COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Department of Mathematics and Statistics
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Mathematics Colloquium: A Framework for Analyzing Mathematical Discourse


4:10 p.m. CUE 114

Libby Knott

Abstract: Mathematical discourse – what we say and how we say it, both as students and as teachers – affects the learning and teaching in any mathematics classroom. Discourse becomes particularly critical in an on-line or blended class environment where discourse is asynchronous. This kind of learning environment allows both students and teachers the time to think about issues, prepare answers and solutions to questions. These are some of the documented benefits of an on-line class that confirms the potential of this kind of teaching. As a follow-up to a discourse analysis framework that I and several colleagues have devised to help describe and analyze mathematical discourse in general, I have extended this framework to apply in the analysis of discourse in on-line environments. This new framework allows us to research the effectiveness of on-line environments in the teaching and learning of mathematics by categorizing student responses to discussions of mathematical problems, and is a first step towards assessing the quality of students’ learning as a function of the discourse they engage in during the class.