This exploratory research and development project engages high-school students as student-tutors who create screen-capture videos that demonstrate step-by-step solutions to mathematical problems and explicate the use of interactive applets. The project has three development goals (a model for creating the media, a model for collaboration with teachers, and enhancements to a Lesson Study model) and three research goals (to test conjectures about student change, to analyze reconfigured roles for teachers and students, and to advance a theory of personalized learning communities.) The project tests whether the mathematical and communication skills of student-tutors improve in the process of making the video materials. It also tests whether teachers and the student users of the videos benefit from them. Further, the project will examine whether the process of creating and disseminating the videos is replicable and scalable.
The project uses design research methods as well as both formative and summative evaluations to achieve the research and development goals. The investigators pose a series of thoughtful research questions and plan to use a variety of research methods to collect and analyze data to answer them.
The project is potentially transformative. The advances in technology present opportunities and challenges for improving student learning. Built on strong theoretical and empirical foundations and prior work, the project takes full advantages of the opportunities of tutoring using 21st-century technologies - marrying screen-capture video with a model of student-delivered tutoring. The project will contribute to an understanding of how teachers and student-tutors change and exercise creativity through participating in digital media production. The findings of the project will have broader impact in at least three dimensions: (1) The videos created by students will be helpful for other students' learning; (2) The research on engaging students in creating videos can not only help us understand the effective use of technology, but also help us understand the mechanism for developing students' generative thinking and creativity; and (3) This project can provide insights about how to integrate 21st-Century technology into regular classrooms.