Creative Education
2013. Vol.4, No.10A, 40-47
Published Online October 2013 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Mathematics Education and Information Technologies in
Emerging Economies
Maria Andrade-Arechiga1, Gilberto Lopez2, JRG Pulido1
1Faculty of Telematics, University of Colima, Colima, México
2Department of Computer Science, Center for Scientific Research and
Higher Education at Ensenada, Ensenada, México
Received August 28th, 2013; revised September 28th, 2013; accepted October 6th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Maria Andrade-Arechiga et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative
Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original wo rk is properly cited.
International studies indicate that some countries are failing to produce enough quality graduates in Sci-
ence and Engineering (S & E). Unfortunately, basic research and strong structured initiatives in S & E
education are scarce in these countries. We take México as a case study and examine university teachers’
beliefs and perceptions on some aspects of the learning-teaching process of university mathematics and
their opinions in the inclusion of Information Technologies (IT) in the S&E educational process. Analysis
of the results indicates that students are failing in critical aspects of the mathematics learning process. The
information collected results pivotal in the development and implementation of successful IT based edu-
cational initiatives. It is especially important in countries that possess non-homogeneous socioeconomic,
cultural, technical and educational settings.
Keywords: Science and Engineering; Education in Emerging Economies; Teachers’ Perception; Teaching
and Learning with IT
The combination of education and technology has been con-
sidered the main key to human progress (Montaser, Mortada, &
Fawzy, 2012). Particularly, technological innovation is associ-
ated with education in Science and Engineering (S & E). Over
the past decades, some countries have evidenced concern for
the issue and important studies, as well as strong initiatives (e.g.
King, 2008; Bourguignon, 2006; Bouvier, 2011; Brown, 2009;
King, 2007; Kuenzi, 2008; NSF, 2006-2010), have resulted.
Nowadays, the subject thrives across physical and cultural bor-
ders. Moreover, economic development on a global scale re-
quires that investment flows from developed countries to
weaker economies to encounter technically literate workforces.
The issue, ther e fore, is no longer local in scale, but global.
Unfortunately, information is scarce for many other countries
and what we know derives from general reports on education
(e.g. UNESCO, 2011; OECD, 2006). International studies
(Schwab, 2008-2010; IESALC, 2006-2009; NSF, 2006-2010)
show that some countries, with most in Latin America, have not
been successful in substantially increasing the rate at which
citizens obtain S & E university degrees. Puryear & Ortega
Goodspeed (2011) argue that greater emphasis should be placed
on improving quality and strengthening Science and Technol-
ogy at Latin America universities. Likewise, reports on major
and emerging economies, published annually by the World
Economic Forum (Schwab, 2008-2010) indicate that Latin
America countries rank low on “Availability of scientists and
engineers”. Of the 133 countries considered in the 2008-2009
report, Costa Rica ranked 46th, and subsequently 29th (of 134
countries) in 2009-2010 and 28th (of 136 countries) in 2010-
2011, ranking only behind Chile (35th, 23rd and 24th), but well
above other Latin America countries, such as Argentina (81st,
84th and 76th), Brazil (57th, 60th and 68th), Colombia (88th,
89th and 86th), and Mexico (105th, 94th and 89th). Even more
alarming are the placements obtained in the reports in “Higher
Education and Training: Quality of Math and Science Educa-
tion”, in which only Costa Rica ranked in the top half. Costa
Rica obtained a ranking of 64th, 55th and 50th in the 2008-
2009, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 reports, respectively. The
other Latin America countries ranked well behind: Colombia
ranked 79th, 86th and 93rd, Argentina ranked 98th, 98th and
106th, Chile ranked 107th, 116th and 123rd, Brazil obtained a
ranking of 124th, 123rd and 126th, and Mexico ranked 127th,
127th and 128th.
