Maths anxiety over two campuses in a first year introductory quantitative skills subject at a regional Australian university – establishing a baseline.
AbstractMathematics anxiety is a well recognized and for many students a performance inhibiting impediment. As part of a larger study we establish a baseline of students’ maths anxiety at two campuses of a regional Australian University. Students’ gender, campus and preferred discipline, significantly affected anxiety. Student performance had a curvilinear relationship with mathematics evaluation anxiety, with students in the mid-range of evaluation anxiety obtaining the highest final grades. We found no relationship between overall anxiety or anxiety associated with mathematics learning. The many confounding variables that impact on student anxiety and performance make it difficult to identify the extent to which scores achieved on the different facets of Abbreviated Mathematics Anxiety Scale effects student’s final scores obtained in a compulsory first year quantitative skills subject. Nevertheless, in the face of competing solutions, a baseline has been established which at the very least raises an awareness of potential issues associated with maths anxiety, which, can in turn be used to guide suitable intervention processes.