Short Title: Promoting Mathematical Reasoning and Transforming Instruction in College Algebra

Project Summary

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Promote Covariational Reasoning: Techtivities

ITsCRITiCAL will accomplish these goals by developing and refining “Techtivities” for college algebra students. Techtivities are free, interactive, online tasks based on video scenarios, such as the movement of a Ferris wheel. Created in Desmos, They engage students in creating multiple graphs to represent numerical relationships between objects in the scenario. ITsCRITiCAL will embed Techtivities into courses across institutions.

Communities of Transformation

ITsCRITiCAL intends to help instructors use Techtivities effectively. It will do so by developing an instructor professional development program and instructor Communities of Transformation. ITsCRITiCAL will complete a research study on the effectiveness of these activities in increasing mathematical reasoning in college algebra courses. By transforming instructional practices in gatekeeper introductory college math courses, ITsCRITiCAL may increase student persistence in STEM majors and help the U.S. prepare an increasingly diverse population for STEM professions.

Theory of Change

ITsCRITiCAL will develop and implement a new, potentially transformative approach to institutional change called DEEP, which includes four interconnected elements:

  • DEVELOP innovative digital tasks (Techtivities) that foster covariational reasoning
  • EMBED tasks within existing courses, connecting to key content
  • EXTEND opportunities to instructors to examine how they determine which student voices get counted or marginalized
  • PROVIDE support for instructors to implement tasks that promote students’ reasoning.

Draw Connections

ITsCRITiCAL includes a research project designed to draw connections between instructional practices, instructor beliefs, and students’ covariational reasoning, math attitudes, and course success.

Years in the Making

ITsCRITiCAL builds on the work of NSF funded Implementing Techtivities to Promote Students’ Covariational Reasoning in College Algebra (ITSCoRe).