Coordinating multiple representations of polynomials: What do patterns in students' solution strategies reveal?
William Zahner, San Diego State University, United States ; Ting Dai, Temple University, United States ; Jennifer G. Cromley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States ; Theodore W. Wills, Julie L. Booth, Thomas F. Shipley, Waldemar Stepnowski, Temple University, United States
Learning and Instruction Volume 49, Number 1, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
We investigate the strategies used by 64 advanced secondary mathematics students to identify whether a given pair of polynomial representations (graphs, tables, or equations) corresponded to the same function on an assessment of coordinating representations. Participants also completed assessments of domain-related knowledge and background skills. Cluster analysis of strategies by representation pair revealed patterns in the participants' strategy use. Two clusters were identifiable on tasks that required matching equations to graphs and graphs to tables. We identified overlap between these two clusters, suggesting that while the representation pair influenced strategy choice, there was also a general distinction between students who used more and less sophisticated strategies. However, students who used more sophisticated coordination strategies were similar to the others on measures of domain-specific knowledge or background skills. We consider implications for future investigations testing interventions to promote coordinating representations.
Zahner, W., Dai, T., Cromley, J.G., Wills, T.W., Booth, J.L., Shipley, T.F. & Stepnowski, W. (2017). Coordinating multiple representations of polynomials: What do patterns in students' solution strategies reveal?. Learning and Instruction, 49(1), 131-141. Elsevier Ltd.