An Investigation of Critical Inquiry  Among Online Mathematics Teachers
Purpose of the Study <ul><li>The purpose of this study was to look for evidence of higher order learning, or cognitive pre...
Research   Questions <ul><li>Do discussions generated in MATH 500 demonstrate evidence of higher level thinking in terms o...
Theoretical Framework <ul><li>Socioculturalism, based on the ideas of Vygotsky,   focuses on the importance of communicati...
Community of Inquiry model
Practical Inquiry Model   <ul><li>In order to operationalize cognitive presence for use in assessing online transcripts, G...
Practical Inquiry Model
Setting <ul><li>Background of course: </li></ul><ul><li>Online course on the history of mathematics </li></ul><ul><li>Part...
<ul><li>Sample </li></ul><ul><li>Demographic data was obtained for 16 of 17 students enrolled in the Fall 2007 MATH 500 co...
Data Collection and Analysis <ul><li>Researcher-developed questionnaire  </li></ul><ul><li>Course instructor interview  </...
Content Analysis Woes <ul><li>Dr. Garrison, one of the developers of the COI model, and more specifically the cognitive pr...
<ul><li>Post-Course Survey </li></ul><ul><li>a) Community of Inquiry Survey Instrument (draft v14)  (Garrison, Shea, Swan,...
Post-course survey continued <ul><li>b) Researcher-developed instrument (7 open-ended questions) to assess student percept...
Organizing the Data
Overall Category Counts for Postings Category Count % of All Messages % of PIM Messages % of PIM RP Excluded Triggering Ev...
Number of postings per student per phase of the Practical Inquiry Model with required postings removed.
Content Knowledge vs. Cognitive Presence <ul><li>High school teachers who taught Algebra and/or Geometry as their highest ...
Development of a Task Typology in MATH 500 <ul><li>Instructor perceptions of task types commonly implemented in his online...
Assignments Categorized by Task Type Task Type Assignments Description Readings 1,4,8 3 10,12 19 ERMO Biography Readings/a...
Coding Results For “Reading” Task Type Category A1 A4 A8 A3 A10 A12 A19 Triggering Event (TE) 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 Exploration (E...
Content Analysis Results  vs.  Post-Course Survey Results <ul><li>The Dido and Trisection Problem assignments had the high...
Number of messages coded to each PIM phase
Research Findings
Research Question 1: Do the discussions generated in MATH 500 demonstrate evidence of higher level thinking in terms of co...
<ul><li>The Integration and Resolution phases of the Practical Inquiry Model represent the higher levels of critical inqui...
  Research Question 2: Is there evidence of a relationship between the tasks that are implemented in MATH 500 and the leve...
Task Type Assignments Description Readings 1,4,8 3 10,12 19 ERMO Biography Readings/applications to classroom Readings fro...
Reading Task Type <ul><li>The ERMO summary sub-category had the highest number of Integration postings within the reading ...
Mathematical Problems Task Type   <ul><li>Historical problems with high cognitive demand were found to have the strongest ...
Realistic Learning Task Type <ul><li>Assignment 16, which involved the construction of a lesson plan, had the highest numb...
Research Question 3:   What is the nature of the tasks that are implemented in MATH 500?
<ul><li>The assignments given by the instructor in MATH 500 were analyzed individually by the researcher for attributes su...
Dido
Historical Math Problem  <ul><li>When the nineteen assignments were analyzed as stand-alone tasks, Assignment 2, the histo...
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An Investigation of Critical Inquiry Among Online Mathematics Teachers

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An Investigation of Critical Inquiry Among Online Mathematics Teachers

  1. 1. An Investigation of Critical Inquiry Among Online Mathematics Teachers
  2. 2. Purpose of the Study <ul><li>The purpose of this study was to look for evidence of higher order learning, or cognitive presence, in an online learning context and to explore whether one component of instruction, the tasks assigned to students, was related to the level of cognitive presence that existed. </li></ul><ul><li>In particular, this study explored the existence of cognitive presence in a semester-long course on the history of mathematics (MATH 500) taught through a Master of Science program for mathematics teachers. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Research Questions <ul><li>Do discussions generated in MATH 500 demonstrate evidence of higher level thinking in terms of cognitive presence? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there evidence of a relationship between the tasks that are implemented in MATH 500 and the levels of cognitive presence observed in the corresponding discussions? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the nature of the tasks that are implemented in MATH 500? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Theoretical Framework <ul><li>Socioculturalism, based on the ideas of Vygotsky, focuses on the importance of communication and social interaction within a culture to support knowledge construction </li></ul><ul><li>The Community of Inquiry (COI) model (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2001) provides a framework which transfers the principles of socioculturalism to the online learning environment </li></ul>
  5. 5. Community of Inquiry model
  6. 6. Practical Inquiry Model <ul><li>In order to operationalize cognitive presence for use in assessing online transcripts, Garrison et al. (2001) developed the Practical Inquiry Model, a generalized model of the critical thinking process based on the ideas of John Dewey. </li></ul><ul><li>The Practical Inquiry Model is appropriate in adult, continuing, and higher education where applied knowledge is valued (Garrison et al., 2001). </li></ul>
  7. 7. Practical Inquiry Model
