Enhancing the Mathematics Skills of Students Enrolled in Introductory Engineering Courses: Eliminating the Gap in Incoming Academic Preparation

  • Patricia A. Tolley
  • Catherine M. Blat
  • Christopher R. McDaniel
  • Donald B. Blackmon
  • David C. Royster
Keywords: engineering, mathematics, problem-solving, freshman


Several studies strongly support the relationship between mathematics performance and retention of engineering students. There is also substantial evidence that nationally almost half of college freshmen could benefit from some mathematics remediation. The purpose of this study was to determine if the use of WeBWorK as an instructional technology enhanced the mathematics skills of students enrolled in introductory engineering and engineering technology courses. Differences in mathematics performance of three intact groups were investigated with predicted freshman year grade point average as the covariate. Results suggest that WeBWorK helped eliminate the gap in incoming academic preparation between engineering and engineering technology users. Feedback from students indicates that WeBWorK is a valuable tool for refreshing basic mathematics skills and enhancing mathematics self-confidence.