Case study: real-time communication in a mathematics online learning community

Loch, Birgit and McDonald, Christine (2011) Case study: real-time communication in a mathematics online learning community. In: Online and social networking communities: a best practice guide for educators. Taylor & Francis (Routledge), New York, NY. United States, pp. 129-131. ISBN 978-0-415-87246-1


Mathematics is recognised as posing a particular challenge for synchronous online communication (Smith and Ferguson 2004). All parties need to be able to contribute mathematical symbols and visualisations to the discussion. Although instructors are often trained in mathematical typesetting software such as LaTeX or Microsoft’s Equation Editor, typing mathematics in real time can take considerably longer than writing out a mathematical expression on paper. In addition, students, particularly those with weak mathematical skills, are often unwilling to learn how to use these tools. Students who are already struggling with the mathematical content may despair if they also have to deal with typesetting issues. This leads to a slow, one-way transfer of visual information from the instructor to the students, making it difficult for the instructor to tell whether a student can really produce the solution to a mathematical problem.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Chapter 7. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Maths and Computing
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2012 04:21
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2017 23:42
Uncontrolled Keywords: case study; mathematics; online learning community; real-time communication
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
10 Technology > 1005 Communications Technologies > 100503 Computer Communications Networks
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130208 Mathematics and Numeracy Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies

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