Languaging and conceptual understanding in engineering mathematics


  • Kirsi-Maria Rinneheimo Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland
  • Sami Suhonen Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland



languaging, mathematics, engineering, conceptual understanding


The ability to apply mathematical concepts and procedures in relevant contexts in engineering subjects sets the fundamental basis for the mathematics competencies in engineering education. Among the plethora of digital techniques and tools arises a question: Do the students gain a deep and conceptual enough understanding of mathematics that they are able to apply mathematical concepts in engineering studies? This paper introduces the use of languaging exercises in the engineering mathematics course ‘Differential Calculus’ during the spring semester 2020, at Tampere University of Applied Sciences, TAMK. In this study, the students’ conceptual understanding and learning of differential calculus is researched. In the learning process, the languaging method is used to deepen the conceptual understanding of the concepts of differential calculus. Pre-test/post-test setup was used to see the possible gain in conceptual understanding. During the course, students did online assignments, which included languaging exercises. Students described the concepts of differential calculus using natural language, pictures, or a combination of them. The students were also asked to fill in a self-evaluation form to collect their perception of their own knowledge of mathematical skills. Mid-term and final exams summarized the acquired knowledge. The study aimed to enhance the learning outcomes and to gain a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts by exploiting the languaging method.


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How to Cite

Rinneheimo, K.-M., & Suhonen, S. (2022). Languaging and conceptual understanding in engineering mathematics. LUMAT: International Journal on Math, Science and Technology Education, 10(2), 171–189.