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Appears in:
Pages: 8242-8248
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0524

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

EVALUATING THE VISUALIZATION TOOL SIMREAL TO SUPPORT THE LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS: A CASE STUDY IN TEACHER EDUCATION

S. Hadjerrouit

University of Agder (NORWAY)
The aim of this study is to evaluate SimReal to support the learning of mathematics in teacher education. The evaluation framework draws on five main criteria: Technical usability, pedagogical usability, mathematical content, assessment, and adapted education. A survey questionnaire with open-ended questions was used to collect data. Recommendations are suggested to improve the design and use of the tool to better suit the specificities of teacher education. SimReal is a new visualization tool used to teach a wide range of mathematical topics at the university level, but the suitability of the tool has not yet been evaluated in teacher education. SimReal uses video lessons, video live streaming, and interactive simulations. It provides about 5000 exercises in various areas of mathematics (Brekke, & Hogstad, 2011). The basic idea of SimReal is that visualizations are powerful mechanisms for learning mathematics and explaining difficult topics. Visualization is the ability to use pictures, graphs, animations, images, and diagrams with the purpose of advancing understandings (Arcavi, 2003). The specificities of teacher education require that SimReal is both technically and pedagogical usable. Moreover, SimReal should be mathematically correct, and help students gain knowledge that is otherwise difficult to acquire. Furthermore, formative assessment in terms of feedback should be considered to support the learning process. In terms of evaluation, the study draws on technical usability as defined by Nielsen (1993), which is a self-evident requirement for any digital tool in education. In many cases, however, the technical usability of a particular tool does not always result in pedagogical opportunities, which will only be visible when an explicit pedagogy guides the use of the tool in classroom (Burden & Atkinson, 2008). Nokelainen (2006) expanded the concept of usability to include pedagogical usability issues, such as learner autonomy, collaboration, variation, motivation, and differentiation. In addition, the assessment dimension in terms of feedback is crucial for the quality of SimReal. Another criterion is the correctness of mathematical concepts (Bokhove, & Drijvers, 2010). Finally, the evaluation considers the requirement of adapted education and the concretization of the mathematics subject curriculum. The study involved 22 teacher students taking the course on digital tools in mathematics education. None of the students had any prior experience with SimReal. The study used a survey questionnaire with open-ended questions to collect data. Teaching activities included basic, elementary and advanced mathematics. The results show that SimReal shows potential for learning mathematics that is suited to the students’ knowledge level. SimReal is technically well designed in terms of visualizations and management facilities, and it covers a wide range of mathematical topics. Likewise, the content is correct and reflects the underlying properties of mathematics. Furthermore, SimReal is pedagogically usable in terms of motivation, supplement to lectures and textbooks, variation in teaching, and multiple representations of mathematics. As a result, SimReal in its present form can be used to teach and learn mathematics in teacher education, but not on a regular basis. There is also a need for some didactical functionalities such as appropriate feedback and differentiation in order for SimReal to become an integral part of teacher education.
@InProceedings{HADJERROUIT2017EVA,
author = {Hadjerrouit, S.},
title = {EVALUATING THE VISUALIZATION TOOL SIMREAL TO SUPPORT THE LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS: A CASE STUDY IN TEACHER EDUCATION},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.0524},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.0524},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {8242-8248}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Hadjerrouit
TI - EVALUATING THE VISUALIZATION TOOL SIMREAL TO SUPPORT THE LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS: A CASE STUDY IN TEACHER EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0524
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 8242
EP - 8248
ER -
S. Hadjerrouit (2017) EVALUATING THE VISUALIZATION TOOL SIMREAL TO SUPPORT THE LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS: A CASE STUDY IN TEACHER EDUCATION, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 8242-8248.
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