  8. 8. Setting <ul><li>Background of course: </li></ul><ul><li>Online course on the history of mathematics </li></ul><ul><li>Part of an MS program for practicing teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions contained both pedagogy and content </li></ul><ul><li>Students were typically in groups of 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Background of tasks: </li></ul><ul><li>Instructor independently designed all tasks for the course </li></ul><ul><li>Tasks were typical of what MMTE instructors assign in online courses </li></ul><ul><li>Instructor was asked to maintain a clear beginning and ending of each task and isolate the discussion relating to the task for analysis purposes </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Sample </li></ul><ul><li>Demographic data was obtained for 16 of 17 students enrolled in the Fall 2007 MATH 500 course: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Half female, half male </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only two people on-campus, the rest truly at a distance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Varied in age from 20’s to 50’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching mathematics experience varied from less than 4 years to 10+ years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taught at middle school, high school, community college, and university levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All enrolled in MMTE graduate program </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Data Collection and Analysis <ul><li>Researcher-developed questionnaire </li></ul><ul><li>Course instructor interview </li></ul><ul><li>Content Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Post-Course Survey </li></ul>
  11. 11. Content Analysis Woes <ul><li>Dr. Garrison, one of the developers of the COI model, and more specifically the cognitive presence coding protocol, was contacted via email for expert opinion on coding decisions and protocol modification. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ My overall response I have is to decide why you have coded in a certain way and stay with it. At this stage of the methodology, it is largely good, consistent judgment.” </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Post-Course Survey </li></ul><ul><li>a) Community of Inquiry Survey Instrument (draft v14) (Garrison, Shea, Swan, Arbaugh, Ice, Richardson, 2007) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>34 statements pertaining to each element of the COI model—students responded on a 5 point Likert scale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching Presence: “The instructor provided clear instructions on how to participate in course learning activities” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Social Presence: “Online discussions help me to develop a sense of collaboration” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive Presence: “I have developed solutions to course problems that can be applied in practice” </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Post-course survey continued <ul><li>b) Researcher-developed instrument (7 open-ended questions) to assess student perceptions of tasks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students identified task types encountered during MATH 500, tasks relating to the Exploration, Integration, and Resolution phases, and tasks that were personally engaging and motivating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: “Which task(s) allowed you to discover new ideas that you could apply to your teaching practice? Briefly describe how/why.” </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Organizing the Data
  15. 15. Overall Category Counts for Postings Category Count % of All Messages % of PIM Messages % of PIM RP Excluded Triggering Event 6 .61 .73 1.17 Exploration 631 64.65 76.95 63.23 Integration 155 15.88 18.90 30.16 Resolution 28 2.87 3.41 5.45 Comments 88 9.02 NA NA Teacher Presence 68 6.97 NA NA
  16. 16. Number of postings per student per phase of the Practical Inquiry Model with required postings removed.
  17. 17. Content Knowledge vs. Cognitive Presence <ul><li>High school teachers who taught Algebra and/or Geometry as their highest level class in the past two years fell into the high-performing group (# of Integration postings) while high school teachers who taught Pre-calculus and/or Calculus fell into the low-performing group. </li></ul><ul><li>All four middle school mathematics teachers fell into the low-performing group. </li></ul><ul><li>In general, students with a B.S. in Mathematics demonstrated higher levels of integration when addressing the content explored in MATH 500. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Development of a Task Typology in MATH 500 <ul><li>Instructor perceptions of task types commonly implemented in his online MMTE courses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Readings: readings are purposefully chosen to be somewhat “off-center,” with the intent to provoke the students to be critical, thus getting them to think about whether or not they should agree with the author </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mathematical Problems: unique, and, in his view, much more challenging than most standard textbook problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Realistic Learning: the core concept is that teachers make a connection to their own practice on a realistic level </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Student perceptions of task types encountered in MATH 500 (n=11) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Readings/summaries (10 students) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mathematical problems/proofs (10 students) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lesson plans (9 students) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Book report (8 students) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other : discussions/group work (4), computer explorations/Web searches (2), and historical research/ investigations (2) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Assignments Categorized by Task Type Task Type Assignments Description Readings 1,4,8 3 10,12 19 ERMO Biography Readings/applications to classroom Readings from text/online source Problems 2,6 9,13,14 7,17 11,15 Historical math problem – higher cognitive demand Historical math problem –lower cognitive demand Problem exploration based on Web applets Analyze a given proof Realistic 16,18 5 13 Lesson plan Discussion of classroom uses for math history Fibonacci problem given to students’ students
