An industry oriented math teaching strategy for the Metro Group BEngTech program

Louie, Ken and Robson, Daphne and Cook, Frank and Hogan, Debbie (2014) An industry oriented math teaching strategy for the Metro Group BEngTech program. Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Wellington, New Zealand., 8-10 December, 2014..

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BACKGROUND With traditional mathematical teaching methodologies in tertiary education, the conventional pathway is to build student understanding through mathematical content alone. Applications which utilise the mathematics then possibly follow in later courses. The problem with this traditional methodology of learning is that there is no close relationship with industry requirements for mathematical preparation. Industry oriented education is an approach to learning from an industry perspective. PURPOSE Taking into account the Bachelor of Engineering Technology student profile of vocationally orientated students this research is to trial the implementation of industry oriented math teaching and learning within the BEngTech program at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Otago Polytechnic, Waikato Institute of Technology and Wellington Institute of Technology as an alternative to the current method used of theoretical based teaching. DESIGN/METHOD In this research, a formative test within the BEngTech program at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Otago Polytechnic, Waikato Institute of Technology and Wellington Institute of Technology has been designed in the existing teaching plan for the MG5004 Engineering Maths 1. We have not modified any teaching content and learning outcomes in this class. The formative test comprised two questions relating to matrices: the first was generic (theoretical) and the second industry-oriented. RESULTS Since the first question was generic and the second question industry-oriented and major specific, we separated the results of students who are studying the majors of mechanical, civil, or electrical engineering into 3 groups. For each group we summarized the marks from the first question and second questions. These results show that the students did well in the first question which is theoretical based. However, most of the students were not confident in applying their theoretical knowledge to solve an industry-oriented question. CONCLUSIONS This study proved that the students lack knowledge of the industry application in the engineering math class and also there is a “disconnect” in students minds between a mathematics problem and an industry problem i.e. this study has clearly shown the need to close gaps in the BEngTech curriculum. A major outcome of this study is to have identified the nature of the gaps and hence point the way for further research to investigate how to include these in the BEngTech with appropriate integration of mathematics and engineering courses.

Item Type:Paper presented at a conference, workshop or other event, and published in the proceedings
Keywords that describe the item:Industry-Oriented Teaching and Learning, Engineering Mathematics.
Subjects:L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Engineering and Industrial Design
ID Code:3670
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Deposited On:14 Jan 2015 02:51
Last Modified:14 Jan 2015 02:51

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