Contribution to Book
Mathematics Education in the Digital Era
In 2002, Moyer, Bolyard and Spikell defined a virtual manipulative as an “an interactive, Web-based visual representation of a dynamic object that presents opportunities for constructing mathematical knowledge” (p. 373). The purpose of this chapter is to revisit, clarify and update the definition of a virtual manipulative. After clarifying what a virtual manipulative is and what it is not, we propose an updated definition for virtual manipulative: an interactive, technology-enabled visual representation of a dynamic mathematical object, including all of the programmable features that allow it to be manipulated, that presents opportunities for constructing mathematical knowledge. The chapter describes the characteristics of five of the most common virtual manipulative environments in use in education: single-representation, multi-representation, tutorial, gaming and simulation.
Moyer-Packenham, P. S., & Bolyard, J. J. (2016). Revisiting the definition of a virtual manipulative. In P. S. Moyer-Packenham (Ed.), International perspectives on teaching and learning mathematics with virtual manipulatives (pp. 3-23). New York: Springer.