New articles by Stefan Büchele
Büchele, S., Feudel, F. (2023). Changes in Students’ Mathematical Competencies at the Beginning of Higher Education Within the Last Decade at a German University. Int J of Sci and Math Educ, online first. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-022-10350-x
Mathematics plays a significant role in many study programs. However, several studies show deficiencies and a decline in beginning undergraduates’ skills in mathematics in many content domains. However, it remains unclear whether they have improved in so-called process competencies like modeling, mathematical reasoning, or using different representations instead, because there has been a shift towards the acquisition of such in many recent curricula. We investigated this issue at a university in Germany based on data from a (non-standardized) mathematics entry test taken by 3076 economics students divided into different cohorts from 2012 to 2019. Using regression analyses, we found that, on the one hand, students’ ability to carry out symbolic calculations decreased. On the other hand, their performance increased in some test questions focusing on other process competencies like reasoning, mathematizing, or using different representations, which have become common tasks at school due to a stronger emphasis on these process competencies after a curriculum reform. Our data indicate that this reform might have had the desired effect.
Büchele, S. (2023). Navigating success in higher education: engagement as a mediator between learning strategies and performance in mathematics. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, online first. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2023.2230387
Various studies investigate the effects of learning strategies on students’ performance. However, one can see a mixed pattern of the impact of learning strategies on performance. One reason might be that studies often overlook the relationships between learning strategy use and engagement factors. Using panel data and a sample of 299 undergraduate students enrolled in economics and business administration at a midsized German university, this study investigates the role of engagement constructs between students’ strategy use and performance in mathematics. The results suggest that memorizing and elaboration strategies drive the students’ learning engagement differently, and learning engagement fully mediates the link between learning strategy use and (mathematics) performance. Therefore, it does not matter how students learn but whether students learn regularly and persistently.