Fostering university students’ reading and understanding of mathematical text


Sebastian Rezat, U. of Paderborn, Germany

Full title of talk:

Fostering university students’ reading and understanding of mathematical text in a flipped classroom approach with a digital marking tool


Even in the digital age, learning mathematics at an academic level still requires a lot of reading mathematical texts. Research has shown that reading mathematical texts challenges students and that successful readers engage with mathematical text in what has been termed “close reading”. To foster students' close reading of mathematical text, we have developed and implemented an approach that builds on the main idea of the flipped classroom but interprets it in a different way using the digital tool “AnnoPy”. AnnoPy is a marking and commenting tool that has been developed for bridging individual and collective aspects of reading texts and allows for showing the aggregated overlapping results of all individual markings of the text based on predefined categories. Students were asked to read the course materials before the lecture and mark the text using three categories of markings: a) familiar content, b) important content, c) content difficult to understand. The lecture was prepared particularly focusing on the aggregated markings of difficult-to-understand content to provide clarification and further explanation. Students’ markings were analyzed and categorized, and students' use of AnnoPy was surveyed. Results indicate how this different interpretation of the flipped classroom approach, in combination with the use of AnnoPy fostered students’ close reading and contributed to their development of agency in reading mathematical text.