ZDM Mathematics Education (2011) 43:325–336

DOI 10.1007/s11858-011-0329-2


An epistemic model of task design in dynamic geometry
Allen Leung

Accepted: 24 March 2011 / Published online: 11 April 2011
! FIZ Karlsruhe 2011

Abstract Dynamic geometry environment (DGE) has 1 Introduction
been a catalytic agent driving a paradigm shift in the
teaching and learning of school geometry in the past two A task in a pedagogical setting consists of activities for the
decades. It opens up a pedagogical space for teachers and purpose of learning. How a task is designed to carry the
students to engage in mathematical explorations that niche object of learning that is intended for is liken to a potter
across the experimental and the theoretical. In particular, who shapes vessels out of clay. It should be creative and
the drag-mode in DGE has been a unique pedagogical tool purpose-driven. The most important consideration for
that can facilitate and empower students to experiment with pedagogic task design is the ‘‘learning’’ that a task is
dynamic geometrical objects which can lead to generation designed to carry. A pedagogic task is a mean (or a tool) to
of mathematical conjectures. Furthermore, the drag-mode bring about meaning for what is targeted to be learnt.
seems to open up a new methodology and even a new In this discussion paper, I consider pedagogic task
discourse to acquire geometrical knowledge alternative to design that is environmentally situated or contextually
the traditional Euclidean deductive reasoning paradigm. oriented; i.e., such a design should be epistemologically
This discussion paper proposes an epistemic model of connected to a pedagogical environment. A pedagogical
techno-pedagogic mathematic task design which serves as environment may consist of teacher(s), students, the
a theoretical combined-lens to view mathematics knowl- physical setting, the tools used for teaching and learning,
edge acquisition. Three epistemic modes for techno-peda- and even the pedagogical approaches use in the classroom.
gogic mathematical task design are proposed. They are A task that is environmentally situated means that it should
used to conceptualize design of dynamic geometry tasks be shaped in ways that make use of the elements which
capitalizing the unique drag-mode nature in DGE that constituted the pedagogical environment in order to deliver
opens up an explorative space for learners to acquire the knowledge load. In particular, it is didactically fruitful
mathematical knowledge. to be aware of, and to make use of, the possible variations
that could take place for the variable elements in a peda-
Keywords Task design ! Dynamic geometry gogical environment which are conducive to knowledge
environment ! Drag-mode formation. Critical features in a pedagogic task should
consist of activities that can bring about awareness of these
variations. Take an example of a task design that aims to
engage students in paper-folding activities to learn about
line symmetry. A simple pedagogical environment for this
task may consist of pieces of paper and different paper-
folding techniques. A task design could then consider the
variations in the shape and size of the pieces of paper, and
A. Leung (&)
in the ways of folding to bring forth the concept of the axis
Department of Education Studies, Hong Kong Baptist
University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong SAR, China of symmetry in terms of these contextual aspects: different
e-mail: aylleung@hkbu.edu.hk; aylleung@hkucc.hku.hk sizes/shapes of paper and different ways of folding.


