TitleTracing student's mathematical identity in an online synchronous environment
NameO'Hara, Kate (author), Powell, Arthur B (chair), Maher, Carolyn A (internal member), Bairral, Marcelo A (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education,
Synchronous data transmission systems,
Mathematics--Study and teaching--Psychological aspects,
DescriptionThere is a need to research teaching practices that encourage student accountability and empowerment in the mathematics classroom. Researchers’ have investigated students’ mathematical identity in the classroom; however, none have examined students’ mathematical identity in an online environment. With the increased demand for online courses, it is important that we understand how students’ mathematical identity can be affected in a synchronous computer networked classroom The research project, eMath, observed several students’ mathematical behavior over the course of one school year, conducted during their regular class time, as they worked on mathematics, collaboratively, in a virtual environment. This study focused on tracing the evolution of students’ mathematical identity as they worked in a collaborative team solving open-ended mathematical tasks. The data for this dissertation include the transcripts of students online written discussions and whiteboard activity from one team of four boys as they solved five combinatorial tasks, as well as researcher notes recorded during the sessions and afterward taken during weekly meetings of the research group. Analysis of the data revealed that the students displayed accountability to the community, accountability to the mathematics, and empowerment. As they worked in small groups to solve open-ended mathematics problems they shifted away from individual competitive work to more group cooperation and collaboration. The study shows that students achieving accountability in mathematics can be an empowering experience and may affect their mathematical identity in the sense that they develop a stronger relationship with the subject of mathematics. This study contributes to mathematics education research by providing mathematics educators with a better understanding of how approaches to learning online can offer students new opportunities to expand their mathematical identity.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Kate O’Hara
CollectionGraduate School of Education Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.