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2. ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY
Over the last number of years we have gradually been introducing a project based learning approach to the teaching of engineering mathematics inDublin Institute of Technology. Several projects are now in existence for the teaching of both second-order differential equations and first order differential equations.We intend to incrementally extend this approach acrossmore of the engineering mathematics curriculum. As part of this ongoing process, practical realworld projects in statistics were incorporated into a second year ordinary degree mathematics module. This paper provides an overview of these projects and their implementation. As a means to measure the success of this initiative, we used the SALG instrument to gain feedback from the students. The SALG online tool - Student Assessment of their Learning Gains - https://salgsite.net/; is a free course-evaluation tool that enables third-level educators to gather feedback specifically focused on what the students gained through the learning exercise they experience. It can be used to measure students’ learning gains. Pre-developed surveys are available which can be modified and are stored in a repository for ease of access. Results are anonymous and there is the ability to download comments and basic statistical analysis of responses. Feedback from the survey points to a large increase in understanding of thematerial coupled with an increase in confidence. In addition we outline some of the limitations of our initial implementation of this approach and what we hope to improve on for the next academic year.
Fionnuala Farrell, Michael Carr, The effect of using a project-based learning (PBL) approach to improve engineering students’ understanding of statistics, Teaching Mathematics and its Applications: An International Journal of the IMA, Volume 38, Issue 3, September 2019, Pages 135–145, DOI:10.1093/teamat/hrz005