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Ee, H. W., & Wong, K. Y. (2004). Student experiences of mathematics lectures at Singapore Polytechnic. In L. C. Chew (Ed.), Innovation & enterprise: Education for the new economy: Proceedings for the ERAS Conference (pp. 69-80). Singapore: Educational Research Association.
Polytechnic lecturers frequently hear complaints from many mathematics students that mathematics is difficult and tedious. Students are keen to do well and would have no problems with practical-oriented modules, but a mathematics course with a need to work through mathematical problems seems to be a different challenge altogether. This
paper describes an action research whereby students' in-class thinking and feelings were
studied in a series of 5 lectures over a period of 2 weeks, covering two chapters of the Year 2 Engineering Mathematics module. Guided reflections of the 49 students, in the form of checklist, were administered at intervals of approximately 30 minutes. Each reflection, apart from the first, took about 5 minutes to complete. During each reflection, the lecturer completed a similar checklist about her own lesson events. The
data from the students and lecturer checklists will provide information about differences, if any, in their experience of the mathematics lectures. The changes in student reflections within and across lectures will be examined using descriptive statistics and pictorial representations. Through this study, the lecturer became more aware of students' in-class thinking and feelings. From the interviews conducted after
each lecture, the lecturer understood some difficulties faced by her students as well as
the strong points of the lectures. The presentation will provide further details and draw
some implications on how to use student in-class reflections to improve lectures in mathematics.
This paper was published in the Proceedings of ERAS Conference held in Singapore from 24-26 November 2004
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