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Appears in:
Pages: 337-345
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

USING LITERATURE ARTICLES IN AN ONLINE DISCUSSION BOARD ENVIRONMENT TO PROMOTE MATHEMATICAL DIALOGUE AND UNDERSTANDING FOR TEACHING

E. Johnson

St. John Fisher College (UNITED STATES)
The use of online discussion boards to facilitate mathematical dialogue has become an increasingly popular pedagogical tool. They are replete with opportunities to advance students' mathematical thinking and communication. The electronic platform provides a vehicle for promoting mathematical discourse in many educational settings, ranging from traditional classrooms to distance learning courses. The author has been using mathematics education literature articles in courses for prospective elementary teachers with varying success. Student feedback collected has ranged from a general 3-2-1 reflection to responses to directed questions paired with the assigned article. In the latter model, question sets were designed for each article as a means to increase relevance for students and to evoke more mathematically rich student dialogue. The rationale for using content-based educational resource readings supplemented by directed questions was twofold. First the intent was to expose students to some of the available literature in order to increase their value for professional reading. Second was to facilitate a higher level of mathematical discourse and reasoning. Specifically, the educational objectives of the literature article reading and writing assignment were to develop students’ mathematical discourse and to assess students’ mathematical understanding – in the context of teaching. Unfortunately in a model where students submit their reflections to the instructor and the instructor returns the student work, the conversation too often ends there and involves at most two people. Online discussion boards are a natural platform for this assessment as the online environment can be used to continue the conversation and promote mathematical dialogue between the students. The delayed nature of the discussion boards means that students have time to organize their thoughts and ideas before publishing their comments. This allows for more reflection that can serve to improve their writing and the quality of their mathematical reasoning and critical thinking. Peer to peer learning is enhanced as students are learning from one another as well as from the teacher. Each student has the same opportunity to contribute to the discussion.

In this paper a preliminary progress report on the use of online discussion board as a medium for prospective elementary teachers’ discussion of mathematics teacher literature articles will be given. An introductory background and impetus as well as a brief discussion of the literature articles will be included. The adaptation of mathematics education literature articles and question sets for use in an online discussion board environment as well as the preliminary results will be presented. Lastly additional suggestions for adaptation as well as insights, successes, trials and tribulations, questions and proposed enhancements will be offered.


@InProceedings{JOHNSON2009USI,
author = {Johnson, E.},
title = {USING LITERATURE ARTICLES IN AN ONLINE DISCUSSION BOARD ENVIRONMENT TO PROMOTE MATHEMATICAL DIALOGUE AND UNDERSTANDING FOR TEACHING},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {337-345}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Johnson
TI - USING LITERATURE ARTICLES IN AN ONLINE DISCUSSION BOARD ENVIRONMENT TO PROMOTE MATHEMATICAL DIALOGUE AND UNDERSTANDING FOR TEACHING
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 337
EP - 345
ER -
E. Johnson (2009) USING LITERATURE ARTICLES IN AN ONLINE DISCUSSION BOARD ENVIRONMENT TO PROMOTE MATHEMATICAL DIALOGUE AND UNDERSTANDING FOR TEACHING, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 337-345.
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