The above situation can be associated with the whole pre-
tertiary educational system (K1-K12) in the region, and is con-
sistent with the negative results obtained by Latin America
countries in the PISA evaluations (OECD, 2003, 2006) and
other international reports (UNESCO, 2009, 2011; Puryear &
Ortega Goodspeed, 2011). However, direct firsthand informa-
tion is needed in order to understand, in general, how prepared
students are for the specific demands in the disciplines that
characte rize S & E universi ty programs.
In many cases, no more time can be wasted. It makes no
sense to wait for educational reforms to start giving results in
the pre-university levels because at least one more generation
would be lost. The situation calls for immediate actions; ini-
tially, by trying to understand some fundamental principles in
the teaching and learning process of these disciplines.
Overcoming the problems associated with the teaching and
learning process of college mathematics has constituted a goal
of many institutional and academic efforts worldwide (e.g.
Brown, 2009; Demlová, 2008; Mustoe, 2002; Bass, 2005). Here,
we focus on first-year college mathematics courses (e.g., col-
lege algebra, linear algebra, calculus) in S & E. This serves our
purpose methodologically, because it is a constant in the S & E
disciplines. Moreover, mathematical knowledge and developing
mathematics competencies are of a fundamental nature in S &
E. Nevertheless, there are several important issues related to the
teaching and learning process that requires more study, espe-
cially from the teachers’ perspective.
The inclusion of new learning schemes that include innova-
tive teaching materials should be of the greatest importance.
Those that feature information technologies (IT) as a tool to
improve student learning, especially in mathematics, are of
particular interest. Again, we encounter an important cultural
and regional bifurcation. Over the last two decades, some coun-
tries have made important advances in introducing technol-
ogy-based instruction in the math classroom at different levels
of formal education. Important initiatives (NSF, 2006-2010;
Brown, 2009; Kuenzi, 2008), large scale projects, and relevant
research (Mustoe, 2002; Neto et al., 2003; Nguyen et al., 2006)
have followed.
In Latin America, few general guidelines (UNESCO, 2011)
and isolated efforts have been developed (Lopez-Morteo &
Lopez, 2007; Madrigal & Gozalo, 2007). Controversial and
expensive programs like the Mexican Enciclomedia project
(SEP, 2004), which required millions of US dollars in invest-
ment, produced no significant educational results due to poor
teacher training, inadequate school infrastructure, educational
model and, more importantly, teacher attitudes toward technol-
ogy. The government terminated the program in 2009. Evi-
dently, we must address the issues of accessibility, availability,
and teacher attitudes toward technology, as described by Oncu
et al. (2008), if we hope to incorporate technological supports
in the educational process.
Here, we present a series of indicators of the academic prob-
lems that become impairing elements in S & E education in
Mexico from the teachers’ perspective, including teachers’
disposition and attitude toward incorporating IT into the class-
room. The use of teacher perception has proven to be an im-
portant technique for investigating and evaluating different
aspects of the learning and teaching process (Carnell, 2007;
Popovic, 2010; Chang et al., 2011). For the purpose of this
study, we created and implemented the VEAD survey (Spanish
acronym for Valuation of Teaching Activities) to collect infor-
mation directly from Mexican university S & E math lecturers
on different aspects of their teaching activities.
We argue that this type of information is much more impor-
tant for initiatives that seek to use IT in education in developing
countries that are marked by heterogeneity, than in the richer
economies where the educational setting is much more homo-
geneous. In order to avoid failure in the introduction of the
technology into the classroom, some countries still need to
determine basic matters. Under the WWECFT (What is Wrong
with Education cannot be Fixed with Technology) principle,
specific problems in the learning-teaching process must be
identified. The type of learning outcomes that are expected
from the IT implementation must also be determined. Also,
information of a series of practical issues must be acquired,
including teachers’ attitudes and beliefs about technology’s role
in their practice, and those related with infrastructure and
schools’ decision making policies.
