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Title: Mathematics for non-specialists : a study of two undergraduate courses
Author: Pickering, R. A.
Awarding Body: University of Keele
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 1983
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The results of studies of two courses in mathematics for non-specialists are presented. The first of these was designed as a subsidiary option for arts-based students. Initially, the investigation was concerned with establishing the aims and objectives which applied to a course of cultural rather than vocational interest and the implications of these for syllabus content. Consideration was given to appropriate modes of data collection, bearing in mind the particular demands of the research aims. Information gathered from both the staff and students involved over a three-year period established the nature of the course, how it operated, what were its strengths and weaknesses and how people reacted to it. The effectiveness of the use of study booklets as a supplement to the lectures was investigated and some actual and possible developments are described. The second part of the research was concerned with a service course in mathematics for first-year undergraduates reading for a degree in economics. One part of the investigation attempted to discover the attitudes of the students to the subject and how relevant it was thought to be to their main subject. Of major interest was the design and formative evaluation of an instructional scheme containing a significant component of selfpaced study. The effectiveness of the instruction was considered with regard to the development of basic techniques, the ability to solve problems and the confidence of students in applying mathematical methods. It was possible to assess the difficulties that students experienced in applying mathematical techniques to problems in economics. Discussions with specialist economics lecturers established the aims of the course with greater clarity than the formal syllabus was able to convey and also provided data to supplement the views of the students about their own experiences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education & training Education Mathematics