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    How Well Do High-Achieving Undergraduate Students Understand School Algebra?

    Hyland, Diarmaid and O'Shea, Ann (2022) How Well Do High-Achieving Undergraduate Students Understand School Algebra? Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 22. pp. 818-834. ISSN 1492-6156

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    The aim of this research is to investigate how well high-achieving students entering tertiary-level education in Ireland understand school algebra. As part of a larger project, a 31-item test was developed to assess first-year undergraduate students’ understanding of basic algebraic concepts. The test was administered online to students studying at least one mathematics module at tertiary level and received 327 responses. In this article, we study how the subset of high-achieving undergraduates in our sample performed on the test. The results demonstrated a very high level of understanding among students, as befits their level of study and prior achievement relative to the difficulty of the test. However, one subsection of the test stood out as being disproportionately difficult for these students. The section focused on valid solutions of equations and inequalities. The items in question are described in detail in this article as is the associated data. Our analysis shows that this topic is an area of concern even for high-achieving undergraduates and so deserves further attention. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of this research and details of the larger project.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: high achieving; undergraduate students; understand; algebra;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Education
    Item ID: 18231
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Mr Diarmaid Hyland
    Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2024 16:37
    Journal or Publication Title: Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education
    Publisher: Springer
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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