Proceedings of The International Conference on Research in Business, Management and Finance
Enhancing the mathematics capability of first-year information technology students at a University of Technology in South Africa
Jane Nelisa Freitas and Cape Peninsula
First-year IT students enrolled in the Higher Certificate in Information and Communication Technology programme at the UoT where this study was conducted are expected to have passed either Mathematics or Mathematics Literacy in their final matric examinations. However, the mathematics performance of many first-year IT freshmen enrolled in the HCINCT programme in 2015 was lower than the mathematical capabilities of current 11- to 12-year-old pupils attending Grade 6 in a South African primary school. This claim was based on the researcher’s analysis of the students’ pre-test and post-test scores. This study investigated the efficacy of the enhancement of the mathematics capability intervention programme known as the Higher Certificate in Information and Communication Technology. The main research question of the study was: What is the effect of the intervention programme on the mathematical knowledge of IT students upon entry into the HCINCT programme? The intervention was administered in 2015 to 147 information technology freshmen through class tutorials in the subject of Quantitative Techniques. Quantitative methods instruments were used to collect analyse and present data. To find answers to the main research question, hypotheses were constructed based on historical data. The null hypothesis (Ho) claimed that there was no statistically significant difference between the mean scores of the groups before and after the mathematics capability intervention (the treatment). A paired sampled t-test method befitted the nature of the hypotheses and the data collected. The descriptive statistics results suggested that there is a strong probability that the students’ mathematical capabilities increased by chance.
Keywords: Enhancing, mathematics, capabilities, Higher education.