This project will run from September 1, 2016 to August 21, 2020.
Year 1 - Prototype Testing
Year 1 will primarily focus on the development and usability testing of the developed resources for a small set of problems. This is the first phase of the development, testing, and revision process. Individuals and small groups of students will use the inscriptional resources to explore mathematics problems. By focusing on their interactions within the digital learning space and on how students provide evidence of their learning using the tools, researchers will learn how to better support students in the learning process.
Year 2 - Trail Testing
Year 2 will focus on the development and usability testing of connected sequences of problems, rather than focusing on individual problems. Researchers will examine similar questions as in Year 1, but the emphasis will be on features that span individual problems and investigations. During this phase, researchers will learn more about how students use these inscriptional resources to interpret the evidence of their learning over time.
Year 3 - Pilot Teasting
Year 3 will focus on piloting units consisting of connected sequences of investigations and problems in a small number of classrooms. In other words, researchers will focus on entire classes where students produce, discuss, and refine their inscriptions of their thinking. The team will collect both qualitative and quantitative data from four teachers/classrooms at each site. They will also collect iterations of the inscriptional work students incorporate into their reflections and assessments to examine if students’ understanding of big mathematical ideas becomes more sophisticated over time. All of the units are anticipated to be completed during this phase.
Year 4 - Field Testing
Year 4 will field test multiple units in a variety of classrooms to further extend the work of the previous phases. Researchers will continue to focus on understanding student inscriptions and the related social practices, in addition to further refining the digital tools. At the end of the project, the team will have research results that will indicate evidence of student learning in a digital learning environment from a wide range of classrooms and a set of inscriptional resources that has been vetted by teachers and students from various settings and backgrounds.
The project team will be preparing conference papers and journal articles on the learning research at every phase in the research process. All of the relevant research tools will be made available through the most effective means possible. The digital inscriptional resources will be freely available online for researchers and schools and will be hosted on Concord Consortium’s website. Finally, classroom artifacts of student thinking and related findings will be available at teacher workshops, conferences, and project websites.