Presentation session 3 Mathematical competencies

Competence-related learning opportunities afforded by a student-built measurement device – A case study

Burkhard Alpers

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aalen University

In the curriculum document of SEFI’s Maths Special Interest Group (Alpers et al. 2013) the concept of mathematical competence and competencies was adopted for specifying goals of the mathematical education of engineers (Niss/Hojgaard 2019). The concept emphasizes the ability to do, use and understand mathematical concepts in relevant situations and contexts. For making more detailed specifications eight mathematical competencies were identified like mathematical reasoning, problem solving and modelling. If one wants students to acquire the respective goals one has to offer suitable learning opportunities. Besides the classical offerings like lectures and assignments, projects seem to be particular effective for this purpose (Alpers
2020). In this contribution, I report on such project work which was concerned with designing, building and using a measurement device. I state the learning opportunities offered within this environment by identifying subtasks and corresponding mathematical competencies which can
be acquired by students. Experiences with students are reported and discussed in light of competence acquisition.


Experiences with written exam based on competence levels

Gabriela Bender & Kathrin Thiele

Ostfalia University of Aplied Sciences Braunschweig/Wolfenbüttel

Based on the suggestion in the framework for Mathematics Curricula in Engineering Education (Albers et al (2013)) and the work of Waffenschmidt (Waffenschmidt (2013)) a new kind of exam was implemented in different Math’ courses. Here the written exam splits up in different parts. Each part represents different levels. To pass the exam the two lower levels have to be passed separate. This new type of exam was implemented in 2019.

The intention is to assess in a more sophisticated way the fulfilment of the formulated learning outcomes of the course. Both, the content and the competencies are separated by different level of achievement. The feedback for students and teachers should be improved without increasing the effort for the lecturer.

In the paper is presented, how the different levels and the content is represented in the exam. Although the last years were influenced by the Corona pandemic some results of the new assessment format can be clearly observed. The paper will give qualitative findings based on student and lectures statements.