Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Using educational connoisseurship and criticism to evaluate YouTube videos on the formal definition of limit
by Wolbert, Roger S., Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 2016, 330; 10163774
Abstract (Summary)

YouTube videos can provide valuable information for calculus students and instructors. No prior research has focused on a means in which to evaluate YouTube videos that define limit. In this collected case study, I use Eisner’s connoisseurship and educational criticism framework to report on YouTube videos on the formal definition of a mathematical limit.

Three coding schemes were used to evaluate the sample of videos selected. First, each video presenter’s interaction with the viewers (off-screen, waist up or only hands visible), use of informal and intuitive conceptions to introduce the video, use of color to organize or emphasize information on the screen, and mathematical accuracy were analyzed. Second, a different coding scheme was used to evaluate the extent to which each presenter used the process-object and the forward-backward models for defining a mathematical limit. Lastly, a third coding scheme was used to identify observable types of semiotic resources (i.e., inscription, speech, gesture, and artifact) during instructional incidents of the videos.

Narratives were written for each of the three schemes to report on the data collected through coding. An individual case study record was written for each video, and a case study report was written for overall findings.

Findings indicate that the YouTube videos in this study accurately used the formal definition of limit. Semiotic bundles were used frequently during the instructional incidents, and inscription was featured most frequently in transformations of concepts within treatments and between conversions of mathematical registers.

Videos had multiple levels of fulfilling the requirements in the process-object and forward-backward models, with many addressing several steps of one model or the other. Videos were categorized as high, above average, average, and low ranking videos based primarily on their achievements in the conceptual models. These rankings provided a means to compare videos by groups with common characteristics.

The hallmarks of high ranking videos provide characteristics common to quality videos. These characteristics provide instructors a guide when selecting YouTube videos for educational purposes or when they produce their own videos for their students. The findings also indicate that high ranking videos provide instruction for students to possibly overcome obstacles to learning the formal definition of limit. The findings also identify additional opportunities for further research on evaluating educational videos, in general, and the use of semiotic resources when presenting the definition of a limit, in particular.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Moore-Russo, Deborah
Commitee: Rish, Ryan, Son, Ji-Won
School: State University of New York at Buffalo
Department: Learning and Instruction
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 78/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education
Keywords: Educational connoisseurship, Educational criticism, Formal definition of limit, Semiotic resources, Video critique, Youtube
Publication Number: 10163774
ISBN: 978-1-369-18415-0
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