Vol.8, No.4, November 2019.                                                                                                                                                                           ISSN: 2217-8309

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        eISSN: 2217-8333


TEM Journal



Association for Information Communication Technology Education and Science

Student’s Learning Obstacles on Mathematical Understanding of a Function: A Case Study in Indonesia

Higher Education


Ukhti Raudhatul Jannah, Toto Nusantara, Sudirman, Sisworo, Faisal Estu Yulianto, Mohammad Amiruddin


© 2019 Ukhti Raudhatul Jannah, published by UIKTEN. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Citation Information: TEM Journal. Volume 8, Issue 4, Pages 1409-1417, ISSN 2217-8309, DOI: 10.18421/TEM84-44, November 2019.


Received: 11 May 2019.

Revised:   05 October 2019.
Accepted:  19 October 2019.
Published: 30 November 2019.




This study aims to investigate conceptual understanding based on the cognitive process and to describe the learning obstacles faced by students to digest the notion of definition of a function. For this purpose, a case study is conducted by involving three undergraduate students of mathematics education program as the subjects. One is a second semester student (M1), and the other two are a sixth semester student (M2) and eighth semester student (M3), respectively. The data are collected using observation, tests, and interviews. We found that M1's process level of cognitive is in remembering. M1 experienced didactical, cognitive, and epistemological obstacles; M2's process level of cognition is in remembering and understanding, which reveals cognitive and epistemological obstacles; M3's process level of cognition is in remembering, which shows cognitive and epistemological obstacles. The results are definitely important to improve the process of teaching and learning at universities.This result is used as an evaluation material for students to be at the Analysis stage in terms of Bloom's taxonomy level. Thus, it will serve as a material for the lecturers to deliver the concept of function emphasizing on formal definition and representation.


Keywords – conceptual understanding, cognitive process, learning obstacles, definition of a function, Bloom's taxonomy level.



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