Perspectives and reflections on teaching linear algebra
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionRensaa, R. J., Hogstad, N. M. & Monaghan, J. D. (2020). Perspectives and reflections on teaching linear algebra. Teaching Mathematics and its Applications. doi: 10.1093/teamat/hraa002
This paper presents ‘expert opinions’ on what should be taught in a first-year linear algebra course at university; the aim is to gain a generic picture and general guiding principles for such a course. Drawing on a Delphi method, 14 university professors—called ‘experts’ in this study—addressed the following questions: What should be on a first-year linear algebra undergraduate course for engineering and/or mathematics students? How could such courses be taught? What tools (if any) are essential to these two groups of students? The results of the investigation, these experts’ opinions, mainly concern what should be in a linear algebra course (e.g. problem-solving and applications) and what students should be able to do. The experts also emphasized that certain theoretical aspects (e.g. proofs, abstract structures, definitions and relationships) were more important to mathematics students. There was no real consensus among the experts on teaching methods or the use of digital tools, but this lack of consensus is interesting in itself. The results are discussed in relation to extant research.