Nipissing University (CANADA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 6018-6022
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Overview of the Project
This paper provides an overview of an in-progress research study involving children, their parents, and their teachers. These stakeholders are participating in a mobile learning initiative whereby students are equipped with immediate access to assistance for mathematics homework through the use of mobile devices. Quick Response codes (QR codes) are used to provide a direct link to multimedia resources that offer visual and audio support to students and parents during homework efforts. The QR codes also provide immediate feedback to teachers, potentially affecting classroom practices. This research study is investigating the affects of just-in-time mathematics homework support, mediated by mobile devices, on students, parents, and teachers in the following manner:
• Students: motivation, attitude, and efficiency with regards to homework
• Parents: conceptual understanding of school mathematics; engagement in their children’s schooling experiences; effects on the family dynamic.
• Teachers: understanding of student homework habits and how this understanding impacts classroom practices.

The principles and efficacy of homework have been contested for many years. This research can add to the literature and act as a measuring stick to create a more meaningful homework experience for children (and parents). Empowered by mobile devices, students may be able to expedite the homework process and at the same time have increased confidence and motivation towards mathematics. This may also provide time for the students to engage in other areas of meaningful interactions such as social and leisure activities, extracurricular, and/or family time.
Many difficulties between parent and child at home are due to conflict over homework. This conflict may be due in part to parents’ inability to assist when their child experiences difficulty with understanding the content. This study is significant in that it attempts to provide parents an opportunity to actively gain a greater awareness of the teaching and learning that takes place within their children’s classroom. The knowledge gained through mobile mediated learning has the potential to translate into more effective assistance with students’ homework. The support videos will ensure consistency and continuity between the classroom mathematics and mathematics homework.
Often teachers feel an obligation to review all assigned homework questions unaware of which posed difficulty to students. This research offers a mechanism to inform teachers about the specific questions (concepts) troubling their students. Armed with this information, there is potential to transform teaching practices.

Research Questions
Through the establishment of a mobile learning (m-learning) environment designed to support children’s mathematics homework endeavours, supported by QR codes, this research proposes to investigate the following research questions:
• To what extent does the utilization of m-learning for mathematics homework impact student motivation and efficiency?
• To what extent does m-learning impact parental awareness, knowledge and involvement in their children’s mathematics homework?
• How does data provided by the m-learning environment impact teacher practices?
Mobile learning, mathematics pedagogy, teacher practice.