S & E Education in Mexico
The S & E Indicators, published by the National Science
Foundation (NSF) in the United States, show that less than 2%
of the university-age population in Mexico earned degrees in
Natural Science and Engineering (NS & E) in 2000. This figure
is substantially lower than in other countries. In some European
Union and Asian countries, it is over 10%, whereas in Canada
and the United States the number of NS & E degrees per
24-year-olds is more than three times the degrees earned in
Mexico (NSF, 2006-2010).
Data published by the Organization for Economic Coopera-
tion and Development (OECD) shows that out of its 30 mem-
bers, Mexico had the fewest Engineering and Exact Sciences
degree holders per capita (OECD 2003, 2006, 2007). Countries
like Finland and South Korea produced almost five times as
many Tertiary-Type A and advanced research program degree
holders in Engineering per capita than Mexico between 2000
and 2004 (Figure 1). In Spain and Australia, the number is
twice that of Mexico.
In general, most OECD countries have increased their num-
ber of degree holders. Some countries like Denmark have been
able to close the gap with other OECD members. Although
Mexico shows a slight increase for 2003, the number of degree
holders in Engineering decreases substantially in 2004. The
situation in regards to the number of Exact Sciences degree
holders is even worse (OECD 2006, 2007).
Diverse cultural and academic factors could be associated
with the failure to produce more S & E university graduates.
National policies must be established in order to produce pro-
grams designed to attract young people to these fields. In the
case of Mexico, the number of students, seeking an engineering
or technology degree, does not even represent 3% of the coun-
try’s total undergraduate population (CONACyT, 2006; INEGI,
2005). Moreover, less than .2% of all undergraduate students
are enrolled in m at h an d physics progra ms.
In addition, problems associated with low graduation, gen-
erational retardation, and high dropout rates require special
attention. The Mexican National Association of Universities
and Institutions of Higher Education (ANUIES) publishes the
number of students enrolled in universities by year, institution,
academic program, age, and gender. Although it is the best
source of information on higher education in Mexico, its last
published report was for 2004 (ANUIES, 1996-2004). Table 1
shows first enrollment, total enrollment, graduates and the de-
grees earned in E & T (Engineering & Technology—including
Computer Science) and in E & NS (Exact & Natural Sciences)
in Mexican institutions from 1996 to 2004. In many cases,
however, students graduate (i.e., they finish all their academic
units), but they never earn a degree. From the information
shown in Table 1, one can estimate that in Mexico of all the
students that enroll in E & T/ES & T university programs,
roughly 35%, will actually earn a degree.
Based on the data presented above, we can conclude that the
yearly dropout rate is 11% and 15% of students enrolled in E &
T and E & NS programs, respectively. On the other hand, the
research indicates that dropout rates are much more significant
during the first semesters, because students experience signifi-
cant difficulties with the basic mathematics courses taught in
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 41
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
05001,000 1,5002,000 2,500 3,000
G raduate s in Engine er in g pe r million habitants
South Korea
Fi nland
Spai n
1000 1500 2000 2500 3000
Figure 1.
Tertiary-type A and advanced research program degree holders in engineering for some
OECD members, 2000 to 2004 (Source: OECD, 2006).
Natural Science and Engineering university programs (Lazaki-
dou & Retalis, 2010).
Survey to Valuation of Teaching Activities
In this study, we sought to obtain lecturers’ perceptions on
some aspects of their teaching activities, including the use of IT
to aide in the teaching process of university level mat hematical
concepts. Global variables of interest were identified on the
teachers’ perception of: 1) teaching and learning elements pro-
moted in mathematics courses; 2) the students’ learning process;
3) the students’ basic mathematics skills; and 4) accessibility,
availability, and teachers’ attitudes toward using technology in
their practices. We conducted four preliminary pilot tests with
small groups of university teachers (~7), in order to measure
coherence, redundancy, and inconsistency. As a result, some
items were modified and others eliminated. Finally, we classi-
fied the selected items into sections for the final survey, and
utilized a perception-type Likert scale with five ordinal catego-
ries for most of the items. A final pilot test was performed in
order to obtain Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of reliability. The
alpha coefficient of = .8726 was obtained, which ensures a
high correlations between the items of the test (Garrison et al.
