Rosenbaum, L. F., Kaur, J., & Abrahamson, D. (2020). Shaping perception: Designing for participatory facilitation of collaborative geometry.

In R. Nemirovsky & N. Sinclair (Eds.), “On the intertwined contributions of physical and digital tools for the teaching and learning of mathematics” [Special issue]. Digital Experiences in Mathematics Education, 6(2), 213–232.

ABSTRACT: Geometris is a technologically enabled body-scale educational game, in which collaborating players recreate target polygons, prompted on a digital screen, by activating a set of sensors–vertices on a large physical mat interface. We report on an evaluation study that draws on theoretical frameworks from ecological dynamics, genetic epistemology, and sociocultural semiotics. Micro-analysis of 3 adult–child groups at play implicates two design features supporting mediated development of geometry skills: (1) spatial distribution across two displays poses figural mapping as a tactical problem whose perceptual solution constitutes the game’s learning objective: and (2) a multi-sensor input interface enables flexible divisions of group labor to scaffold solution enactment. We put forth the construct of participatory facilitation—an emergent interaction pattern within groups with apparent inter-personal differences in content-domain knowledge and sensorimotor coordination. We tentatively generalize how informal educational activity architecture may create opportunities for experts to enculturate content learning via participatory facilitation.

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