Attitudes towards mathematics – survey of first-year engineering students

Jonathan Cole, Karen Fraser

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The core mathematics module for first-year engineering students (170 students) has recently been redesigned with the aim of building student confidence by encouraging them to take greater responsibility for their learning through the use of peer review, self assessment and reflection on the quality of their work and learning.

To investigate students’ attitudes towards mathematics, and potentially any changes in attitudes over the module, a questionnaire was designed to measure responses under the factors of value, struggle, growth, confidence and self-efficacy. The questionnaire was issued at the beginning of the first lecture of the module, at which point the students had little knowledge of what third-level mathematics would entail, and also in the penultimate lecture (in week 23) of the module. Responses can be analysed according to prior mathematics qualification and gender.

The session will provide an analysis of some of the questionnaire data. It should be of interest to those involved with teaching mathematics, those dealing with large classes of mixed mathematical abilities and those interested in the wider topic of mathematical resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
EventCETL-MSOR 2019: Bringing together mathematics communities - Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 05 Sept 201906 Sept 2019


ConferenceCETL-MSOR 2019: Bringing together mathematics communities
Internet address


  • mathematics
  • engineering students
  • resilience
  • attitudes
  • beliefs


Dive into the research topics of 'Attitudes towards mathematics – survey of first-year engineering students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this