Attitudes towards mathematics as a subject, and mathematics learning and instruction in a trans-disciplinary engineering study
Evangelia Triantafyllou, Morten Misfeldt and Olga Timcenko
This article explores student attitudes and preferences in learning and teaching of mathematics in engineering studies that transcend the division between technical, scientific and artistic disciplines. For observing such attitudes, we have developed a model that relates the attitude towards mathematics as a subject with the attitude towards mathematics learning and instruction. Data comes from a study at the Media technology educational program of Aalborg university. The study used attitude and preference questionnaires, and observations and interviews with students. The results show that media technology students are not confident in mathematics and consider mathematics to be a difficult subject. Nevertheless, they recognize the importance of mathematics both in their studies and in general. Moreover, students favour learning on their own or together with their peers over learning supported by a teacher. We propose that these findings inspire reforming mathematical education for such engineering students.
Evangelia Triantafyllou has a M.A. degree in Electrical and computer engineering and a professional doctorate in Engineering design. She received her Ph.D. on ICT-based teaching methods for improving university mathematics learning at Aalborg University in 2015. In February 2016, Evangelia was appointed as a postdoc fellow in the department of Media technology at Aalborg University, Copenhagen. Her research interests include technology-enhanced learning in mathematics, active learning and university mathematics education.
Morten Misfeldt is professor and research manager of the research lab for ICT and design for learning, Aalborg University in Copenhagen. His research interests includes technology enhanced learning, university mathematics education, the use of ICT in primary level mathematics education, the influence of ICT on mathematics curriculum and mathematical practices in various areas of society. Morten is also research manager of the Danish GeoGebra Institute.
Olga Timcenko is associate professor at the department of Media technology at Aalborg University. She holds a PhD in Robot control and her research interests concern virtual environments and user interfaces for educational purposes, and technology enhanced teaching and learning, especially of mathematics at university level. She is a member of the Research center for creative and immersive learning environments at Aalborg University.