A model of techno-pedagogic task (Gibson. Throughout the discussion.’’ (Brown. and in particular. The upshot is: mathe- through powerful pre-designed means in construction of matical ideas can be indigenous shaped and expressed with mathematical insights. compasses and ruler)... 183) ‘‘The purpose of a task is to initiate mathematically The qualities of a pedagogical environment not only fruitful activity that leads to a transformation in what enable learners to perform action. and promotion of discourse through tech- activities that could transform the ways they see and do nology use to enhance student learning. develop- ment of multiple strategies to solve and/or check A mathematics pedagogic task aims to engage learners in problems.g. account of perception. 1968. p. guidance. concept formation in a task. a pedagogic task should be and expressing are resultants of tools. An cognition which basically says that knowing is inseparable environmentally shaped concept can be regarded as a sit- from doing. Leung This paper will consider technology-rich pedagogical important notion in situated cognition is the idea of affor- environments. Education framework with Freudenthal’s mathematization as foundation (Freudenthal. are perceived and enacted by a teacher in a technology-rich teaching and learning environment. This process of re-invention is ini. It was introduced by J. 2006. mathematics. it refers to those design in mathematics will be developed and generic epi.326 A. but should also empower learners are sensitised to notice and competent to learners to construct meaning. Shaping tiated by learners. Gibson as a relational that are enhanced by the use of Information Communica. hence. gradually build up mathematical ideas that are shaped by ing. Affordance is of par- of DGE. mathematics task (e. Contextualization plays a vital role in mathematics the tool usage that gives rise to tool-dependent concepts. Tools that are realistically imaginable from the learners’ point of view. webbing can be interpreted as an affordance to theory.e. 122) engagement and focus in pedagogic task design should take into considerations concerning reality. namely. 25) Hoyles (1996) saw the pedagogical potential of ICT as ‘‘The point of setting tasks for learners is to get them windows on mathematical meanings and coined the term actively making sense of phenomena and exercising situated abstraction their powers and their emerging skills’’ (Mason & Johnston-Wilder. 1979). 1996. p. in pedagogic task design. inherent epistemic conditions or qualities of the environ- stemic modes for it will be proposed. 2006. tools.e. A task must be ‘‘the presence of a structure that learners can draw realistic to learners in the sense that it should be compre- upon and reconstruct for support—in ways that they hensible by them. in turn. Affordance is about properties in the tion Technology (ICT) to carry out the teaching and environment that present possibilities for action and are learning process. purpose and utility. task. learners textual understanding and conceptual abstract understand. i. concepts that are expressible in terms of tool usage. teaching and learning environments dance. different theoretical ticular importance when considering mathematical tasks perspectives will be used to frame interpretations in that involve the use of technology since interaction with the an attempt to regard the techno-pedagogic task framework technology should be a critical epistemic element in such as a combined-lens to view mathematical knowledge tasks. A available in a task environment are pivotal to form situated task guides learners from informal to formal mathematical abstraction. Three conditions were observed for learning in her research: 2 Pedagogic task design ‘‘… an exploratory approach to learning. In this connection. careful 123 . 69) ‘‘to describe how learners construct mathematical ideas by drawing on the webbing of a particular Ainley et al. 1991). By webbing it refers to tualization. Mason and Johnston-Wilder expressed this as 2005. In the process of learning how to use tools in a knowledge through a gradual process that connects con. In Freudenthal’s Thus.’’ (Noss and Hoyles. contex. An uated abstraction.J. For a pedagogic task. A pedagogic task is thus activity-based. It has to do with situated i. expressed. (2006) discussed pedagogic task design in setting which.. p. 108). respect to interactions with the task environment. p. Brown (2005) did a case study on how affordances acquisition. This task design ment that allow learners to perform certain actions with the model will then be discussed and illustrated in the context environment to acquire knowledge. p. Noss and carry out’’ (Mason & Johnston-Wilder. the dynamic geometry available for an agent to perceive directly and act upon environment (DGE). This aligns with the Dutch’s Realistic Mathematics 1996. shapes the way the ideas are terms of connecting engagement and focus. learners must have prior suitable choose as appropriate for their struggle to construct experiences that enable them to relate to the content of the meaning for some mathematics’’ (Noss and Hoyles. Thus. In particular. learners are guided to re-invent mathematics facilitate mathematical learning.

