Collaborative Research: Extending Inquiry-Oriented Linear Algebra

Project: Research project

Project Details


Collaborative Research: Extending Inquiry-Oriented Linear Algebra Collaborative Research: Extending Inquiry-Oriented Linear Algebra Over the past eleven years, members of our team have researched the teaching and learning of linear algebra - an important course for STEM majors due to its wide applicability in a variety of fields. This began in 2007 with a project focused on students transition from intuitive to more formal ways of reasoning. Based in that work, we began developing the Inquiry-Oriented Linear Algebra (IOLA) curricular materials in 2013. Inquiry-oriented instruction is a form of active learning in which students contribute to the reinvention of important mathematical ideas. Students learn mathematics through inquiry as they work on challenging problems that engage them in authentic mathematical practices, and instructors engage in inquiry by listening to student ideas and using student thinking to advance the mathematical agenda of the classroom community (Rasmussen & Kwon, 2007). The IOLA materials currently consist of a three-unit set of linear algebra task sequences that include instructor support materials for faculty interested in incorporating inquiry into their pedagogical approach. The previously funded projects have demonstrated success that suggests a need to extend the reach of the materials in terms of course content and impact. Building from the foundation of our prior work, the overarching objectives of our proposed project, Extending Inquiry-Oriented Linear Algebra (IOLA-X), are captured in four project goals: 1. Curriculum products: We will create four new instructional units that integrate with and complement the existing IOLA materials. The addition of the new units will allow the IOLA materials to constitute a complete semester-long course for introductory linear algebra. 2. Instructional support: We will create instructional support materials for the new units. We will also enhance the existing instructional support materials on the IOLA website to help instructors use the IOLA materials and build a course for their needs from the units and material available. 3. Research: We will create new knowledge regarding what is known about student thinking and effective inquiry-oriented instructional practices in linear algebra. This new knowledge will be created through the pursuit of the project research questions. 4. Outreach: We will foster inquiry-oriented instructional practices in undergraduate mathematics through the propagation of the IOLA materials to an increased number and diverse set of instructors and universities.
Effective start/end date10/1/199/30/23


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $164,597.00


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