Free, open, online, mathematics help forums: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Free, open, online, help forums link students with volunteer helpers who have the time, knowledge, and willingness to provide assistance with specific problems from coursework. Some forums endorse a select learning theory, whereas others do not espouse any one approach. This study shows how student activity differs in a forum that supports Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) and one that does not embrace the practice of any single learning theory. A sample of 100 exchanges on the calculus concept of limit were collected from the archives of a forum of each type and compared for student contributions to the construction of the solution and student initiative in expressing resolution. The results show that the forum supporting CLT evidences lower levels of student activity (both initially and following helper intervention), and favors weak over strong expressions of resolution. The designation of the good, bad, and ugly depends on the reader's epistemological stance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLearning in the Disciplines: ICLS 2010 Conference Proceedings - 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences
Pages643-650
Number of pages8
Volume1
StatePublished - 2010
Event9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2010 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Jun 29 2010Jul 2 2010

Other

Other9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2010
CountryUnited States
CityChicago, IL
Period6/29/107/2/10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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