Theoretical Perspectives for Developmental Education

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Well designed multimedia software may also support the standards when it incorporates real-life situations that model the mathematics under consideration and by forming connections to other disciplines. Engaging students in real-life situations and forming connections to other disciplines that students find meaningful can be a challenge. The use of video, animation, graphics, and sound provide software engineers with the tools to model real-world situations and form connections to other disciplines in ways that aren’t possible in a traditional environment. The use of multimedia and built-in tools such as graphers and scientific calculators support the standards of using technology, multiple approaches (i.e., representations) and developing mathematical power. Mediated learning embeds the use of the technology directly into the learning environment, rather than using it in a support role such as in the “bolt-on” approach, allowing students to actively learn, explore, and conjecture with the technology at all times.


The AMATYC Standards (1995) articulate standards for the intellectual development of students, pedagogy, and content for postsecondary courses below the level of calculus. Mediated learning shows promise, based on current theory and research, as a type of learning environment in which the AMATYC standards may be implemented. As developmental mathematics educators gain more experience in mediated learning environments and more research is conducted, specific details about various implementation models for incorporating the AMATYC standards into a mediated learning environment will emerge. At the University of Minnesota General College we continue to have one eye on our mediated learning environment, and the other on the AMATYC standards, as we continue our research to bring into focus our vision of how to incorporate the AMATYC standards into a mediated learning environment.


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