Sources for learning mathematics in undergraduate university courses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Seven sources for learning mathematics utilized by undergraduate students are identified and their relative contributions to students’ learning are evaluated. Results show that the three major contributors to students’ learning, arranged in decreasing order of importance are: (1) the class textbook; (2) the teacher; and (3) friends and relatives serving as tutors. A good teacher serves as the main provider of students’ knowledge. If the teacher is poor, the class textbook becomes the primary source for students’ learning and the weight of tutoring increases significantly. Students in more advanced courses use more textbook and tutorial help from mathematicians and less help from friends and relatives than do students in the first courses of the calculus sequence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-380
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1984


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