Understanding of fraction and its application in unit conversions

Aiping Xu, George Lenton

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Many British university students lack confidence in manipulating fractions. In this paper, we take a detailed look into the difficulties that students are experiencing across disciplines. We also introduce a method on how to effectively convert units via manipulating fraction operations. Though this approach to unit conversions is widespread in the United States, particularly in the discipline of Chemistry, it is not well documented or applied within the UK Higher Education sector to the authors’ knowledge. The method has been frequently used by the authors in Coventry's Mathematics Support Centre with very positive feedback.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalMSOR Connections
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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  • Fraction
  • Unit conversions
  • Mathematics support


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