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ERIC Number: EJ791529
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 26
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1382-3892
Debugging an Artifact, Instrumenting a Bug: Dialectics of Instrumentation and Design in Technology-Rich Learning Environments
White, Tobin
International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning, v13 n1 p1-26 Mar 2008
This article explores ways of conceptualizing the design of innovative learning tools as emergent from dialectics between designers and learner-users of those tools. More specifically, I focus on the reciprocities between a designer's objectives for student learning and a user's situated activity in a learning environment, as these interact and co-develop in cycles of design-based research. Recent investigations of technology-supported mathematics learning conducted from an "instrumental" perspective provide a powerful framework for analyzing the process through which classroom artifacts become conceptual tools, simultaneously characterizing the ways students come to both implement and understand a device in the context of a task. Similarly, design-based approaches to investigating instructional activity offer epistemological grounds for treating the process of designing artifacts to support learning as unfolding in concert with rather than concluding prior to situated student use. Drawing on each of these perspectives, I describe the design and initial implementation of a set of software artifacts intended to support students' collaborative problem solving through locally networked handheld computers. Through detailed analyses of three classroom episodes, I report on the ways one student group's innovative and unexpected use of these tools served as an opportunity to both examine student learning in the context of that novelty and to refine the software design. This account provides an empirical example through which to consider the potential for instrumental genesis to inform design, and for design research epistemology to broaden the scope of instrumental theory.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A