Engagement and Solidarity while Learning Statistical Methods
Rasteiro, D. M. L. Dias 1,2& Caridade, C.M.R 1,2,3
1 Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, ISEC, Coimbra, Portugal, 2 Applied Biomechanics Laboratory – ISEC, Coimbra, Portugal, 3 Centre for Research in Geo-Space Science (CICGE), Porto, Portugal
The process of learning Mathematics in Engineering courses is the subject of varied and in-depth studies and investigation [Babo, L. et al. (2023)]. The years 2020 and 2021 were difficult years for students who were already attending higher education but also for those who were in the final years of secondary education preparing themselves to enter higher education. As a result of the pandemic, the teaching processes were adapted, and the assessments were the possible ones in the context that we all live and experienced. Thus, students arriving at higher education, and even those already there, need innovative and stimulating teaching and learning practices that quickly motivate and involve them in the teaching/learning processes. At the same time, ICT tools and digital platforms have seen their indiscriminate use in the last two years, not without at times, teachers and even students questioning whether they were being used in the best possible way and whether they were being taken full advantage of. Simultaneously, face-to-face group work and involvement with the needs of colleagues lost some space for achievement and effectiveness. The preference, assumed or disguised, for individual work and the visible reduction in solidarity with colleagues with greater difficulties, except probably in niches of friendship that come from previous school groups, was an issue/question that was posed at the beginning of this study. In this paper we will present a work proposed over a semester to students of Statistical Methods of the Graduation Degree in Informatics Engineering. This curricular unit enrols 534 students, 85 on an after-work basis, many of which are student workers. The objective of this work proposal was to create a collaborative learning platform where students could, in a first phase, interact face-to-face with each other in the small groups into which they were divided and, later, even if virtually, interact with each other within the scope of the curricular unit. Cumulatively, it was also the objective of the proposal for students to deepen the topics taught in class, investigating them in more detail (including reading the bibliographical references provided and reviewing exercises carried out by colleagues), looking for more useful and creative resources that would involve them in a logical and organized way. Students who signed up to participate in this accompanied study path simultaneously shared their resolutions of proposed exercises and corrected or constructively commented on their colleagues’ resolutions. At the end of each week, the curricular unit professors corrected the resolutions proposed by the students. All students who participated had access to all the work developed by their colleagues. Padlet platform (https://padlet.com/) was used as a platform for engagement and collaboration, ([Fisher, C. D. (2017)], [Mehta K. J., Miletich I., & Detyna M. (2021)], [ Q. Zhi and M. Su (2015)]). The evaluation of students’ involvement in their learning process and their collaboration and solidarity with colleagues in the same course, in addition to the results (approved or not approved) will be discussed and presented.
How engineering students read the definition of double integral: an eye tracking study
University of Agder, Faculty of engineering and science, Kristiansand, Norway
This paper investigates engineering students’ engagement in a mathematical text in relation to double integral. The paper reports a study using eye tracking technology following three engineering students when engaging with a mathematical text. The students were selected using convenience and purposive sampling from one university in Norway. They were asked to learn the concept of double integral while their eye movements were tracked using screen-based eye tracking. The double integral text was designed by the researcher based on different calculus textbooks (e.g., Anton, Bivens, & Davis, 2012; Stewart, 2015). The text includes the definition of double integral, which is the focus of this report. The validity of the text was checked by two senior lecturers in mathematics and two senior lecturers in mathematics education and it also was piloted by two students. The results reported here indicate that students tried to make sense of the definition of double integral by engaging in different representations, mostly diagrams and text. Based on the data from eye tracking, students appeared to focus more on the relation between volume and double integral. This study suggests that consideration of students’ struggle, lecturers might focus more on the relation between the representations of double integral and volume when teaching double integral.
Mathematical education of future architects – playing and learning with and in Iterated Function Systems
J.Ivanovic, M. Devetakovic & Dj. Djordjevic
Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade, Serbia
The principal methods of architectural design and construction have been inseparable from mathematics since time immemorial. Even nowadays, mathematical ability is an integral part of professional competence of any architect, and therefore, mathematical education is naturally very significant segment of architectural studies. At the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Architecture, the leading higher education institution for architecture and urbanism studies in the Western Balkans Region, undergraduate students primarily meet with mathematics on the core course Mathematics in architecture. As the name suggests, this course covers the basics of analytic and fractal geometry, focusing on possibilities of applying. Namely, after understanding and adopting the theoretical foundations using standard teaching methodology, it often happens that students hardly recognize the connection between the acquired mathematical knowledge and their future professional activities. Therefore, after each thematic unit during the course, some experimental work or functional research is carried out. This paper briefly presents an active learning method implemented on Iterated Function Systems (IFS), as one of the units.The accompanying experimental student task involves creating various analog models of IFS which could be interpreted architecturally.