p. That is. mathematical exploration. 3. in a research on designing for mathematical sophisticated mathematics using tools that are more pow- abstraction.’’ (Ainley et al. 95). A purposeful task is which learners are empowered with amplified abili- ‘‘one that has a meaningful outcome for the pupil. 30) With respect to in processes of exploration from intuitive mathematics to these ideas. They have identified ‘‘heuristic in took place but rather as it would have done if people in the designing for abstraction that requires the intentional past had known a bit more of what we know now. 29) and utility technology-rich environment. these practices could be estab- ical concepts that can be used as control points needed lished via construction or manipulative tasks where modes by the child to pursue their aim (Pratt and Noss. Establishing Practices Mode (PM) A pedagogical reason for using technology is to empower learners with extended or amplified abilities to acquire PM1 Construct mathematical objects or manipulate knowledge. in novice ways. 1991. one has to learn how purposeful activity and tools that encourage the to use it and in doing so.Task design in DGE 327 attention should be paid on those chosen tools to direct process of acquiring knowledge in mathematics. In particular. re-construction and whose use might foster the construction of that abstrac.’’ environment can be developed.’’ blurring of the key mathematical concepts with the tools (Freudenthal.’’ (Pratt and Noss. gradually realizes the ‘‘knowledge construction of utilities for the key mathematical potential’’ that is embedded in it. not as factually chance and distribution. In a task design model to be proposed in the next section. Seek to enhance the explanatory power of knowledge They are: Establishing Practices Mode. In a particular task. 2. ment Mode. pedagogical usage of tools can guiding principles for the techno-pedagogic task design become a part of mathematical concept. p. Enable the testing by children of their personal knowledge acquisition process are put forward as the conjectures foundation of the techno-pedagogic task design model. Three epistemic modes that characterize mathematics ‘‘1. or the solution of an mathematical concepts using tools embedded in a engaging problem’’ (Ainley et al. establish practices (sometime personal) for the tool. but the construction This description echoes Freudenthal’s idea of mathe- of meaning for the ways in which those mathematical ideas matization in which mathematical concepts are re-invented are useful. p. learners need to concepts. p. modes of interaction in terms of skill (tacit knowledge). 2010. 2006. For 4. proposed two connected constructs purpose Techno-pedagogic Task Design in Mathematics and utility as factors that gauge learners’ level of engage- Task design that focuses on pedagogical processes in ment and focus in a pedagogic task. ‘‘Children should ICT environment to study children understanding about repeat the learning process of mankind. of interaction between learners and the technology-rich p. Identify or design representations of key mathemat. means ‘‘that the learning of mathematics encompasses not just the ability to carry out procedures. Critical Discern- that might offer a route to normalized knowledge. PM2 Interact with the tools in a technology-rich technology can empower their cognitive abilities to reason environment to develop (a) skill-based routines. 48) Exploration.. 2006. four model. modalities of behaviour and even situated dialogue (linguistic or a-linguistic) with the environment 3 Techno-pedagogic mathematics task design model could emerge. That is. Construct a task design that will be likely to generate When one is faced with a new tool. with the following basic idea: Ainley et al. (c) modes of a technology-rich pedagogical environment that tracks the situated dialogue 123 . learners can do things and see things pre-designed mathematical objects using tools that they could not do or see without the technology (or embedded in a technology-rich environment could do and see in new ways using the technology). Constructing or manipu- lating virtual mathematical objects is a meaningful way to These heuristics coincide with some of the basic ideas in learn to turn virtual tools into pedagogical instruments. These shall form the core of the an ICT environment. 2010. It begins learners to the targeted mathematical knowledge. explanation are three important aspects in mathematics tion.. in terms ties to explore. I propose a model of task design situated in (b) modalities of behaviour. re-construct (or re-invent) and explain of an actual or virtual product. learners should engage in design heuristics emerged in their research: activities that blend these aspects in proportion that is conducive to the purpose and utility of the task. Pratt and Noss drawn on a case study using an erful than our predecessors possessed. hence. doing so. 95) This ascertains that in knowledge acquisition. Situated Discourse Mode.

