Note-taking while Working on Mathematical Modelling Tasks

Aktivität: Vorträge und GastvorlesungenKonferenzvorträgeForschung

Lisa-Marie Wienecke - Sprecher*in

In addition to the known difficulties in the translation, the understanding process at the beginning of the modelling process is associated with cognitive barriers (Galbraith & Stillman, 2006; Wijaya et al., 2014).
Especially the understanding of the real situation (the development of the situation model) poses problems for students (Leiss et al., 2010). Accordingly, in the context of teaching modelling competence, reading competence (Schnotz & Dutke, 2004) and related learning strategies need to be focused on. One promising strategy is to take notes while dealing with the problem situation. According to Lonka et al. (1994) and Slotte et al. (2001), various forms of notes can be used at different points of the process as elaboration strategies to deal intensively with the problem situation, to make presented information explicit and to restructure it in a goal-oriented way (Staub, 2006).
Initial studies (Schukajlow et al., 2012; Leiss et al., 2019) proved that note-taking is indeed frequently used by students and that positive effects exist with regard to the successful completion of modelling tasks. However, differential analyses regarding the design of notes and the specific influence on the solution process represent a research desideratum.
The present project investigates the extent to which personal and task-related characteristics are associated with specific elements in the context of note-taking, and analyzes the connection between these elements and successful task completion. For this purpose, in addition to other tasks, an abbreviated C-test to assess linguistic competencies, a self-assessment of interest in the task, and sociodemographic data - each one of two mathematical modelling tasks within a paper-pencil test in class. The text tasks each consisted of a real-world-based task stimulus, a question, and the specific instruction to write down their path to the solution. The students received the tasks in written form. The school-based survey and the time restrictions served to recreate an actual school performance situation.
A detailed coding manual was used to record not only the correctness of the mathematical solutions, but also the students' notes, such as underlining, the structural order or the noting of units. The following results are based on a sample of n=866 subjects in grades 7 and 8 from 17 schools in Northern Germany.
The analyses show, among other things, that higher language skills, higher interest in mathematics, and social background are significantly associated with greater frequency of note-taking. In addition, taking notes and structuring information independently are significantly positive related to the rate of solving the task. Using a linear regression (dv: successful task completion) in which these factors as well as gender, collected through the school grade, were included as an iv, around 30% of the variance could be explained. The highest standardized coefficient was the independent structuring of the information given in the task text.
The findings show that schools can and should use note-taking specifically as a learning strategy, but not in detail at which tasks(features) notes work in which way. Accordingly, an explorative as well as a training study, which deliberately influences the strategy expertise of the test subjects, could provide positive findings for the instructional treatment of modelling tasks and thus, in the long term, for the formation of mathematically mature citizens.


20th International Conference of Mathematical Modelling and Applications - ICTMA20


Würzburg, Bayern, Deutschland

Veranstaltung: Konferenz