Designing a maths curriculum

Posted by sazali


I was assigned by my faculty to design a maths curriculum for the first year degree IT in an IT faculty beginning this Sept 2012. I got that job because of many reasons. First it must be about me got experience of teaching maths from the lower- upper- polytechnic - college university - now full fledge university ; and secondly, most probably I did my post doctoral studies on maths learning on the IT.

Ohhs .. designing that is not easy because the intakes comes from a broad discipline - i.e., polytechnics IT, ILP, matriculations (science, social studies and accounting) and kolej polytechMARA . Why?many students who could not get into mdicine and engineering ... these lucky n happy souls will be my prospective students. i.e.,
MOHE will put them in IT disciplines. Another catcy title ..he..he.. Intelligent Trading course. he..he.. since e-commerce is getting so popular nowadays. Great the sound , isn't it?

2) There are three types of mathematics for the degree IT program in this country n the whole world. They are calculus, discrete mathematics and statistics.

But we are asked to design these three hard but interesting topics within 2 semesters. So I try to put it as :

2.1 pre-algebra, algebra and calculus -- semester 1
statistics N operations research - semester II

the above is for the basic ICT degree (intake - arts, social studies n non-science disciplines)

2.2 statistics - semester I
Discrete Mathematics - semester II

this is for solid BSc Computer Science in many majors like networking, Information Sciences, Multimedia, web technology , computer security


So I think that is about all since 1 year we 2 academic semesters to work with. Each will last 15 weeks.

3) My question is why can't we plan the maths for 2 years. Such that they can learn more mathematics? I did my BSC Computer Science with 3 years mathematics. Every year I learnt the hard mathematics.

I don't know .. some where out of the blue in this country ( I suppose) one day perhaps a weird professor some where claimed that the new generation of ours had suddenly become so intelligent .. that they can learn his 3 year maths degree into just 1 solid year maths. Incredible!

Well it is very true that you do not need to differentiate and integrate to buy a cup of soup 'ekor lembu, kambing' or doing a top up credit to your hand set but .. i think it helps the budding stars to know more maths. Check our singaporean degree students year 1 and year 2. What n how much maths do they learn huh?

4) The next hurdle is about the medium of instruction. English versus Malaysian language. Even though many books are in english .. some students love to learn degree maths in Malaysian language. If we (teachers) teach maths using 2 , 3 languagses within 2 hours daily .. may be .. the amount/ depth of maths will be less as compared to some foreign lecturer in maths using english all the way in the private universities here. therefore ..the next dangerous issue is - has the maths becoming a bit softer (lembek) ? why should there be a shallow maths? we have pengkomputeran lembut nowadays. soft computing . komputer lembek? (laugh)

Last 2 days I ran Quiz 2 in maths classes. Looking at the answer scripts from student 1 to student 160 .. someone out there is finding it tough to handle maths with most english terminologies in discrete maths. Well, my hands are hold tight at my back. I work with the government. They ask me to teach in english .. with a bit of malay to help .. along the way. Catch up , if u can?

Ok I think that is all for day 1 .. me doing the syllabus/ curriculum. I am beginning to scratch my head now. Difficult ? we are directly mapping the knowledge of pure maths to the new students' so that they can survive well within their 3.5 years of stay in this university rather than they r mapped directly to the real maths knowledge per se. PERIOD!

Hopefully by 20th March ..the maths curriculum will look much more solid and 'mantap'. God Willingly.

Wallahu aklam.


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