About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5342-5349
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

PYTHAGORAS' SCHOOL REVIVED: COLLABORATIVE LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS SUPPORTED BY LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL

R. Lachmy1, Y. Amir1, S. Azmon2, Y. Elran1, M. Kesner1

1Davidson Institute of Science Education, Weizmann Institute of Science (ISRAEL)
2Levinsky College of Education (ISRAEL)
This paper demonstrates how we adapted the Moodle learning management system and its threaded discussion forum to design a computer supported collaborative learning environment for studying mathematics in secondary school. Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is increasingly being adapted by schools as an educational environment. Internet-forums are well-used and widespread. In math classes, both are used for individual non-collaborative work: forums are used by the teacher for delivering instructions or providing the students with mathematical assistance; Moodle is most commonly used for delivering digital data to students and receiving individual assignments from students.

To modify Moodle into a collaborative learning environment, we designed an inquiry geometrical activity based on curricular content, which consisted of five tasks dealing with the same geometrical situation. An appropriate applet was designed using the Geogebra dynamic geometry software, in order to raise and test conjectures. In Moodle, students were directed to a forum in which the geometrical situation and the applet were presented. Each thread of the forum consisted of one task and students were instructed to discuss the task, reach a consensus and submit a collective summary of their findings. Thirty one 9th grade students participated in this activity for four weeks, mostly after school time. They were divided randomly into three groups, and could communicate only within their group. The teacher assisted the students with technical problems and could post comments on their work in the forum. During that period, students posted their contributions in the forum and shared geometrical drawings and PowerPoint and Geogebra files.

We observed that despite minimal intervention of the teacher, students gained a meaningful mathematics experience: exploring the geometrical situation, they raised conjectures and looked for explanations or proofs while sharing and discussing their work with others. In the online feedback conducted at the end of the activity, the students reported positive and meaningful learning experience, which was different in comparison with their regular experience of studying mathematics at home and in classroom. They emphasized the opportunity to collaborate meaningfully with their peers: reading each other's replies, comparing answers and modifying their own answers.

Our experience shows a possible way to use widespread and available web tools and software to create a collaborative learning environment based on curricular mathematical content in which students can be engaged in inquiry-based and meaningful learning.
@InProceedings{LACHMY2012PYT,
author = {Lachmy, R. and Amir, Y. and Azmon, S. and Elran, Y. and Kesner, M.},
title = {PYTHAGORAS' SCHOOL REVIVED: COLLABORATIVE LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS SUPPORTED BY LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {5342-5349}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Lachmy AU - Y. Amir AU - S. Azmon AU - Y. Elran AU - M. Kesner
TI - PYTHAGORAS' SCHOOL REVIVED: COLLABORATIVE LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS SUPPORTED BY LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 5342
EP - 5349
ER -
R. Lachmy, Y. Amir, S. Azmon, Y. Elran, M. Kesner (2012) PYTHAGORAS' SCHOOL REVIVED: COLLABORATIVE LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS SUPPORTED BY LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL, EDULEARN12 Proceedings, pp. 5342-5349.
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