2004). Once the survey was completed, it was made available
through a web page and an electronic invitation was extended
to more than 800 math lecturers at different institutions across
the country.
Results and Discussion
A total of 145 mathematics lecturers of S & E university pro-
grams answered the survey. Of these, 59.8% worked at public
mesters. They reported an approximate student grade point
average of 6.7 (on a scale of 10, where 6 is needed to obtain
credit) for the courses they taught.
In the first section of the survey, s
institutions and 56% regularly taught courses in the first se-
ee Table 2, lecturers were
pects of how
learned separately, without promoting associations with other
ked to express their opinion about the elements they felt were
promoted in math university courses (items 1 to 6). Based on
the results obtained, it is clear that teachers have a strong opin-
ion on the importance of learning (item 2) and the development
of mathematical skills in their classes (item 4). However, the
agreement with other essential aspects of the educational proc-
ess is not as strong. In particular, the importance of teaching
(item 1) and the fact that only 46% of the teachers evidenced a
degree of agreement with the statement that students develop a
genuine interest in mathematics (item 6). Teachers tend to sup-
port technical knowledge and development of mathematical
skills (items 3 & 4) rather than emotional-like and motivational
aspects of students’ learning (items 5 & 6), the importance of
which have been strongly related to the learning of mathematics
(Andrade-Arechiga et al., 2013; Cardella, 2008).
The results of teacher perception on different as
udents learn mathematics, as well as their capacity to engage
in meaningful learning correspond to items 7 to 11 in Table 2.
The response to item 9 shows that lecturers agree that students
find it difficult to apply mathematical concepts learned in their
courses. This is supported by the responses to items 10 and 11
in which the instructors expressed the opinion that students fail
to relate succe ssfully previ ously learned concepts and new ones
and to build mathematical knowledge upon them. This behavior
has been partially associated with the lack of alternative repre-
sentations of mathematical knowledge in the learning materials
used in traditional courses, where activities are structured to
turn composite knowledge into fragmented units that are to be
Table 1.
Figures for undergraduate exact sciences and engineering and tech-
rollment, Mexico, 1 996 to 2004 (ANUIES, 1996-2004). nology en
Engineering & technology
Year First enrollmates* Earned degree*
ent Total enrollme nt Gradu
1996 95319 413208 49515 27665
1997 103452 424352 52179 30712
1998 112563 447405 50871 29576
1999 126357 481543 50795 31239
2000 136874 514463 54065 34156
2001 145910 550636 58138 37621
2002 156804 598929 65197 39592
2003 157689 628188 70191 43077
2004 159810 654580 79064 49660
Exact & nl sciencesatura
Year First enrollmtes* Earned degree*
ent Total enrollm ent Gradua
1996 6861 22994 3321 1879
1997 7667 25101 3210 1925
1998 8133 27321 3021 1931
1999 9443 30002 2738 1768
2000 9635 32698 3023 2130
2001 9811 33720 3163 2167
2002 10054 34514 3755 2365
2003 10190 35751 4674 2652
2004 9857 36774 5021
SoNUIE rios Estadom 1996 t Undergu-
dechnoloersities tes. *ANep orts thates
ame curricula. This yields a
w or null generation of the mental maps necessary for effec-
proficiency on a series of specific mathematical topics,
iversity teachers. Although negative re-
. In addition, they are not
rmed on the creation
d designed not only the transfer of information from
urces: A
nts at teS, Anua
gical univísticos fr
and instituo 2004.
UIES rraduate st
e Gradu
and Earned degrees from the previous y ear.
topics already studied within the s
tive associations (Mustoe 2002; Mason 2001; Boaler 2009).
