Mathematics requirements on a computer technology unit
ASEE American Society for Engineering Education
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Information Science
Computer Installation & Maintenance (CIM) is a 'hands on' unit run by the Computing Science department at Edith Cowan University (ECU). CIM was designed and introduced as a direct result of an analysis of job advertisements in newspapers in Western Australia and interviews with potential employers in the field of computer and network installation and maintenance. This first level unit consists of a weekly two-hour lecture with an accompanying tow-hour 'hands on' workshop, and does not have any mandated entrance prerequisites and yet CIM attracts a wide range of students, has been consistently oversubscribed, and attracts both cross-faculty and cross-institutional enrolments from other universities within the Perth area. Its wide appeal across a broad spectrum of students has meant that many of those who enrol may not possess an appropriate technological, scientific, and mathematical background. Hence a new pedagogical framework was required. However led to the use of a model required that students to be able to solve simple formulae, convert to and from SI magnitudes and to transpose simple equations. The need for basic mathematical skills and knowledge is considered as many students found the above mathematical requirements problematic. The testing of students' mathematics on this unit, the results, and the reasons for the response chosen to address these problems along with the necessary mathematics required on this unit, are outlined.