Students’ choice and perceived importance of resources in first-year university calculus and linear algebra

With a plethora of (digital) resources available to first year engineering students studying mathematics, it becomes increasingly important to understand which resources are preferably selected by students. In this study we investigated (1) which student clusters can be distinguished in the perceived importance of resources to study first year mathematics courses; and (2) how these clusters can be related to selected student characteristics and the perceived importance of resources at high school. We conducted a survey among Calculus and Linear Algebra students (N=403) at a Dutch university of technology. In terms of data analysis, we used “community analysis” based on a social network approach. Results showed that three clusters could be identified; these are portrayed and discussed. In one cluster interactive digital resources for formative assessment were considered of some importance, while students in the other clusters preferred traditional curriculum resources.


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