Improving Mathematical Competencies of Students Accessing to Higher Education from Vocational Training Modules

Improving Mathematical Competencies of Students Accessing to Higher Education from Vocational Training Modules

Susana Nieto Isidro (Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain) and Higinio Ramos Calle (Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/jcit.2014070105
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Abstract

This article describes the behavior and results obtained by two groups of engineering students from Vocational Training Modules who were recruited to use an on-line tool designed to improve their mathematical performance. Its effectiveness is evaluated using examinations results and an anonymous satisfaction questionnaire. The main difference between both groups is the presence or absence of deadlines for the recommended tasks. The results show that these initiatives are very welcome, and are also effective and capable of improving basic mathematical skills. The pattern of use shows strong persistence along the time, a significant use during non-working hours and a good correspondence between course participation and good performance in the final examinations. However, results, especially self-confidence and dropout rate, depend strongly on assigning due dates for doing the tasks. The use of deadlines arises as an important factor contributing to success.

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