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IJIET 2018 Vol.8(7): 502-505 ISSN: 2010-3689
doi: 10.18178/ijiet.2018.8.7.1089

Increasing Engagement of Underrepresented Groups Using a Novel Mathematics Communication Tool

Marco Pollanen, Sohee Kang, and Bruce Cater

Abstract—Many recent studies, based largely on face-to-face classroom experiences, extol the benefits of new interactive pedagogical models, including peer-based learning. Others have shown that out-of-class student-teacher interaction (e.g., office hour attendance) leads to improvements in many key academic measures, including student performance, retention, and satisfaction. At the same time, however, it has been shown that, relative to their male peers, women are less likely to engage in both in- and out-of-class discussion in post-secondary mathematics and statistics courses.
In this paper, we discuss our experience with a mathematics service course in which online communication technology that allowed for anonymity was used. This technology dramatically improved office-hour participation rates, and students reported that it helped alleviate their anxieties surrounding communication. We then explore how these ideas can be extended to develop new communication models for the technologically-enhanced class – models that may help overcome social barriers to create a more inclusive student-centred environment, leading to further democratization of learning, including increased participation by women.

Index Terms—Mathematics education, online communication, statistics education, student engagement.

Marco Pollanen is with the Department of Mathematics, Trent University, Peterborough, Canada (e-mail: marcopollanen@trentu.ca).
Sohee Kang is with the Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, Canada (e-mail: soheekang@utsc. utoronto.ca).
Bruce Cater is with the Department of Economics, Trent University, Peterborough, Canada (e-mail: bcater@trentu.ca).


Cite: Marco Pollanen, Sohee Kang, and Bruce Cater, "Increasing Engagement of Underrepresented Groups Using a Novel Mathematics Communication Tool," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 8, no. 7, pp. 502-505, 2018.

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Steve Thatcher
  • Executive Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Abstracting/ Indexing: Scopus (CiteScore 2022: 2.0), INSPEC (IET), UGC-CARE List (India), CNKI, EBSCO, Google Scholar
  • E-mail: ijiet@ejournal.net


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