  20. 20. Coding Results For “Reading” Task Type Category A1 A4 A8 A3 A10 A12 A19 Triggering Event (TE) 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 Exploration (EX) 38 21 43 20 32 18 19 Integration (IN) 13 8 16 1 4 1 0 Resolution (RE) 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 Comment (CO) 3 9 4 7 2 1 3 Teacher Presence (TP) 3 1 1 6 2 1 2 TOTAL MESSAGES 59 39 65 36 41 21 24 Total coded TE,EX,IN,RE 53 29 60 23 37 19 19 Required Posting (RP) 17 17 23 17 28 15 15 Non-required TE,EX,IN,RE 36 12 37 6 9 4 4
  21. 21. Content Analysis Results vs. Post-Course Survey Results <ul><li>The Dido and Trisection Problem assignments had the highest number of Exploration postings overall when required postings were left out. </li></ul><ul><li>The three assignments with the highest number of Integration postings were each associated with a different task type (Reading, Mathematical Problem, Realistic Learning). </li></ul><ul><li>Postings were coded most frequently as Resolution in Assignments 2 and 6, which were both problem task types, although overall resolution did not occur frequently in the course. </li></ul><ul><li>The majority of students identified math problems and proofs in reference to the Exploration question. Three specifically identified Dido and one Trisection </li></ul><ul><li>Students were divided on the task types that led to “making connections from ideas presented,” but were more unified on the tasks that led to “development of solutions and hypotheses” </li></ul><ul><li>Students were divided about where Resolution occurred among the three task types </li></ul>
  22. 22. Number of messages coded to each PIM phase
  23. 23. Research Findings
  24. 24. Research Question 1: Do the discussions generated in MATH 500 demonstrate evidence of higher level thinking in terms of cognitive presence?
  25. 25. <ul><li>The Integration and Resolution phases of the Practical Inquiry Model represent the higher levels of critical inquiry (Schrire, 2004, p.485). Overall, the discussions demonstrated evidence of higher order thinking in terms of cognitive presence. </li></ul><ul><li>18.90% of messages coded to a phase of the PIM were coded as Integration and 2.87% were coded as Resolution. </li></ul><ul><li>When required postings were left out of the Exploration phase the percentage of Integration postings increased to 30.16% and the percentage of Resolution postings increased to 5.45%. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Research Question 2: Is there evidence of a relationship between the tasks that are implemented in MATH 500 and the levels of cognitive presence observed in the corresponding discussions?
  27. 27. Task Type Assignments Description Readings 1,4,8 3 10,12 19 ERMO Biography Readings/applications to classroom Readings from text/online source Problems 2,6 9,13,14 7,17 11,15 Historical math problem – higher cognitive demand Historical math problem –lower cognitive demand Problem exploration based on Web applets Analyze a given proof Realistic 16,18 5 13 Lesson plan Discussion of classroom uses for math history Fibonacci problem given to students’ students
  28. 28. Reading Task Type <ul><li>The ERMO summary sub-category had the highest number of Integration postings within the reading task type. In particular assignments 1 and 8 had the highest number of Integration postings. </li></ul><ul><li>Each assignment required a reading summary along with classroom applications. </li></ul><ul><li>The implication is that assignments that combine a critical reading of literature with an exercise in pedagogical relevance will result in higher levels of thinking. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Mathematical Problems Task Type <ul><li>Historical problems with high cognitive demand were found to have the strongest evidence of Integration and Resolution. </li></ul><ul><li>Assignments 2 and 6 were open-ended. Also each required students to: </li></ul><ul><li>- make decisions on how to approach the problems - apply a part of the problem to their classrooms. </li></ul><ul><li>These were identified as challenging by both the students and instructor. </li></ul><ul><li>The implication here is that the combination of a cognitively demanding mathematical problem with a classroom application component results in higher levels of thinking. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Realistic Learning Task Type <ul><li>Assignment 16, which involved the construction of a lesson plan, had the highest number of Integration postings. Assignment 18, another lesson plan with nearly identical instructions, had zero Integration postings. </li></ul><ul><li>Structural differences in carrying out the assignment may explain this difference. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In Assignment 18 there were no discussion groups; instead, the entire class contributed to one large group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Assignment 16 the instructor posted a message to the related discussion thread, reiterating that students should be critiquing one another’s lesson plans </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Research Question 3: What is the nature of the tasks that are implemented in MATH 500?
  32. 32. <ul><li>The assignments given by the instructor in MATH 500 were analyzed individually by the researcher for attributes such as nature of instructions, assignment timelines, and specific requirements and products. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nineteen individual assignments identified </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These fell into three major task types </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Further analysis revealed eleven sub-types </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Dido
  34. 34. Historical Math Problem <ul><li>When the nineteen assignments were analyzed as stand-alone tasks, Assignment 2, the historical problem with classroom applications, stood out from every other task in terms of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>total number of postings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cognitive presence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>student perceptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>overall collaborative interaction </li></ul></ul>

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