Identifying and Tracking Emotional and Cognitive Mathematical Processes of Middle School Students in an Online Discussion Group

Amos Lee, Sharon Tettegah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Math discussions are important when learning math. Explaining one’s thinking, listening to other’s thoughts, and reflecting are but a few of the benefits derived from discussions held in class. However, with the growth of online courses, how do math discussions change when in an online setting? While much research exists about math discussions in classrooms, there is not much research on math discussions held online. Due to the important role of discussions in learning math, along with the growing trend of online classes, this study begins to take a look at how students make sense of and keep track of each other’s comments in an online discussion. In these online discussions, turn taking is not as intuitive as face-to-face interactions. Making sense of the discussion sequence and theme can also be challenging. In this study, I found that students used terms that represented mathematical operations to better explain their thought processes and also kept track of how their peers used these terms as well. These findings suggest that, for these students, when in an online discussion, the terms used were of importance when trying to make their thinking clear to their classmates. Also, in these groups, the mathematical terms were commonly used and re-used by more than one individual in trying to gain a consensus in their group thinking. These findings are important when thinking about how to best foster math discussion and learning in an online environment and for designing online classes that institutions use to supplement or support students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEmotions, Technology, and Learning
EditorsSharon Y Tettegah, Michael P McCreery
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780128006498
ISBN (Print)9780128007143
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameEmotions and Technology


  • Identification analysis
  • Math discussions
  • Math learning
  • Online discourse
  • Systemic functional linguistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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