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ZDM

, Volume 50, Issue 1–2, pp 173–185 | Cite as

Developing a mathematical modelling course in a virtual learning environment

  • Daniel Clark Orey
  • Milton Rosa
Original Article

Abstract

This study was conducted during the first semester of 2016, from March 21st to June 30th, with 104 students, in eight educational centers or polos, in the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo. Previously, these mathematics teacher education students had no opportunity to study in higher education in Brazil. They were enrolled in a Mathematical Modelling course, as part of the Universidade Aberta do Brasil (UAB), which is the Brazilian open university, at the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP). All stages of this study were performed in accordance with case study methodological procedures, which covered data collection and analysis. The interpretation of the results was accomplished through the development of categories, which emerged from collected qualitative data at the completion of the fieldwork. These procedures helped the researchers to answer the research question: How can technological resources available in a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) help students to interact and collaboratively develop mathematical modelling projects that assist them in solving problems they face in daily life? One important claim for mathematical modelling in a VLE is to favor the development of students in their interaction and collaboration in solving problems they face daily, by elaborating modelling projects through the use of technological resources available in this environment. By developing these projects, students learned to problematize, contextualize, and investigate problems. As well, they prepared questions that aimed to seek, collect, select, organize, and handle the information that allowed them to reflect critically about the role of mathematics in their own context. The results from this study show that the development of modelling projects in a VLE helped students to interact and collaboratively inquire and investigate their chosen theme in accordance with their own interests and reality.

Keywords

Case study Mathematical models Mathematical modelling Modelling projects Virtual learning environments 

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Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidade Federal de Ouro PretoOuro PretoBrazil

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