Data Games: Can Data Modeling Improve Strategies and Mathematical Understanding?

Presenters seek feedback on activities, now in field test, in which students build mathematical and statistical models to improve their game-playing strategies. Bring a laptop.

Date/Time: 
Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Product Feedback Session

Participants are invited to play online games embedded in a data-analysis environment, analyzing their game data to improve their strategy. The structure follows an abbreviated version of classroom activities that presenters are now field testing. Product release is scheduled to begin in fall 2012. (Participants should bring a laptop computer that can connect with conference wifi.) With each game-based activity, subsequent discussion focuses on different issues about which presenters would like feedback. Among these are: What are the mathematical ideas and habits of mind that can be developed with these activities and how best can the materials support the teacher in encouraging their development? How can classroom teachers be best supported with online materials? How can the presenters put together a coherent package of movies, online worksheets, teacher notes, and assessments? What reactions do you have to the design principles that have evolved, and what further directions seem worthy of pursuit? With each game, participants discuss in small groups a question or two like these and submit their responses in an online form. General discussion will follow based on displayed responses.

Presenters also engage participants with two methods of analyzing student work that have proven especially powerful: (1) videos that show both the computer screen and the faces and voices of a pair of students working together; (2) graphical analysis of student actions as recorded in a log file generated by the Data Games Web application.

A final discussion is based on a short presentation of plans for the public launch of Data Games, scheduled for the fall. Presenters ask participants to draw on their own experiences as authors and consumers to help the PIs avoid pitfalls, reach a broad audience, and plan for sustainability.