123 . thus.g. An instrument can be considered as a psycho- logical construct in the cognitive ergonomic domain (Vérillon and Rabardel. reasoning in mathematics like deduction. mark their learning trajectories. This is the user-oriented micro-genetic process of instrumentation in instrumental genesis. SDM2 instrumental genesis begins. In particular. This is the instrumentaliza- tion of the artefact.e.. the task should con. Fig. Thus. in another word. A meaningful mathematical explorative task should be 4 Drag-based dynamic geometry techno-pedagogic task one that involves conjecturing and explanation activities. discernment plays a pivotal role. At the same time. In this mode. A utility scheme is a systematic pro. nitive extension of CDM. and discernment brings about reasoning mathematical meanings. one shifts the focus of attention from establishing understand them as a nested sequence in the sense that routine tool usage to meaning construction. a task mode should encourage Educational Studies in Mathematics 44:1–161. 2008) which may form kernels of generalized conjecture mathematical concepts. the focus is not on knowledge carried by the task. In particular. 2002). Hence. space where practices evolve into discernment followed by rather it is on the externally or internally oriented usage discernment evolving into discourses. SD1 and SD2 may serve as connections to theoretical responding pattern formation. Leung. even purposes. practice brings of the tool that could bring about the construction of about discernment. learners Establishing Situated Discourses Mode (SDM) need to make critical judgement on how to instrument the tools in order to observe patterns of variation and invariant SD1 Develop inductive reasoning leading to making (see. empirical experiences are being mathematized. this task design matical meaning mediated by the instruments shaped model can be seen as a vehicle to carry the acquisition of in the Establishing Practices Mode takes centre stage. The design of a Critical Discernment Mode (CDM) techno-pedagogic task should take into consideration the Observe. PM1. In semiotic CDM is a cognitive extension of PM and SDM is a cog- mediation (Mariotti. construction of mathe. record. In connection of a tool to become a psychological One way to organize these three task modes is to entity.g.. in situated mathematical knowledge (situated abstraction) and the Critical Discernment Mode. mathematics knowledge. re-present (re-construct) patterns of three epistemic modes in weighted relative proportion that variation and invariant shapes the task to carry its target knowledge. Such conjectures made are situated in the technology-rich DGE has been a catalytic agent driving a paradigm shift in environment with respect to the tools that instrument the the teaching and learning of school geometry (see. learners to develop situated discourses to communicate PM acts as a precursor of a mode in which critical their mathematical reasoning and argumentation. 1). 1 An expanding pedagogic task exploration space in a technol- ogy-rich environment with a nested structure sequenced by the three essarily intended by the designer of the tool) in the epistemic modes instrumental genesis process.328 A. Leung In the Establishing Practices Mode. 2003. a process of SDM1. e. an instrument can be a dual entity—artefactual and psychological. are attributed by the user to the tool (not nec. This shift of attention occurs in (Fig. generalization process. and if possible to visualize the process of the cor. Thus. SD2 Develop discourses and modes of reasoning to tain activities asking learners to record and to re-present the explain or prove discovered patterns via construction or other situated means. In the theory of instrumental genesis. the transition between the Establishing Practices Mode The pedagogical exploration space opened up by the and the Critical Discernment Mode where utilization three epistemic modes is where learners can develop their schemes are becoming schemes for discernment. thus bridging learners to formal mathematics discourse. attention is paid to the pro. a tool turns into an instrument by associating with CDM it a utility scheme. PM2 cedure on how to use certain tool to achieve a certain purpose. specific functionalities. Such an arrangement can open cess of internalization where technical tools are being up for learners an exploration space in which they can transformed into psychological tools for the purpose of construct first-hand understanding of the mathematical shaping new meanings. e. i.. 1995). 2000. It is a nested expanding distinction between (physical) artefact and instrument.

