Support for first year students

INTRODUCTION

The support for new students has been a priority of the Department during the last decade. It has been recorded and verified that the new students’ background level in Maths and Physics differs considerably, depending on the type of Lyceum of graduation. Considerable differences are also detected among graduates from the same type of Lyceum, yet accepted in the Department after nation-wide examinations in different sets of subjects, according to the national university examination regulations.

On the other hand, the nature of studies in Electronics Engineering, as reflected by the nature of the field of Electronics per se, requires a certain level of knowledge and skilled use of ideas, notions, laws, methods and software tools in Maths and Physics – and this holds true throughout the duration of the studies. It has been verified that low level of competence in these subjects strongly discourages first year students and leads to prolonged studies; this in turn raise the average time for graduation. In the past, students have reached the point of abandoning their studies altogether because they sensed that they lack the tools to meet the requirements of higher semesters in Maths and Physics.

 

SUPPORT CLASSES ON AN OPTIONAL BASIS

For all these reasons, since 2012-13 the Department has set up Support Classes for new students in Maths and Physics. The aim of these classes is to homogenize the background knowledge of new students coming from the General or the Vocational Lyceum, so that they all possess equivalent resources in order to meet requirements of higher semester courses. Support classes are being offered since 2013-14, on a free elective basis. They are being taught by faculty teaching the regular Maths and Physics courses and they hold their own slots in the Weekly Instruction Plan so as not to coincide with other courses of 1st and 2nd semester. Information on Support Classes is delivered to new students every September, during the Welcome Meeting. Although participation in Support Classes has been limited up to now, results have shown that it is worth the effort. Consequently, the Department seeks to improve this process and enhance its effect on the students.

 

SUPPORT CLASSES FOLLOWING A DIAGNOSTIC TEST

In 2015-16, following a suggestion from the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Assembly of the Department has decided to convert Support Classes from free electives into compulsory activities, for students scoring below a certain threshold grade in specially designed diagnostic tests for background knowledge in Maths and Physics. Support Classes remain optional for students scoring above the threshold grade in the tests. Tests have been designed by the instructors of the regular Maths and Physics courses. They are offered on-line, only through departmental IP addresses, during the new students’ enrollment process in September. Tests are of short duration (15-20 min), they are graded automatically by the e-learning platform used to administer them and grades are electronically communicated to the Department Secretary. Although data from the results of this type of operation of Support Classes is not yet available, the Department strongly believes that it is to the great benefit of new students.

 

Review here a sample Diagnostic Test in Maths.

Contact us

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