A Model for Analyzing Math Knowledge Building in VMT
This work describes a methodology for analyzing the social construction of mathematical knowledge within a chat environment like VMT. It proposes a model for representing the flow of discourse by linking contributions based on information uptake. A framework for analysis using the model is designed to represent: (1) the co-construction and manipulation of mathematical representations and artifacts such as symbols, concepts, math formulas and linguistic expressions; (2) segmentations that identify critical boundaries during chat interactions; (3) meaning-making paths intertwining through series of uptakes; (4) pivotal moments during interactions influencing the direction of the discourse and (5) elements of the model for educators to apply in understanding the learning of mathematics by groups. The long-term goal behind this research is to develop a structure for analyzing online collaborative math learning. More specifically, this methodology seeks to contribute to a holistic approach to understanding the process of meaning-making embedded in interactions among chat postings. We discuss this methodology in the context of data collected in VMT from small groups of junior-college students solving mathematics problems using three different types of problem design.