Studying Virtual Math Teams

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This wiki is for planning and discussion of the content for a book on the Virtual Math Teams project, tentatively entitled Studying Virtual Math Teams. A first step in work on this book was the presentation of ten papers on VMT at the CSCL 2007 Chat Analysis Workshop

Instructions to Authors

Authors should submit a working version of their paper by September 30 for purposes of getting feedback and suggestions. The paper should be 10-20 pages long. It should be written for the edited book. If possible, it should feature data collected in the VMT environment. It should not include a description of the VMT project in general.

Please note that the titles and authors listed below are only tentative suggestions, invitations or placeholders -- submit a paper whose title and content express what you would like to contribute to the book.

Authors should email a Word version of their paper to The paper should be in MS Word format. It should be single spaced with line numbering turned on and pages numbered in the bottom right corner. Save the paper named with your first name (e.g., "gerry.doc").

Instructions to Discussion Participants

The full papers can be downloaded from the link marked "[download]". Participants in the wiki discussion should go to the link for a paper marked "[discussion]". Here you can make suggestions and go to the "discussion" tab to engage in threaded discussion of the paper. Periodic synchronous chat sessions will also be held in VMT for selected papers.

Schedule for Work on Book Chapters

Sept: Complete Bibliography of VMT Publications, with Documents
Oct: Complete Selection of First Drafts for Book
Dec: Deadline for Edited Revisions
Jan - Mar: Online Critiques
Apr: Deadline for Final Drafts
Jun: Submit Manuscript, Including Intro, Conclusion, Commentaries

Book Table of Contents

“Studying Virtual Math Teams”
Table of Contents
Table of Figures
Table of Tables

Introduction to Studying VMT

  • The VMT vision and service
  • Group cognition theory
  • The VMT project and data
  • Methodologies for studying VMT

Researching Interaction in VMT Sessions

  • The organization of collaborative math problem-solving activities across dual interaction spaces (Murat Perit Cakir, Alan Zemel, Gerry Stahl) [download] [reviews] [ discussion ]
  • Bridging: Interactional mechanisms used by online groups to sustain knowledge building over time (Johann W. Sarmiento) [download] [reviews] [ discussion ]
  • Resolving differences in perspective: Twists and turns in synchronous online collaborative mathematics problem-solving (Ramon Prudencio S. Toledo, Alan R. Zemel, Gerry Stahl) [download] [reviews] [ discussion ]
  • Information as a social achievement: Collaborative information behavior in CSCL (Nan Zhou, Alan Zemel, Gerry Stahl) [download] [reviews] [ discussion ]

Designing the VMT Service

  • Creativity, collaboration and competence: Agency in online synchronous chat environment (Elizabeth S. Charles & Wesley Shumar) [download] [reviews] [ discussion ]
  • Group creativity in Virtual Math Teams: Interactional mechanisms for referencing, remembering and bridging (Johann Sarmiento & Gerry Stahl) [download] [ discussion ]
  • Understanding Students’ Mathematical Ideas and Reasoning in the Online Environment of VMT-Chat (Arthur B. Powell & Frank Lai) [download] [ discussion ]
  • Cooperation and collaboration in online interaction (Henrry Rodriguez and Murat Cakir) [download] [ discussion ]
  • Evaluating the Effect of Social Conversation on Learning, Interaction, and Perceived Interdependence in a Collaborative Math Problem Solving Environment (Rohit Kumar, Gahgene Gweon, Mahesh Joshi, Yue Cui, Adaeze Nwaigwe, Carolyn P. Rosé) [download] [ discussion ]
  • The integration of synchronous communication across dual interaction spaces (Martin Mühlpfordt & Gerry Stahl) [download] [ discussion ]

Analyzing Online Interaction

  • Polyphonic Inter-Animation of Voices in Chats (Stefan Trausan-Matu) [download] [ discussion ]
  • Studying response structure confusion in online chat interaction (Hugo Fuks) [download] [ discussion ]
  • Model for Analysing Collaborative Knowledge Construction in a Quasi-Synchronous Chat Environment (Juan Dee Wee & Chee-Kit Looi) [download] [ discussion ]
  • A Framework for Analyzing Interactional Processes in Online Learning (Daniel Suthers, Nathan Dwyer, Richard Medina, Ravi Vatrapu) [download] [ discussion ]
  • Meaning making in CSCL: Conditions and preconditions for cognitive processes by groups (Gerry Stahl) [download] [reviews] [ discussion ]
  • What's in the mix? Combining coding and conversation analysis to investigate chat-based problem solving (Alan Zemel, Fatos Xhafa & Murat Cakir) [download] [ discussion ]
  • Methodological issues in developing a multi-dimensional coding procedure for small group chat communication (Jan-Willem Strijbos) [download] [ discussion ]

