
06361425
j
2014f.00201
Faulkner, Fiona
Hannigan, Ailish
Fitzmaurice, Olivia
The role of prior mathematical experience in predicting mathematics performance in higher education.
Int. J. Math. Educ. Sci. Technol. 45, No. 5, 648667 (2014).
2014
Taylor \& Francis, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
EN
C35
D30
predicting performance
mathematics problem
declining standards
changing profile
widening access
remediation
doi:10.1080/0020739X.2013.868539
Summary: Evidence of deficiencies in basic mathematical skills of beginning undergraduates has been documented worldwide. Many different theories have been set out as to why these declines in mathematical competency levels have occurred over time. One such theory is the widening access to higher education which has resulted in a less mathematically prepared profile of beginning undergraduates than ever before. In response to this situation, the present study details the examination of a range of methods through which a student's mathematical performance in higher education could be predicted at the beginning of their thirdlevel studies. Several statistical prediction methods were examined and the most effective method in predicting students' mathematical performance was discriminant analysis. The discriminant analysis correctly classified 71.3\% of students in terms of mathematics performance. An ability to carry out such a prediction in turn allows for appropriate mathematics remediation to be offered to students predicted to fail thirdlevel mathematics. The results of the prediction of mathematical performance, which was carried out using a database consisting of over 1000 beginning undergraduates over a 3year period, are detailed in this article along with the implications of such findings to educational policy and practice.