Moreover, if we also consider the results of items 7 and 8, we
can infer that teachers believe that some essential elements of
the process of learning mathematics are not reaching the stu-
Teachers were also asked to express their opinion on stu-
nging from basic skills to calculus concepts as shown in Ta-
ble 3. In general, the results show that teachers think that their
students come from low backgrounds and lack pre-university
mathematical skills.
These results are seemingly harsh considering that they come
from mathematics un
onses were anticipated, greater positive responses were ex-
pected, especially in regards to basic math topics that all stu-
dents, entering E & S university program, should master. Items
1-5 are topics taught in the late years of elementary school and
secondary school, K5-K15. For these items, 60% to 70% of the
teachers categorized their students’ ability as regular and bad.
The responses to math concepts taught at the high-school level
and often reinforced in first-year math courses (items 6 to 9), as
well as those corresponding to basic Calculus courses (items 10,
11), are also unacceptable for S & E students. The teachers’
responses to items 12 to 14 indicates, that the students are also
failing in the problem solving process, a very important element
of university mathematics education.
In summary, teachers strongly agree that their students are
unable to apply mathematical concepts
le to relate previously learned concepts to new ones and do
not feel they benefit from learning them. They also express the
belief that students are unable to apply knowledge to solve
problems and fail to find new ways of solving them. From the
teachers’ responses, we can assume that S & E students are
failing in critical aspects of the mathematics learning process.
Although we would expect 100% availability of technology
in higher education, we recognize that this is still not the cas e i
me countries like Mexico, as shown in Figure 2. Yet, the
situation is much better than in other levels of education where
a lack of technological resources has been detected (Lopez-
Morteo et al., 2007). Also, teachers’ interest in using innovative
educational resources and technological supplies (Figure 3) are
much higher than those expressed by secondary teachers in the
2007 survey. According to the results, lecturers prefer educa-
tional materials adapted to the classroom rather than tools used
on distance or mixed environments.
To help reduce this fragmented approach to teaching, we
recommend that further research be perfo
d adoption of new educational models, along with a broader
evaluation on the impact of those materials on students’ learn-
ing. This initiative can benefit from lecturers’ experience and
positive attitude in the use of educational software through
CD-ROM and online specialized websites (see Figure 3) to
develop an integral training program for lecturers on the educa-
tional models and strategies associated with the use of this me-
dia. Furthermore, these training programs can be complemented
with workshops on novel teaching strategies which employ
recreational mathematics to promote focus on a problem-solv-
ing based approach. The integration of the previous trends can
be done through the development of new educational strategies
that use an electronic learning environment (online or not),
learning models with a problem-oriented approach, interactive
software, such as animations, simulations and interactive tools.
On the other hand, we consider that lecturers’ professional
profiles are a critical factor for implementing new IT-based
odels, particularly considering their skills and knowledge. In
a parallel research done on secondary schools in Mexico,
Galaviz-Ferman et al. (2006) found that teachers’ positive atti-
tudes on applying new teaching schemes and strategies using IT
in mathematics is not enough. In this study, we could say all
lecturers stated the intention of using IT; however, due to lack
of proper training, its real use has been practically insignificant.
This leads us to reinforce the idea that probably the training of
university lecturers could influence their use of IT for teaching.
However, at this point we cannot propose a concrete idea re-
garding curriculum modification due to the high number of
ctors involved. But starting from our results analysis and the
experience other countries have had in this field, we suggest the
contents of math courses be modified so they include strategies
such as:
Novel learning models that promote construction of learn-
ing an
teacher to student.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 43
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
erception on important aspects of student le a r ning in university mat
1: Complete ly disagree2: Disagree 3: Neutral 4: Agree 5: Complete ly agree
Table 2.
Teacher ph courses.
