Presenters: Steven Jones and Omar Naranjo, Brigham Young University Location: RUME Conference, San Diego, California Abstract/Description: Ordinary differential equations (ODEs) comprise an important tool for mathematical modelling in science and engineering. This study focuses on how students in an engineering system dynamics course organized the act of setting up ODEs for complex engineering contexts. Through the lens of ODEs as a “coordination class” concept, we examined the strategies that seemed to guide the students’ interpretations of problem tasks and their activation of knowledge elements during the tasks, as the students worked to produce ODEs for those tasks. This led to our uncovering of three main strategies guiding the students’ work, and the finding that being able to flexibly draw on all of these strategies may be beneficial for student success.
Presenters: Steven Jones and Mitchell Probst, Brigham Young University Location: RUME Conference, San Diego, California Abstract/Description: This study was motivated by practical issues we have encountered as second-semester calculus instructors, where students struggle to make sense of the various series convergence tests, including the divergence, integral, direct comparison, limit comparison, ratio, and root tests. To begin an exploration of how students might reason about these tests, we examined the visual imagery used by students when asked to describe what these tests are and why they provide the conclusions they do. It appeared that each test had certain types of visual imagery associated with it, which were at times productive and at times a hindrance. We describe how the visual imagery used by students seemed to impact their reasoning about the convergence tests.
Presenters: Steven Jones, Brigham Young University Location: RUME Conference, San Diego, California Abstract/Description: Covariation and covariational reasoning have become key themes in mathematics education research. In this theoretical paper, I build on the construct of covariation by considering cases where more than two variables relate to each other, in what can be called “multivariation.” I share the results of a conceptual analysis that led to the identification of four distinct types of multivariation: independent, dependent, nested, and vector. I also describe a second conceptual analysis in which I took the mental actions of relationship, increase/decrease, and amount from the covariational reasoning framework, and imagined what analogous mental actions might be for each of these types of multivariation. These conceptual analyses are useful in order to scaffold future empirical work in creating a complete multivariational reasoning framework.
Presenters: Steven Jones, Brigham Young University and Peter Thembinkosi, Miami University of Ohio Location: RUME Conference, San Diego, California Abstract/Description: Contributing to the growing body of research on students’ understanding of related rates of change problems, this study reports on the analysis of solution strategies used by five calculus students when solving three related rates of change problems where the underlying independent variable in each problem was time. Contrary to findings of previous research on students’ understanding of related rate of change problems, all the students in this study were able to translate prose to algebraic symbols. All the students had a common benchmark to guide their overall work in one of the tasks but no benchmark to guide their overall work in the other two tasks. Three students exhibited weaker calculational knowledge of the product rule of differentiation. Directions for future research and implications for instruction are included.
Presenters: Scott Hendrickson and Sterling Hilton, Brigham Young University Location: NCSM Conference, Washington DC Abstract/Description: The Comprehensive Mathematics Instruction (CMI) Framework developed by the Brigham Young University Public School Partnership informs teachers on how to align CCSSM content standards along a progression from emerging ideas, strategies and representations towards more robust conceptual, procedural, and representational understanding. In this session participants will use the CMI framework to deepen their understanding of a subset of high school standards as they select, sequence and connect these standards across a learning cycle of instruction.