Revelations from an online diagnostic arithmetic and algebra quiz for incoming students
Keywords:preparedness, diagnostics, pre-calculus, performance, examinations
A review of relevant literature revealed that research indicates an alarming number of secondary school students who enter tertiary institutions display a serious lack of mathematical basics required for the study of university mathematics. This so-called change from the secondary school to tertiary study of mathematics has become an important field of mathematical learning research. In this context, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, online diagnostics for pre-calculus knowledge and skills were made available to first-year mathematics students. We report here on some findings from an analysis of the provision of diagnostic questions for basic arithmetic and algebra. The results show that the diagnostic questions which were in the form of an online quiz assisted students to cope with their mathematics module in the sense that it positively impacted on the final results of students who attempted the quiz.
- Students who completed an online quiz on basic arithmetic and algebra to identify their strengths and weaknesses indicated that the quiz prepared them for the material they had to study for their mathematics module.
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