Implementing a computing laboratory-aided engineering algebra course: The DLSU-Manila experience


Gokongwei College of Engineering


Chemical Engineering

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Archival Material/Manuscript

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Engineering algebra is a core mathematics subject taken by all engineering freshman students of De La Salle University-Manila. Though the topics covered are mostly similar to those taken up in their high school algebra, emphasis is laid on the concepts requiring deeper and strengthened analytical skills from the students. The computational laboratory was incorporated into the subject since 2003 as a remedial measure to decrease the high failure rate that the college had been experiencing for the past years. It consists of 3 laboratory hours during which students are given additional problems to solve in class. Feedback is provided immediately. This study is a follow-up on a study, initiated last school year, to assess the effectiveness of incorporating the said computational laboratory to the regular Algebra clasess of school year 2006-2007. To measure the effectiveness of the laboratory component, the students were given a pretest during the first day of classes and a posttest the meeting before the final examinations. The scores from these two exams were analyzed using the paired z-test for means and t-test for unequal variances. Z-test analysis at 99% confidence level of the raw scores shows that the whole batch got an average of 57.6% correct in the posttest, which is significantly higher than the 41% in the pretest. Results also showed that majority of the improvement came from students who initially got pretest scores below 20% of the total scores, although other range of grades have also shown significant improvements. Such results were consistent with the results obtained last school year. Based on the preceding results it can be inferred that the computational laboratory did give a significant improvement on the performance of the students in Engineering Algebra. It is recommended that a tracer study on these students be conducted to determine if there will be a significant improvement on their succeeding mathematics subjects as well. The administration of the pre- and post-tests should also be improved to eliminate other unwanted factors or variables that could affect the outcome of the tests.



Computational Engineering


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Computation laboratories; Engineering mathematics

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