One of our graduate research assistants, Robyn Pinilla, shared a preview of some findings that emerged from our cognitive interview data for the SMU 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition in November 2020. The 3MT is a competition of graduate scholars founded by the University of Queensland. It has spread worldwide, often starting at individual universities with winning students advancing to regional and national competitions. You can read more about SMU’s 3MT hosted by the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies here.
Robyn presented information on a progression of spatial reasoning skills with specific examples of real-world applications and impact. She advanced from the preliminary round to the finals, sharing meaningful details about shape composition to a generalist audience of students, professors, and others interested in the research done at SMU by the graduate student body. Her presentation, titled “Progress is a Process: Shape Composition as a Micro-progression of Spatial Reasoning,” can be viewed below.
The MMaRS team presented a poster during the online adaptation of the Third Annual Conference of the Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society on October 2, 2020. An important step of gleaning information about K-2 students’ reasoning abilities on tasks associated with our spatial reasoning learning progression was presenting tasks that were understandable to children and feasible to assessors. This work provided a more complete picture of how an iterative development process informed the development of tasks, improved interview flow and experience, and garnered sufficient data to conduct meaningful quantitative and qualitative analyses of the sessions. Further, this online presentation facilitated by the MCLS through Twitter reached audiences that would have previously not had access to the dissemination efforts afforded by a place-based conference.
The MMaRS team submission, led by PhD student Robyn Pinilla, prepared a poster presentation focused on the iterative design process used to gather validity evidence for K-2 mathematics assessments. The purpose of these assessments is to measure student understanding and skills in numeric relational reasoning and spatial reasoning. Both these foundational concepts are developmentally important for K-2 students. The assessments developed from this work can guide teacher instructional practices.