Measuring students’ algebra, trigonometry, and geometry skills on a differential calculus for engineering course

Medición de las habilidades algebraicas, trigonométricas y geométricas de los estudiantes en el curso de cálculo diferencial en ingeniería

Maximiliano de las Fuentes-Lara, Wendolyn Elizabeth Aguilar-Salinas, Araceli Celina Justo-López and César Gonzalo Iñiguez-Monroy

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22550/REP80-2-2022-07

This research presents the results of a study that involved the construction and validation of a measuring instrument to evaluate the algebra, trigonometry, and geometry skills that universi­ty students possess when starting an engineer­ing degree and which are critical for students to perform properly in calculus courses. The instrument was designed by faculty members from the field of mathematics, all of whom hold at least a master’s degree and have taught cal­culus in the past. The study comprised of 40 items and its quality analysis was based on data collected from 875 incoming first-year students during the 2020-2022 academic cycle. Data analysis showed that items with medium diffi­culty and high discrimination have the highest predictive coefficient and correspond mainly to the field of geometry, specifically the topics of the straight line, circumference, and the cal­ culation of surfaces and volumes of geometric shapes. The present research provides teaching staff with important elements to adapt or mod­ify their instructional designs and improve the learning quality of higher education students in the field of calculus. Additionally, secondary school teachers may benefit from these results regarding the greater challenges students face when enrolling in engineering programs.


Please, cite this article as follows: De las Fuentes-Lara, M., Aguilar-Salinas, W. E., Justo-López, A. C., & Iñiguez-Monroy, C. G. (2022). Medición de las habilidades algebraicas, trigonométricas y geométricas de los estudiantes en el curso de cálculo diferencial en ingeniería | Measuring students’ algebra, trigonometry, and geometry skills on a differential calculus for engineering course. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 80 (282), 289-308. https://doi.org/10.22550/REP80-2-2022-07

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Maximiliano de las Fuentes-Lara holds a Doctorate in Higher Education in Engineering from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California. He is cur­rently Associate Professor and Coordina­tor of the Integral Calculus and Differ­ential Equations modules in the Mexicali Faculty of Engineering at this university. His research interests focus on the prob­lem of teaching, learning, and assessing mathematics for engineering.

 http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1001-4663

Wendolyn Elizabeth Aguilar-Salinas has a Doctorate in Sciences from the Uni­versidad Autónoma de Baja California. She is currently an Associate Professor and Director of the basic stage at this university’s Mexicali Faculty of Engineer­ing. Her research interests are centred on learning and teaching of mathematics, teaching techniques and technologies, and on educational modalities.

 http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2223-9234

Araceli Celina Justo-López has a Doc­torate in Engineering from the Universi­dad Autónoma de Baja California. She is currently an Associate Professor and is head of the Mexicali Faculty of Engineer­ing at this university. Her research inter­ests centre on educational technologies.

 http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6911-2065

César Gonzalo Iñiguez-Monroy has a Doctorate in Engineering from the Uni­versidad Autónoma de Baja California. He is currently an Associate Professor and is head of the chemistry academic area in the Faculty of Engineering at this university. His research interests focus on teaching and learning of chemistry for engineers and STEM+A education.

 https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7101-0738

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