2008. Leung. By simultaneous awareness of co. organize PM and CDM in a task design. with different dragging modalities agogical tool that facilitates students to experiment with dynamic geometrical objects which can lead to generation of mathematical conjectures (see.g. epistemic interactions between the learners and DGE. Learners now need to express what they have discovered varying aspects via dragging. intended condition becomes a powerful epistemic means to achieve this purpose. learners invariant begin the process of accommodation and/or assimilation in DGE. dragging via a lens of variation (Leung. they can shift their focus of attention to look for drag- caglini-Frank and Mariotti. Once these features compatible) to the traditional Euclidean deductive reason. invariant features of the geometrical situation under mode seems to open up a new methodology and even a new exploration. 2006). 2008). Baccaglini-Frank et al. the construction of drag-sensitive soft objects as transition The three epistemic task modes are now interpreted in objects to support conceptual development. A 2008) and instrumental genesis of dragging (Restrepo. 2002).. 2010). thus providing the context of explorative task design in DGE. record. construction in DGE is a constructed figure that passes the designed geometric objects using the tools drag test (Arzarello et al. the learners to record and re-present them by encouraging Talmon and Yerushalmy. Leung. Leung. learners respond to the in the DGE setting. A robust PM1 Construct geometric objects or manipulate pre.. ging explorations in PM and CDM support an inductive 2010). 2002. 2002). task should allow this learner–DGE interaction to happen 2008) are a few theoretical perspectives that can be used to and not restrict learners to experience only delimited var. These modalities may be regarded as the beginning approach for learners to hypothesize and to postulate of establishing a dragging dialogue with DGE. 2004). Types of construction is a visual embodiment of an attempt to show dragging interaction: that a conclusion necessarily follows from a set of 123 . By getting to Observe. Maintaining dragging model (Baccaglini-Frank and quential moving images appear on the screen constitute Mariotti. Learners are empowered by the drag-mode in DGE (a) Look for drag-invariant features of the geometrical to vary the shape and size of geometric objects at will situation under exploration while intended intrinsic properties of the objects can be (b) Construct drag sensitive soft object (making use of kept invariant or approximately invariant (depending on PM2) to re-construct the invariant features the tools and the construction procedures) under dragging.. e. Dragging conjectures. learners drag to separate out dialogue is the feedback patterns between a learner’s invariant features in DGE phenomena and drag to specu- dragging behaviour and the DGE environment. Arzarello et al. Constructing robust figures is another PM: Establishing Dragging Practices way to manifest reasoning and argumentation.. the drag-mode in DGE is regarded as a DGE tool to tion (Laborde.. 2009. This is a critical stage in which formation of discourse to acquire geometrical knowledge alternative (or mathematical concepts can take place.Task design in DGE 329 International Journal of Computers for Mathematical (a) Skill-based dragging routines (learn to drag) Learning 6:229–333. discerned invariant features can become a seeding for A DGE pedagogic task should start with activities which proto-concepts and conjecture formation. iation set by teachers. In particu. It opens up (b) Dragging modalities (learn to strategize) a pedagogical space for teachers and students to engage in (c) Mode of feedback dialogue (learn to con- geometrical explorations that niche across the experimental verse): simultaneous awareness of varying and the theoretical (Lopez-Real and Leung. involve learners either to construct geometric objects or to CDM: Focus on drag-invariant features manipulate pre-designed geometric objects. Such construction is embedded in a DGE conducive to developing deductive reasoning since a robust PM2 Interact with DGE via dragging. It usually late generalization about these features. Bac. the dragging modalities discussed in Arzarello inductive (and even deductive) reasoning in DGE. are observed and discerned. 2001. 2005) using a drag-to-fit strategy to satisfy dialogue. Soft construction takes a while for learners to become operative in a dragging (Laborde. In DGE objects during dragging and respond particular. The ‘‘dragging dialogue’’ developed in moving geometric objects by different dragging modalities PM and CDM serves as a pseudo-linguistic tool to develop (see. the drag-mode in DGE has been a unique ped. Drag- et al. e.g. learners a dynamic flexible setting for systematic explora- lar. This visual variation initiated by learners and the conse. Baccaglini-Frank and Mariotti. A re-construction of empower learners with amplified abilities to explore. 2002. In particular. 2005. 2010). Leung. 2008. the task should give room for ing paradigm (Lopez-Real and Leung 2006.. Once learners are comfortable to a ‘‘dragging dialogue’’. re-present patterns of variation and know how to literally ‘‘move around’’ in DGE. the drag. ZDM 34(3). Furthermore. 2009.

