Category Archives: Meetings
Now Playing: Tapping of keys in an Open Plan Office
Well, I’m back from holiday and my one week bout with dengue fever (not pleasant!) – still feeling a bit lethargic from it (energy levels are really low). Anywho, just had a meeting with Doug and it has cleared up some stuff I was wrestling on. I was trying to figure out how to explain my qualitative data and I was heading to nowhere land fast because I was already digging up work in the affordance literature and stuff to do with Krutetskii (with gifted students) – which come to think about it I can still use but more on why I can on that later.
Well, Doug said I should forget about trying to look for a new theoretical framework and just go back to something that I was familiar with and suggested using the deep and surface approach and once he said it just made complete sense – that was definitely something I could use in the explanations of what was going on. And so, had to check and see what I could find on confidence and deep and surface approach because I think that is the key in analysing most of my data even those in the quantitative analysis. Thankfully, there is something. The RASI questionnaire has a scale for academic self-confidence and Duff (2004) have found that students’ academic self-confidence was related to a deep-approach – now this is good news because noted that students who had high maths confidence were using more of a deep-approach – well, not statistically speaking with respect to the ASI, but some of the high maths confidence students were using a more deep-approach.
Not quite certain how it might fit in with the boxes but Doug suggested that perhaps one will suspect with the open-box and glass-box, students with a deep approach may delve further in trying to understand what is going on, but also perhaps this is only limited to the procedural part, perhaps in the constructive parts students with the deep approach in all three boxes may approach it similarly or be hampered (??) – I have no idea what I’m saying now – I think I’m just bluffing 🙂 .
Now Playing: This is the night (Clay Aiken)
I haven’t posted something in this blog for so long and I’ve been procrastinating doing it as well – just like writing my thesis I guess. Anyway, I think I’ve finished all my data analysis and currently writing up Chapter 5 (yes I know I’ve been doing that for 4 months now!) – but hopefully it will finally come to fruition.
I think there are some fantastic findings (according to the quantitative data analysis) – here are the summary of my findings as I told Doug yesterday during my supervision meeting:
- Students who used the black-box software were more likely to score higher than those students using the glass-box and the open-box. Although students using the black-box seemed to perform less than students using the glass-box and open-box in the interpretive tasks (not certain if this is significant as yet – since I have to do a contrast test).
- Further, students who had a high maths’ confidence performed better than students with low maths confidence in the interpretive task, but both groups performed equally well (or equally bad!) in the constructive task.
- Further, it seems that when it came to students exploring with the software (i.e. testing numbers etc.), students who were using the black-box and had a high maths’ confidence were more likely to explore. However, interestingly – students using the open-box and the glass-box software and who had a high maths confidence hardly did any explorations in comparison to the students with the low confidence. In fact, the students with the low maths’ confidence who used the glass-box and open-box did more explorations than students’ with low maths’ confidence using the black-box (but got to check and see if these explorations amount are significantly different).
- Students who started with the abstract problem (Problem 3) made less explanations (both maths and real-life) than students who started with the application problems (Problems 1 and 2). Possibly here is something about moving from concrete to abstract or vice versa.
I think these findings are looking good and definitely something worthy of a PhD thesis (well I feel so 😀 ) – and I should continue to do so if I expect to keep my optimism in making sure my PhD is worthy – my only one worry now is finishing the writing up by September!
So John and I met for lunch on Thursday last week together with Safiya (??) to talk a bit about my work. So, carried along my preliminary analysis to see if he has any ideas and whether he can point me in some direction and he has given me some leads.
He indicated he was interested in the relationships, details and properties of problems (i.e. these are the things that students are looking for – or rather when a student sees a problem this is what they try to do particularly when there is an example which they can follow).
John suggested that I look at how the students see the worked examples and how they compare what they have in their problem to the worked example. Also, check and see what they’re saying or looking at to check whether their worked example mirrors their own problem.
John suggested I look at what the students are doing when watching the screen or problem – that is check their sense making (i.e. levels of sense-making – this is way the relationships, properties and details come in). Suggested I look at the times when the students are gazing, when they’re going between things (on the screen, the paper etc.) and when there is a language shift such as “This is like” to things like “this is an example of”. Reckon the students who are sense-making more are the deep explainers and better students.
Connected to this, he suggested check and see which group looks at the materials and who don’t and check these against their claims of confidence in mathematics (can’t remember why exactly – but reckon because these will be sense-making more or perhaps students who are not confident will check the paper more often?).
With respect to the relationships, details and properties … students would gaze at the problem as a whole and then should start looking the details and they then look at the relationships which are related to the properties of the problem. Ok – think I’ve sort of lost this thread of thought – I perhaps got to get John’s paper on this and see how he explains it exactly – hopefully this is his research when he was talking about it.
He also mention some guy call Sen Campbell at Simon Fraser University was setting up a lab for eye-tracking and testing ECG for students doing maths and science (wants to check their anxiety etc.) – sounds interesting might check him out.