The growth of the higher education population and different school paths to access an academic degree has increased the heterogeneity of students inside the classroom. Consequently, the effectiveness of traditional teaching methods has reduced. This paper describes the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a tutoring system (TS) to improve student’s engagement in higher mathematics. The TS design was based on the Personalized System of Instruction of the Mastery Learning pedagogical approach and can be implemented in any higher education course with mathematics needs. The TS consists on small self-paced modularized units of educational contents, including tutorial videos, notes and formative e-assessment with personalized feedback. The TS ensures that the student is only allowed to proceed to the next unit after he or she achieves the required mastery criterion of the current unit. The TS was implemented in the Quantitative Methods course of an undergraduate degree and received good acceptance from students. It was also recognized that TS contributed to learning and engagement with the discipline. Through an experimental research experience, it has been shown that the imposition of restrictions on the advance to the next level by a mastery criterion leads to a significant improvement in student’s engagement and performance.

Authors: Paiva RC, Ferreira MS, Frade MMS

Published in: Journal of Computer Assisted Learning

doi: 10.1111/jcal.12186