Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 7(12), pp. 2693 - 2698
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2019.071216
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Students' Errors in Learning Elementary Group Theory: A Case Study of Mathematics Students at Andalas University

Yerizon 1,*, I Made Arnawa 2, Yanita 2, Bukti Ginting 2, Sri Nita 3
1 Department of Mathematics, Universitas Negeri Padang, Padang, Indonesia
2 Department of Mathematics, Universitas Andalas, Padang, Indonesia
3 Electrical Department, Politeknik Negeri Padang, Padang, Indonesia


This paper will discuss level of conceptual understanding of 18 mathematics students in learning elementary group theory during abstract algebra course 2016-2017 academic year at Andalas University. Participants were asked to answer three proof tests in relation to group theory. Students' solutions to the proof test were taken as the key source of data used to: (i) classify students to one of the four levels of conceptual understanding and (ii) analyze students errors in learning elementary group theory. One student for each level was interviewed to provide additional information about common students' errors on the proof task and to aid the process of understanding the underlying cause of these errors. The finding shows that: (1) Students' achievement in proof task is still problematic; (2) Most students have difficulties in verifying the existence of identity and inverse element; (3) Factors that contribute to errors in proof task are: lack of conceptual understanding and that student treated binary operations on a group as a binary operations on real numbers.

Students' Errors, Conceptual Understanding, Elementary Group Theory

Cite this paper
Yerizon , I Made Arnawa , Yanita , Bukti Ginting , Sri Nita . "Students' Errors in Learning Elementary Group Theory: A Case Study of Mathematics Students at Andalas University." Universal Journal of Educational Research 7.12 (2019) 2693 - 2698. doi: 10.13189/ujer.2019.071216.