Document Type

Conference Paper


Boston, Massachusetts

Publication Date



This study examined the influence of different virtual manipulative types on the nature of students’ discourse related to generalizing and justifying mathematical concepts. During 27 episodes, students worked on mathematics tasks using three different virtual manipulative types: linked, pictorial, and tutorial. The level of students’ discourse in generalization and justification was coded and analyzed for each episode and compared across virtual manipulative types. A one-way ANOVA indicated statistically significant differences in the quality of generalizations and justifications among the different virtual manipulative types. Other patterns indicate that certain virtual manipulative types may be more suited than others for encouraging meaningful mathematical discourse. The patterns and trends identified in this study contribute to the existing literature on the complex issues that surround mathematical discourse and the use of technology in the classroom.



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