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Strengthening Mathematical Competencies (MathKom)

Joachim Lotz

The sub-project "Mathematical competencies" (MathKom) helps first-year students to strengthen their mathematical competencies so that it will be easier for them to learn how to apply mathematical methods in their academic work.

The MathKom team has nine members in nine faculties along with two coordinators from the Institute for Didactics of Mathematics (IDM). They are working together to develop concepts for teaching basic mathematics to students. The team is:

  • Developing powerful study-course-specific self-tests to help students choose their study subjects
  • Planning preliminary courses tailored exactly to fit students' needs
  • Constructing entrance tests for diagnostic purposes
  • Training tutors
  • Running learning centres
  • Revising introductory courses in cooperation with those teaching them

Central questions posed in the project are:

  • Which mathematical competencies are required for each subject both in the introductory modules and beyond?
  • Do the necessary preconditions match the competencies of those admitted to the course?
  • At what places do difficulties emerge in relation to mathematical requirements?
  • At which of these places are the students responsible for dealing with these difficulties and at which ones should they be supported by teachers?
  • Which forms of support are acceptable to students and which help them?
  • How can we support the work of teachers who teach mathematical competencies or who require their students to possess them?

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