Many studies have been done on the impact of online mathematics courses. Most studies concluded that there is no significant difference in student success between online and face-to-face courses. However, most studies compared "traditional" online and face-to-face courses. Mathematics educators are advocating a shift from traditional courses to student-centered courses where students argue and defend the mathematics under the guidance of the teacher. Now, the differences in online and face-to-face student-centered mathematical courses merit a more in-depth investigation. This study characterized student mathematical discourse in online and face-to-face Calculus lab sections based off of a framework derived from an NCTM standard for the students' role in discourse. Results showed that the discourse in both the face-to-face and online environments can be rich and productive. Thus, both environments can be viable arenas for effective mathematical discourse. However, this effectiveness is contingent on whether or not the teacher as the facilitator can help the students avoid the ways in which online discourse can be impeded. The characteristics of discourse, how they compare, and the resulting recommendations for teachers are discussed.
College and Department
Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Mathematics Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Broderick, Shawn D., "A Comparison of Mathematical Discourse in Online and Face-to-Face Environments" (2009). Theses and Dissertations. 1675.
mathematical discourse, online education