Asct 1 pe2 3 4 5
1. Imporeaching 2 4 2
3. Prodge
5. Thath
6.2 18.0 29.6 27.6 18.6
6.9 32.4 20.7 26.2 13.8
8. Whey 5.5 9.7 9.7 40.0 35.2
9. e
ma .7 2.8 4.1 32.4 60.0
11.7 34.5 17.2 27.6 8.9
11.e 14.5 26.9 22.7 26.2 9.7
tance of t2.0 6.3
2. Importance of learning 2.1 3.5 8.9 32.4 53.1
minence in technic al knowle8.3 8.9 17.2 36.6 28.9
4. Development of mat hematical skills 4.1 3.5 5.5 37.9 48.9
e emphasis in students e njoying learning m8.3 17.2 29.7 21.4 23.4
6. That the stu dents develop a
genuine interest in mathematics
7. Students consider mathematics
help them t o explore new ideas
hen students learn mathematics t
perceive it as abstract knowled ge
Students find it difficult to apply th
thematical concepts learned in the courses
10. In math cour ses, student s easily rela te
new concepts with previously learned
Students build mathematical know ledg
based on previously learned concepts
able 3. pinion on university students’ proficiency in specific basic math topics.
1: Very ba d2: Bad 3: Regular 4: Good5: Excellent
Teachers’ o
Topic 1 2 3 4 5
1. Ability to compute numericaulations without a calculator 11.0 33.1 39.6.2
5. Baetry
8. Functions and their graphics (i ncnuous, inve r se and composite)
l calc9 9.7
2. Fractions and its operations 15.9 34.5 26.9 5 8.3
3. Algebrai c operations 13.1 29.7 40.0 12.4 4.8
Algebraic Factorization 7.6 31.7 36.6 18.6 5.5
sic geometry and trigonom11.5 26.9 38.5 14.6 8.5
6. High sch ool analy tic geometr y 9.0 31.7 31.0 18.6 9.7
7. Real number System 9.1 19.7 44.7 18.9 7.6
luding asymptotes, co nti13.2 27.6 35.2 20.6 3.4
Knowledge of specific properties of trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic functions21.8 30.4 36.8 8 .2 2.8
10. Knowledge and application of derivation and integra tion formulas 17.2 33.2 24.6 22.9 2.1
11. Geometrical interpretation of integral and derivati ve function s 10.6 36.3 33.1 18.6 1.4
12. Ability to i nterpret mathema t ic al problems 25.2 33.1 29.7 9.2 2.8
Practical application of mathem atical knowledg e27.6 31.5 26.9 11.9 2.1
14. Ability to establish problem - so lving stra tegies 22.1 33.8 30.1 11.9 2.1
Training oriented towards the direct application of mathe-
t of the curricu
Incorporating technological elements such as learning en-
tivities associated to math teaching.
ceptions, we learnt that failing math courses contributes, in
matical knowledge to problem solving.
Implementing recreational activities as par-
lum with the aim of improving the emotional aspect of
vironments, CD-ROMs, simulations and multimedia con-
tents in ac
Another interesting result is that, according to lecturers’ per-
Figure 2.
Availability of computer equipment and peripherals in the classroom.
Figure 3.
Technological educational resources and supplies teachers are interested in using.
some way, to undergraduan to drop out. To finish,
teachers were asked to com
cademic retardation in S & E programs. Almost 82% of the
y can use one or several learning strategies to
sign in mind. One successful example is the use of online
ich improve students’ attitudes
to and learning of math (Nguyen et al., 2006). The use of elec-
l have
tes’ decisio
ment on the high dropout rates and evaluations and laboratories, wh
lecturers recognized that these problems are directly associated
with difficulties students encounter in math courses. In an
open-ended question, they also mentioned students’ socioeco-
nomic backgrounds and the belief that students wrongfully
pursued S & E degrees as a result of inadequate pre-university
counseling and .
Therefore we believe in the need to motivate lecturers on the
use of new teaching methods that engage students in math
learning. Thus, the
velop learning activities that allow students to learn by doing,
so that they apply their knowledge to solving real-life problems.
