This full research and development project is to design, develop, and test a cutting-edge online collaborative learning environment where students and teachers solve mathematical problems and communicate their thinking with others. The major focus is to increase the quality and quantity of significant math discourse among mathematics teachers and their students by using this online collaborative learning environment. This online collaborative learning environment is based on PIs' prior work called Virtual Math Teams that integrates synchronous and asynchronous media with the first multi-user dynamic-math-visualization application. The researchers will test the usability of the online ollaborative learning environment for engaging students in high quality discourse. The researchers will also examine the impact of the online ollaborative learning environment on students' significant mathematical discourse and achievement.
The project uses a design research method as well as summative evaluations to achieve research and development goals. Discourse analysis and regression models will be used to examine the impact of the online collaborative learning environment on student significant mathematical discourse and achievement.
The findings of the project contribute to the field in three ways: (1) The online collanorative learning environment can be both an effective pedagogical tool and a research tool in mathematics education; (2) It will contribute to our understanding about the nature of mathematical discourse online as well as about ways to foster the quality and quantity of significant math discourse among teachers and their students; and (3) This project can provide insights into effective online deliveries of courses.