 A30
ut: mathematical competencies; basic mathematical skills; under-preparedness
ci:
li: doi:10.1080/0020739X.2015.1050707
ab: Summary: Deficiencies in beginning undergraduate students’ basic
mathematical skills has been an issue of concern in higher education,
particularly in the past 15 years. This issue has been tracked and
analysed in a number of universities in Ireland and internationally
through student scores recorded in mathematics diagnostic tests.
Students beginning their science-based and technology-based
undergraduate courses in the University of Limerick have had their
basic mathematics skills tested without any prior warning through a 40
question diagnostic test during their initial service mathematics
lecture since 1998. Data gathered through this diagnostic test have
been recorded in a database kept at the university and explored to
track trends in mathematical competency of these beginning
undergraduates. This paper details findings surrounding an analysis of
the database between 2003 and 2013, outlining changes in mathematical
competencies of these beginning undergraduates in an attempt to
determine reasons for such changes. The analysis found that the
proportion of students tested through this diagnostic test that are
predicted to be at risk of failing their service mathematics
end-of-semester examinations has increased significantly between 2003
and 2013. Furthermore, when students’ performance in secondary level
mathematics was controlled, it was determined that the performance of
beginning undergraduates in 2013 was statistically significantly below
that of the performance of the beginning undergraduates recorded 10
years previously.
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