Academics' perceptions of the use and relevance of software in quantitative and financial disciplines

Timothy Kyng*, Leonie Tickle, Leigh Wood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Software may be used in university teaching both to enhance student learning of discipline-content knowledge and skills, and to equip students with capabilities that will be useful in their future careers. Although research has indicated that software may be used as an effective way of engaging students and enhancing learning in certain scenarios, relatively little is known about academic practices with regard to the use of software more generally or about the extent to which this software is subsequently used by graduates in the workplace. This article reports on the results of a survey of academics in quantitative and financial disciplines, which is part of a broader study also encompassing recent graduates and employers. Results indicate that a variety of software packages are in widespread use in university programmes in quantitative and financial disciplines. Most surveyed academics believe that the use of software enhances learning and enables students to solve otherwise intractable problems. A majority also rate spreadsheet skills in particular as very important for the employability of graduates. A better understanding of the use of software in university teaching points the way to how curricula can be revised to enhance learning and prepare graduates for professional work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-231
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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