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Symbol sense behavior in digital activities

Symbol sense behavior in digital activities
Symbol sense behavior in digital activities
The algebraic expertise that mathematics education is aiming for includes both procedural skills and conceptual understanding. To capture the latter, notions such as symbol sense, gestalt view and visual salience have been developed. We wonder if digital activities can be designed that not only require procedural algebraic skills, but also invite symbol sense, and if the notions of gestalt view and visual salience are helpful in understanding student behavior in such a digital environment. To investigate this, a prototypical digital algebra environment was designed, consisting of thirty tasks, which focus on these two characteristics of symbol sense. The activities were piloted in five one-to-one think-aloud sessions with students from pre-university grade 12. The results suggest that the students’ behaviors indeed can be understood in terms of (lack of) symbol sense, and that the notions of gestalt view and visual salience apply to behavior in digital environments as well. Therefore, we believe digital activities can invite symbol sense; the educational exploitation of such environments is not trivial.
0228-0671
43-49
Bokhove, Christian
7fc17e5b-9a94-48f3-a387-2ccf60d2d5d8
Drijvers, Paul
c9c9fde8-ef4e-42bb-aa5d-f1c0400a93ae
Bokhove, Christian
7fc17e5b-9a94-48f3-a387-2ccf60d2d5d8
Drijvers, Paul
c9c9fde8-ef4e-42bb-aa5d-f1c0400a93ae

Bokhove, Christian and Drijvers, Paul (2010) Symbol sense behavior in digital activities. For the Learning of Mathematics, 30 (3), 43-49.

Record type: Article

Abstract

The algebraic expertise that mathematics education is aiming for includes both procedural skills and conceptual understanding. To capture the latter, notions such as symbol sense, gestalt view and visual salience have been developed. We wonder if digital activities can be designed that not only require procedural algebraic skills, but also invite symbol sense, and if the notions of gestalt view and visual salience are helpful in understanding student behavior in such a digital environment. To investigate this, a prototypical digital algebra environment was designed, consisting of thirty tasks, which focus on these two characteristics of symbol sense. The activities were piloted in five one-to-one think-aloud sessions with students from pre-university grade 12. The results suggest that the students’ behaviors indeed can be understood in terms of (lack of) symbol sense, and that the notions of gestalt view and visual salience apply to behavior in digital environments as well. Therefore, we believe digital activities can invite symbol sense; the educational exploitation of such environments is not trivial.

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More information

Published date: 2010
Organisations: Mathematics, Science & Health Education

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 341981
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/341981
ISSN: 0228-0671
PURE UUID: 306e5817-f3c4-46b1-9187-4917eff60662
ORCID for Christian Bokhove: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4860-8723

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Date deposited: 09 Aug 2012 10:50
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:28

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Contributors

Author: Paul Drijvers

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