This study examined the influence of different virtual manipulative (VM) types on the nature of students’ collaborative mathematical discourse. During 27 episodes, students’ worked on mathematics tasks using three different VM types: linked, pictorial, and tutorial. The level of students’ collaborative discourse was coded and analyzed for each episode and compared across VM types. A one-way ANOVA indicated statistically significant differences in the quality of collaborative discourse among the different VM types. Other patterns indicate that certain VM types may be more suited than others for encouraging meaningful collaborative 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.
Anderson-Pence, K.,& Moyer-Packenham, P. S. (2015, April). Using virtual manipulatives to enhance collaborative discourse in mathematics instruction. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Chicago, Illinois.