Preparatory Mathematics Course for Non-Traditional Engineering Students

Nina Kälberer, Cornelia Böhmer, Katrin Tschirpke, Brigitte Petendra, Eva Maria Beck-Meuth

Abstract


This paper reports the concept of a preparatory mathematics course for non-traditional students in electrical engineering, and its evaluation. The blended-learning course is part of the initial study phase smoothing the transition to learning at university level. The instructional design of the preparatory course is aligned with that of the Bachelor’s study program. However, it takes place prior to the beginning of the first semester. The initial phase additionally encompasses the whole first semester with different courses meant to help students getting ready for studying. Prospective students indicated that they needed to refresh their knowledge in mathematics. Thus, a preparatory mathematics course was given priority. This course serves several purposes: Students get an impression of the requirements in mathematics necessary for the study program; they refresh their basic knowledge; they make themselves familiar with self-organized learning and the blended-learning concept of the program. Design and implementation were evaluated with a questionnaire at the end of the course and after the first semester. The results show that the course is an appropriate instrument prior to engineering studies in order to prepare and support non-traditional students. In the conclusions potential for improvement is identified.

Keywords


preparatory course, mathematics, engineering, Bachelor’s degree, initial phase, blended learning, evaluation, non-traditional students

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) – eISSN: 2192-4880
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