International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education

International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education
Analysis of Students’ Errors and Misconceptions in Solving Linear Ordinary Differential Equations Using the Method of Laplace Transform
APA
In-text citation: (Msomi & Bansilal, 2022)
Reference: Msomi, A. M., & Bansilal, S. (2022). Analysis of Students’ Errors and Misconceptions in Solving Linear Ordinary Differential Equations Using the Method of Laplace Transform. International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education, 17(1), em0670. https://doi.org/10.29333/iejme/11474
AMA
In-text citation: (1), (2), (3), etc.
Reference: Msomi AM, Bansilal S. Analysis of Students’ Errors and Misconceptions in Solving Linear Ordinary Differential Equations Using the Method of Laplace Transform. INT ELECT J MATH ED. 2022;17(1), em0670. https://doi.org/10.29333/iejme/11474
Chicago
In-text citation: (Msomi and Bansilal, 2022)
Reference: Msomi, Alfred Mvunyelwa, and Sarah Bansilal. "Analysis of Students’ Errors and Misconceptions in Solving Linear Ordinary Differential Equations Using the Method of Laplace Transform". International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education 2022 17 no. 1 (2022): em0670. https://doi.org/10.29333/iejme/11474
Harvard
In-text citation: (Msomi and Bansilal, 2022)
Reference: Msomi, A. M., and Bansilal, S. (2022). Analysis of Students’ Errors and Misconceptions in Solving Linear Ordinary Differential Equations Using the Method of Laplace Transform. International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education, 17(1), em0670. https://doi.org/10.29333/iejme/11474
MLA
In-text citation: (Msomi and Bansilal, 2022)
Reference: Msomi, Alfred Mvunyelwa et al. "Analysis of Students’ Errors and Misconceptions in Solving Linear Ordinary Differential Equations Using the Method of Laplace Transform". International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education, vol. 17, no. 1, 2022, em0670. https://doi.org/10.29333/iejme/11474
Vancouver
In-text citation: (1), (2), (3), etc.
Reference: Msomi AM, Bansilal S. Analysis of Students’ Errors and Misconceptions in Solving Linear Ordinary Differential Equations Using the Method of Laplace Transform. INT ELECT J MATH ED. 2022;17(1):em0670. https://doi.org/10.29333/iejme/11474

Abstract

Laplace transform (LT) is an essential mathematical tool for solving linear ordinary differential equations (ODE) with boundary values, by transforming differential equation into algebraic equations which are easier to manipulate. In this article, we analyse the errors students make and misconceptions they have in solving linear ODE using LT method. The study participants were 81 students enrolled in an engineering mathematics course at a University of Technology in South Africa. The students’ responses to an item based on LT which formed part of an assessment, were analysed. The analysis identified three stages of working that were necessary to reach a solution (introduction of LT and simplification; resolution of expressions using partial fractions (PF); carrying out the inverse LT and manipulations). Within each stage, we distinguished between three types of errors (conceptual, procedural and technical). The results showed that students experienced most problems when working in the PF layer because of the poor background in manipulation of algebraic expressions. It is recommended that students are given opportunities to develop fluency in pre-requisite concepts, so that their efforts at solving problems using LT or other advanced mathematics techniques can be less stressful.

Disclosures

Declaration of Conflict of Interest: No conflict of interest is declared by author(s).

Data sharing statement: Data supporting the findings and conclusions are available upon request from the corresponding author(s).

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