Learning experiences of students in a general education course in mathematics
Keywords:Lived Experiences, Mathematics in the Modern World, Qualitative Design, Viewpoint in Learning
Providing students the avenue to express themselves and how they view their course learning is essential to motivate them and build their confidence to learn. Many studies were already conducted on the student's perception of the course using quantitative methods to determine the factors contributing to the enhancement and development of educational programs. The course's learning experiences are not well-known. Hence, the researchers conducted an in-depth analysis of the learning experiences of students in a general education course in Mathematics. By using a descriptive qualitative design, this study involved interviews with ten students pursuing the nursing course. Using semi-structured interviews, questions on perceptions, feelings, and thoughts about the general education course -- Mathematics in the Modern World – were asked from the student participants. Consequently, to analyze the data, the researchers made use of a thematic approach. Based on the in-depth analysis, the student's learning experiences can be summarized in two major themes: appreciation and criticism of the course. Some students appreciate the course because it is enjoyable, educative, helpful, and good. They also viewed the course as an essential subject in college. Others criticize the course stressing it was confusing, boring, and difficult. Because of the technical elements and analytical skills, the participants were confused and had trouble learning the course. Accordingly, this aspect must be considered in the course design, educational programs, and curriculum enhancement.