The latter, teachers’ positive attitudes on using technology in
education reported by some authors (Bouvier, 2011; Chang et
al., 2011; Lazakidou, 2010; Montaser et al., 2012) coincide
with the results from this work, indicates there is a great op-
portunity to enhance the math curricula through the inclusion of
alternative activities supported by educational software, se-
lected with the educational objectives of the instructional de-
tronic learning environments in the classroom is an alternative
that has been constantly evolving and improving, which pro-
vides an opportunity for universities to promote their benefits
and promote their use within the academic community.
The survey developed in this study can be used to diagnose a
community of teachers’ perceptions on a variety of topics. In
this case, we evaluated the perception of a sample of math lec-
turers from all over the country. However, we believe it can be
applied to the teachers of any academic institution to get a feel
for the community’s perceptions. Thus, policy makers wil
valuable tool with which to diagnose their teaching staff,
identify issues that are important to them, as well as specific
areas to attend.
An example of a project that could have benefited of having
this type of information is the “First World Class Project” (as it
was called by several politicians in Mexico) Enciclomedia. The
project had an initial budget of 2 thousand million dollars, but
only a quarter of that was actually used before it was suspended
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 45
in 2006 (SEP, 2006) because of poor or nonexistent academic
ess. Including an overall
reveal meaningful insights on a se-
ries of indicators of acs that hinder advance-
ment in university-levelience and Engineering.
de-Arechiga et al., 2012).
many developing
in an undergraduate mathematics course. Computers & Education,
sults (Elizondo Huerta et al., 2006). A basic study (e.g.
Galaviz-Ferman, et al., 2006; Lopez-Morteo et al., 2007) could
have given basic information that could have prevented the
catastrophic collapse of the project.
In contrast the project PIAC (Interactive Platform for Learn-
ing Calculus), designed to help overcome the difficulties asso-
ciated to learning Calculus (Andrade-Arechiga et al., 2012) was
developed and implemented in accordance with the results pre-
sented here. The results have shown positive effects of PIAC on
different aspects of the learning proc
ceptance of the platform as well as significant positive atti-
tudes and motivation towards the learning of Calculus (Andrade-
Arechiga, et al., 2012).
Mexico can be considered as a case study for a large number
of countries that fail to produce sufficient quality human re-
sources in S & E. The data collected from 145 Mexican univer-
sity mathematics lecturers
ademic problem
education in Sc
hey express the opinion that their students have not developed
conceptual thinking and modeling skills or basic mathematical
competencies. The fact that a vast majority of university math
teachers think that their students possess limited knowledge of
basic (late elementary to high school level) mathematic con-
cepts and lack minimal mathematical skills is alarming, but not
completely surprising. It is common practice to trace students’
math knowledge deficiencies and weaknesses to previous edu-
cational levels. Due to cultural and social similarities, small
variants of the scenario shown here can be found in other places,
especially many in Latin America.
In order to mitigate the problem it is natural to think that ef-
forts should be directed toward the use of innovative teaching
materials including IT as learning alternatives to help in the
learning and teaching process. VEAD type information can
serve as the building blocks of the IT based educational setting
such as in the PIAC project (Andra
nfortunately, in many IT in education initiatives, no regard is
given to this type of information. This is especially critical
when technology is imported from a place where basic educa-
tional needs have long been fulfilled. In some cases the intro-
duction of alien technology in the educational system will only
serve to expose the educational problems.
The type of information that was collected, any other pro-
duced with the goal of identifying critical problems in the
learning-teaching process and the type of learning outcomes
that are expected from the IT implementation will prove useful
in the software design and developmental processes and crucial
to the educational results. Nevertheless, in
untries, more research, development, and implementations
are required to establish general guidelines for the design and
development of software and content, as well as the methodo-
logical aspects of its implementation in the classroom.
Andrade-Arechiga, M., Lopez, G., & Lopez-Morteo, G. (2012). As-
sessing effectiveness of learning units under the teaching unit model
59, 594-606.
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Ar de Licenciatura en Universidades e Institutos Tec-
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for first college mathem
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