Latest LUMAT articles


Effect of resource-based instructions on pre-service biology teachers’ motivation toward learning biology 

Linking motivation and learning is central to understanding students’ motivation toward learning and learning itself as complex cognitive phenomena. Some studies focused on students’ motivation toward learning biology in general; however, the shortage of studies on the effect of animation-based instruction and small-group laboratory activities as Resource-based Instructions (RBIs) on pre-service biology teachers was realized. The present study aimed to determine the effect of resource-based Instructions on pre-service biology teachers’ academic motivation toward learning biology at private and public Universities in Rwanda. Pre-service biology teachers were grouped into three groups at a public teacher traning University and received a pre-and post-assessment.  Quasi-experimental, pre and post-test control group design was used at a public university, while a repeated measures design was used at a private university. The standard academic motivation scale for learning biology (AMSLB) yielded a Cronbach alpha coefficient of 0.71 before use. The t-Test was computed to measure the statistically significant difference between the pre-and post-assessment scores and group of RBI interventions. Multivariate analysis (MANOVA) was computed to measure the effect of RBIs vis à vis the AMSLB factors. Findings revealed no statistically significant difference (df=18, p=.458) in the motivation of learning biology of pre-service teachers before and after learning via traditional instruction at a public university. However, a statistically signficant difference was found with animation instruction (df=18, p=.002) and lab instruction (df=18, p=.014).  The motivation of learning biology increased at a public university than at a private university. However, animations and small-group lab activities increased pre-service biology teachers’ intrinsic and extrinsic—career motivation of learning biology at both universities. Therefore, the study recommends using RBIs to improve pre-service biology teachers’ motivation toward learning biology.


A calculus student’s understanding of graphical approach to the derivative through quantitative reasoning

The concept of derivative is used in many areas including applied problems and requiring mathematical modelling in different disciplines. One of the most important approaches for teaching the derivative is to support students in visualizing the concept. Also, it is necessary to shift researchers and teachers’ focuses to students’ dynamic mental actions while learning derivative in order to conduct effective teaching process. With this necessity, I focused on the perspective of quantitative reasoning related to the graphical approach to the derivative. This study aims to reveal a calculus student’s mental actions related to the graphical approach to the derivative. The data were collected from a first-year calculus student engaged in the task requiring graphical interpretation of the derivative. Results showed that the student’s understanding of the slope shaped her inferences about the tangent line because the quantity of ratio is prior knowledge for learning the instantaneous rate of change. Besides, as the student had the idea of correspondence related to the concept of function, she had difficulties in interpreting the global view of the derivate. This result suggests that having global view of the derivative requires a strong understanding of function and rate.


Developing online learning environments with AI. Future visions from continuing training in mathematics teaching

Web-based learning enviroments have become increasingly popular world-wide. At the same time, the need for new approaches to both supporting and investigating teaching and learning have emerged. Although log information enables research of online behavior, this opportunity is not used to its full potential in the context of web-based teaching and learning. This research utilized log information in the assessment of a MOOC course and its development. This article describes the learning process with the help of log information. It also envisions what kind of understanding of the learning process log information can provide and how this understanding may be harnessed to support learning in the future. The data consisted of the log information of mathematic teachers (N=58) participating in an online continuing training course. The results show that in-depth time-consuming activities interrupt studying more easily than video lectures for example. Short videos and quick queries engage the participant in more coherent study. Although there are individual differences in the studying, less well-functioning teaching content and tasks can be recognized through log information. We present a vision of how log information can be automatically analyzed; the system would recognize learning profiles and the online environment would automatically modify itself according to the profile. When AI (artificial intelligence) is utilized the profiling algorithm would develop automatically as user data accumulates.

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Communicating mathematics through images: A multimodal study of Year One students’ meaning-making when working with mathematics textbooks

This article focuses on how Swedish Year One students (age 7–8) make meaning when working with images in mathematics textbooks. Images include textbook images, but also students’ self-drawn images used as support for calculation. The focus was (1) what the images in the exercises were designed to offer (the designed affordance), and (2) what the students discovered when working with them. The data material consisted of video transcripts of 18 students working with subtraction exercises from mathematics textbooks. The results showed that the students sometimes discovered the designed affordance and sometimes did not. The students who discovered the designed affordance sometimes used the image when performing the calculations, while others did not. Some students expressed that images in mathematics textbooks are for those who find mathematics difficult, and that completing exercises without using the images was desired. The students’ approaches to images were discussed in two specific cases: First, the students’ desire to use mathematical symbols rather than images may lead to students not discovering the mathematics content that the exercise is designed to offer. Second, the use of mathematical symbols rather than images may lead to students not discovering themselves as mathematical individuals.