Collaborative learning in mathematics classrooms: Can teachers understand progress of concurrent collaborating groups?

Baruch B. Schwarz*, Osama Swidan, Naomi Prusak, Alik Palatnik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Dashboards have been hypothesized to facilitate adaptive guidance in classrooms. Thus far, however, empirical studies in this domain are badly missing. We present a dashboard, which enables teachers to observe concurrent groups as they engage in mathematical tasks using Dynamic Geometry tools and to guide groups when their intervention is needed. We rely on a case study with this dashboard in which a single teacher could successfully orchestrate the progression of several groups working on difficult problems in geometry, when being sent realtime alerts about critical moments, moments whose occurrence may impinge on further co-construction of knowledge. In the present study, we chose six 20-min long demo videos of small groups in a variety of sessions of unguided group work, where each video describes the work of one of six small groups (dyads or triads) dealing simultaneously with identical set tasks. Two versions of this demo were prepared, one with alerts of critical moments generated according to predefined rules, and the other without alerts. The teachers observing concurrent groups and being updated about critical moments (N1 = 21) better understand progression in groups than teachers that are not informed about these critical moments (N2 = 18). In a second study we found that the dispatching of alerts impinges on the ways the teachers navigate across rooms. In particular, they pay attention to certain alerts and at the same time, focus on learning processes in mathematics. We conclude that such tools may help bringing collaborative settings more often in classrooms.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number104151
JournalComputers and Education
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • Collaborative learning
  • Computer-supported collaborative learning
  • Orchestration


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