23 January 2020

A highly reliable algebraic skill measurement instrument with content and approach validity was developed. Its content focusses on the algebraic skills engineering students require to successfully follow a Differential Calculus Course. A team of 10 teachers, each with minimum of a master’s degree and teaching experience in differential calculus, participated in the design of this instrument. The measurement instrument is a large-scale multiple-choice criteria test comprising 25 test items. Its quality is described and analysed on the basis of the answers given by engineering students during the first and second semesters of the 2018-2019 academic year. The results show that topics that can predict student success and have the greatest power of discrimination in the measurement instrument are strongly related to skills students acquire in primary and secondary education, such as operating with fractions and the laws of exponents. It was also found that the main shortcomings in the algebraic skills of students are rationalisation, division of polynomials, factoring sums, and difference of cubes.



This is the English version of an article originally printed in Spanish in issue 275 of the revista española de pedagogía. For this reason, the abbreviation EV has been added to the page numbers. Please, cite this article as follows: Aguilar-Salinas, W. E., de las Fuentes-Lara, M., Justo-López, A. C., & Martínez-Molina, A. D. (2020). Instrumento de medición para diagnosticar las habilidades algebraicas de los estudiantes en el Curso de Cálculo Diferencial en ingeniería | A measurement instrument for establishing the algebraic skills of engineering students on a Differential Calculus Course in engineering. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 78 (275), 5-25. doi: