Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 100, Issue 1, pp 7–23 | Cite as

Technology-based inquiry in geometry: semantic games through the lens of variation

  • Carlotta SoldanoEmail author
  • Yael Luz
  • Ferdinando Arzarello
  • Michal Yerushalmy


The paper describes two versions of an inquiry-based activity in geometry, designed as a game between two players. The game is inspired by Hintikka’s semantic game, which is a familiar tool in the field of logic to define truth. The activity is designed in a dynamic geometry environment (DGE). The inquiry is initially guided by the game itself and later by a questionnaire that helps students discover the geometry theorem behind the game. The activity is emblematic of describing a geometry-based inquiry that can be implemented with various Euclidean geometry theorems. The analysis of the first “student vs. student” version associates the example space produced by the students with their dialogue, to identify the different functions of variation. Based on the results of this version, we designed a “student vs. computer” version and created filters for the automatic analysis of the players’ moves. Our findings show that students who participated in the activity developed forms of strategic reasoning that helped them discover the winning configuration, formulate if-then statements, and validate or refute conjectures. Automation of the analysis creates new research opportunities for analyzing and assessing students’ inquiry processes and makes possible extensive experimentation on inquiry-based knowledge acquisition.


Logic of inquiry Strategic games Automatic filtering Example space Variation 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Educational SciencesUniversity of TurinTorinoItaly
  2. 2.Department of EducationUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  3. 3.Department of MathematicsUniversity of TurinTorinoItaly

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