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Statistical software and mathematics education: Affordances for learning


Watson, JM and Fitzallen, NE, Statistical software and mathematics education: Affordances for learning, Routledge Handbook of International Research in Mathematics Education, Routledge, LD English and D Kirshner (ed), New York, United States, pp. 563-594. ISBN 978-0-415-83203-8 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2016 Taylor & Francis

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Software applications designed for education have become more sophisticated and have the potential to be more than tools employed in the classroom just to make it easier or quicker to perform tasks otherwise completed by hand. By virtue of advances in technology and the complexity of the functionality that is embedded within software applications, the potential of learning from computers has shifted to learning with computers. This distinction was recognized by Goldenberg ( 1991) in providing examples of students learning the characteristics of algebraic functions through interacting with a graphing software package by inputting test equations and observing the fit with the correct one. The increase of the use of immersive interactive interfaces has also resulted in many applications that are student-centered; that is, students are able to participate in the learning process by using design features embedded within applications to construct understanding of ideas and concepts within meaningful contexts (Jonassen & Land, 2000; Murray, Blessing, & Ainsworth, 2003). This occurs when students are active participants in the learning process, but it does not occur without support (Land, Hannafin, & Oliver, 2012). The support necessary, in some cases, is offered by the software application itself. Its inherent features, capabilities, and flexibility determine to what extent and the way in which that support is delivered. These characteristics of software applications are affordances, which scaffold and support student learning, and it is the affordances for learning that are the focus of this chapter. What do students learn from using software that they might not learn, or learn as easily, without it? The aim of the chapter is to go beyond what a software application promises to do to consider its affordances for learning. Further, what are the affordances for teachers in their planning for and assessment of student learning?

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:statistics education, TinkerPlots, data analysis, statistics software
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Teaching and curriculum not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Watson, JM (Professor Jane Watson)
UTAS Author:Fitzallen, NE (Dr Noleine Fitzallen)
ID Code:105500
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2016-01-06
Last Modified:2017-12-14
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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