A description and characterization of student activity in an open, online, mathematics help forum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Free, open, online, calculus forums are websites where students from around the world can post course-related queries that may be viewed and responded to by anonymous others. These sites are an emergent resource for students seeking help and have become a part of many students' mathematical experience. The purpose of this paper is to introduce and describe the forums to the research community as a computer-mediated form of help seeking, and to briefly characterize the forms of student activity in one popular calculus help forum. Two hundred exchanges on limit and related rates were collected and examined for evidence that students are contributing ideas and proposals for action when they initiate the exchange and following intervention. The findings justify the need for further research since students are using the forums in a variety of ways and sometimes participate meaningfully. The forums have potential for testing student responses to pedagogical approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-78
Number of pages26
JournalEducational Studies in Mathematics
Volume77
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2011

Keywords

  • Calculus
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Discussion forums
  • Help seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Education

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