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A large number of engineering undergraduates being their third level education with significant deficiencies in their core mathematical skills. Every year, in the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) , a diagnostic test is given to incoming first year students, consistently revealing problems in basic mathematics. It is difficult to motivate many students to seek help in the Maths Learning Centre to address these problems. As a result, they struggle through several years of engineering, carrying a serious handicap of poor core mathematical skills, as confirmed by exploratory testing of final year students

In order to improve these skills in engineering students a pilot project was set up in which a ‘module’ in core mathematics was developed. The course material was basic, but a grate of 90% or higher was required to pass the module. Students were allowed to repeat the module as often as they liked until they passed. An automated examination for this module was developed on Web courses, and a bank of questions created for it. Initially this project was piloted in the third year Ordinary Degree mathematics module in Mechanical Engineering in the DIT, where it proved very successful. Subsequently, the pilot project was extended to five Ordinary Degree engineering programmes in DIT, across three different year groups.