Technology, Effective Characteristics, and Mathematics in Elementary and Middle School Students

Objective

Examine existing literature to explore effective characteristics and achievement when using technology in mathematics for elementary and middle school students.

 

The purpose of this three year project was to examine the existing literature to investigate the outcomes of effective characteristics and achievement when using technology in mathematics for elementary and middle school students. Two primary studies are included in this research (1) a comprehensive literature review and (2) a meta-analysis to address our primary research questions. The initial electronic database search resulted in 12,922 articles. After narrowing down the search to meet our inclusion criteria roughly 80 articles remained across both studies. A third study is underway to examine additional student constructs including metacognition, motivation, and engagement.

 

Primary Researchers

  • Jacqueline Huscroft-D’Angelo
  • Kristina Higgins

 

Defining Mathematical Reasoning

Objective

To explore and operationally define types of mathematical reasoning present in elementary students.

Project Description

This project is to examine mathematical reasoning in elementary students in order to operationally define types of reasoning. For the last two years our team has worked to better understand the reasoning of elementary students in mathematics. Our primary focus has been on students in grades 3-6. Two primary studies have been conducted to meet this objective. Study 1 consisted of two phases and used a sample of students performing below the 35th percentile (N = 105) and Study 2 consisted of students in the general education population (= 418).

Study 1 used two separate analyses to examine types of reasoning that emerged based on student responses (N = 1,928) to a psychometrically validated measure of mathematical reasoning for Whole Number and Fraction items. In the first phase of Study 1 a cluster analysis was performed on 36 categories of student strategies, and the data dispersed into three clusters. Based on these results and a review of the literature on reasoning, the research team created a set of operational definitions encompassing three types of reasoning: (1) faulty reasoning, (2) algorithmic reasoning, and (3) plausible reasoning.

Study 2 was conducted to examine the reasoning of a larger, more diverse population. We replicated the cluster analysis performed in Study 1 conducted on the 36 reasoning strategies to determine the findings from Study 2 were comparable. Findings from this study were promising for our proposed categories and provide initial evidence in the development process of an evaluation tool for assessing students’ mathematical reasoning intended for research and practical application.

Research Team

  • Lindy Crawford
  • Jacqueline Huscroft-D’Angelo

Graduate Student Researchers

  • Hannah Alvis
  • Madeline Cranford
  • Pei Pei Gong
  • Shelley Shirley
  • Shayla Sigler

Project VISIBLE: Validating Implementation of Secondary Instructional Behaviors in Literacy and English

Overview

This observational research study of 6 high school teachers will systematically catalogue “typical practice” in ninth-grade English classes for the purpose of increasing knowledge in the field of adolescent literacy, identifying new avenues of intervention development, and supporting administrator walk-through and coaching tool development. The study uses momentary time sampling (MTS) to observe teachers of Basic and Honors English classes across three different high schools representing Connecticut’s diverse socioeconomics.

Funded Research

University of Connecticut

Research Team

  • Michael Faggella-Luby,Ph.D.

Graduate Student Researchers

  • Yan Wei
  • Keith McLaren

Presentations

Wei, Y. , Lombardi, A., & Faggella-Luby, M. (2015, February). Investigation of an embedded planning tool for tier-three literacy planning and instruction. Poster presented at The Pacific Coast Research Conference, San Diego, CA.

Faggella-Luby, M., Wei, Y., & McLaren, K. (2013, October). Project VISIBLE: Validating implementation of secondary instructional behaviors in literacy and English. Poster presented at the Council for Learning Disabilities 35th International Conference, Austin, TX.

Learning Mathematics Online

Objective

Research teaching and learning of mathematics in technology-based environments

Project Description

The ANSERS Institute is engaged in a five-year collaborative research project with the Center for Applied Technology in Education at the University of Oregon. We are currently in our final year of this project. Our research is focused on the teaching and learning of mathematics in technology-based environments. In years 1-3 of this project our research teams investigated students’ use of “electronic support tools” available to them via technology. Descriptive data collected on students’ electronic tool use during the first three years of the project led us to study, more specifically, how students used these tools to communicate about mathematics. Therefore, in year 4 of this project we studied student use of a digital notepad and a peer-mediated “wall” embedded in the Math Learning Companion (an online mathematics curriculum previously developed through a different research grant). We found, in year 4, that students used these online writing environments to support and enhance mathematical reasoning. Thus, in the fifth and final year of the project we are investigating the effects of a teacher-led fractions intervention on the mathematical reasoning of students as supported through a technology-rich writing environment.

Funded Research:

University of Oregon (MeTRC; $700,000)

Research Team

  • Dr. Lindy Crawford (principal investigator)
  • Dr. Jacqueline D’Angelo (project manager)
  • Dr. Kristina Higgins (lead statistician)
  • Dr. Sarah Quebec-Fuentes (content expert)

Graduate Student Researchers

  • Shayla Sigler
  • Pei Pei Gong
  • Hannah Alvis

Presentations