Theorizing Interaction in Chat

  • Complicating Common Sense: The Theory, Practice and Politics of Critical Ethnography in CSCL (Terry Epperson) [download] [reviews] [ discussion ]
  • The disembodied act: Copresence and indexical symmetry in computer-mediated communication (Alan Zemel, Wes Shumar, Murat Perit Cakir) [download] [reviews] [ discussion ]
  • Reading's work: The mechanisms of text chat in online interaction (Alan Zemel) [download] [ discussion ]
  • Understanding as participation: An interactional perspective on cognitive states, assessment and learning (Alan Zemel) [download] [ discussion ]

Other Invited Chapters

  • Designing ConcertChat and reconfiguring it for VMT (Martin Wessner & Michael Mühlpfordt)
  • Supporting graphical construction for chat (Weiqin Chen)
  • Using VMT in math teacher education (Jason Silverman & Murat Cakir)
  • The role of thought-leaders in VMT sessions (Jim Waters & Susan Gasson)
  • Constructing understanding in problem-based learning (Tim Koschmann)
  • Collaborative online information behavior in a digital library (Robert Allen & Nan Zhou)

Conclusions from Studying VMT

  • Co-constructing a shared environment
  • The dialectics of social networking and learning
  • Making sense together
  • Interaction in a new world
Index of Authors
Index of Subjects

Description of Book

Studying Virtual Math Teams will document the progress made by the Virtual Math Teams (VMT) project to carry out the research agenda proposed in Group Cognition. The book will thereby present the VMT project as a successful model of research in its field and provide an essential confirmation and elaboration of the theory of Group Cognition.

The VMT project has dual goals:

(a) to provide a source of experience and data for practical and theoretical explorations of group cognition, and
(b) to develop an effective online environment and educational service for collaborative learning of mathematics.

The book, Studying Virtual Math Teams, will reflect these twin orientations, reviewing the intertwined aims and development of the research and the service. Other sections of the book will abstract from the lessons of the VMT project specifically to discuss more general implications for the analysis and theory of CSCL pedagogy, technology and methodology.

Studying will bring together about 20 studies of the VMT project by members of the research team at Drexel University and collaborators at other institutions. Most of these contributions are based on presentations at a workshop on VMT during the CSCL 2007 conference. The papers were each critiqued prior to the workshop through hour-long chats by team members using the VMT environment. Revised versions prepared for this volume will be subjected to another online collaborative critique prior to incorporation in the edited manuscript.

The core chapters of Studying exist in preliminary manuscripts. Most have previously been presented in conferences, where they received feedback. Many of these drafts are available by clicking on the [download] links below. Each chapter will undergo a major revision in order to fit into its context within the edited volume.

The editor will introduce each chapter briefly in order to locate its significance. He will also provide a commentary for each chapter to draw out the consequences of the chapter for a systematic theory of group cognition. The edited book will include chapters on theory, methodology and technology design. A majority of the chapters will center on analysis of specific phenomena of group cognition as illustrated in detailed exegesis of VMT data. All chapters will be thoroughly edited to avoid redundancies and to ensure a consistent style and logical flow to the volume. An Introduction section to the collection will explain the VMT project and a Conclusion section will tie the contributions together and outline open issues for future work.

Writings on the Virtual Math Teams project

The following list forms a fairly complete bibliography of writings on the Virtual Math Teams project. (Please notfy if you notice something missing or incorrect):

Relevant other studies

These are for easy reference only. They will not be included in the publication.

  • Garcia, A., & Jacobs, J. B. (1998). The interactional organization of computer mediated communication in the college classroom. Qualitative Sociology, 21 (3), 299-317.
  • Garcia, A., & Jacobs, J. B. (1999). The eyes of the beholder: Understanding the turn-taking system in quasi-synchronous computer-mediated communication. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 34 (4), 337-367.
  • O'Neill, J., & Martin, D. (2003). Text chat in action. Paper presented at the ACM Conference on Groupware (GROUP 2003), Sanibel Island, FL.
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