Drag point C continuously to keep sophisticated.330 A. 2).. 3. In the following two sections. D etry curricula from Grade 10 to Grade 12. A DGE discourse may open up a new knowledge Learners are asked to perform simple construction. a stu. In this case. Measure two opposite interior angles. 2006. This begins a process of instrumental genesis for drag- ging. potential of the three epistemic modes in techno-pedagogic task designs. Below is an eight- (c) Perform drag-to-fit. cyclic quadrilateral and symmetry of solid will be used as objects C of investigation to discuss how the nature of a task can sieve out the knowledge content of the object of investi- gation while a learner progresses the three epistemic A modes.10 learner and DGE. Design a task starting with a general quadrilateral whose dent’s written DGE proof in Leung. 5 Knowledge potential of techno-pedagogic DGE task a learner drags point C to see constant variation of the design moving quadrilateral while maintaining the angle sum as close to 180" as possible (PM2(a)). Different dragging activities may result in different instrumental action schemes (Restrepo. 2 Tracing the assumption \ABC ? \CDA = 180" 123 . With respect to the The three epistemic modes in techno-pedagogic DGE task design form progressive phases where geometrical B m ∠ ABC = 86. this is where techno-pedagogic task design can become a window for alternative mathematics knowledge PM2 (Developing dragging routine) acquisition. Construct a quadrilateral ABCD (b) Perform drag test 2. Developing a drag-based discourse 5. In the next section.44 ο knowledge can take shape out of interactions between the m ∠ CDA = 94. A non-embedded assumption (it exists only in the DSM: Establishing DGE Discourses mind of the learner. domain in geometry that is either supplementary or com. The nature of the model is basically an evolution model 4. angles of an arbitrary quadrilateral. the tasks below can be suited in these student groups. vertices can be dragged to any position without any con- straint. hence.g. This focuses the plementary to traditional Euclidean geometry (see the learner’s attention to the sum of two interior opposite discussion in Lopez-Real and Leung. These two topics are in most of the school geom. step task sequence structured by the three epistemic modes DSM2 Develop modes of discourse to explain or with an explicated potential learning trajectory: prove DGE phenomena PM: Establishing Dragging Practices (a) Construct robust object (via inductive and PM1 (Constructing and measuring) deduction reasoning) for conjecture made in DSM1 1. concrete examples from \ABC ? \CDA as close to 180" as 2D and 3D DGE’s will be used to discuss the knowledge possible (Fig. 2008). e. Leung geometrical premises. Cal- (a) Inductive dragging: drag to see the same culation and Trace tools to open up a cognitive working invariant feature in different situations space for learners to conceptualize the existence of a cyclic (b) Construct soft object quadrilateral under the given constraint. Leung. say (c) Develop a drag-based discourse to \ABC and \CDA explain or prove.1 Investigating cyclic quadrilateral is favourable to guide this discernment process and to explain (even prove) DGE phenomena (see. Turn the Trace function on for point C of student’s dragging strategy from the primitive to the 5. 2009).54 ο set by the task. not in the DGE) is imposed to this DSM1 Make generalized DGE conjecture general quadrilateral: two opposite interior angles are required to add up to 180". Use the Angle Measure. measurement and calculation activities. Calculate \ABC ? \CDA. The potential knowledge acquired will ο depend on the initial assumptions and the tool utilization m ∠ABC+m ∠CDA = 180. Fig. 2009).

a powerful visual concept ing three points and finally passing four points.57 m∠CDA = 78.58 and along it.07 m∠ ABC = 101. \ABC ? \CDA ο ο m ∠ ABC+m ∠ CDA = 197. This DGE task design shows that a dragging scheme in the process of instrumental genesis (or CDM: Discerning drag-invariant feature semiotic mediation) can become a vessel that carries the 6.71 is approximately equal to 180" A A D D 123 . learners to conceptualize an invariant path that satisfied a The traced path that visually appears in a continuous preset invariant condition via the dragging instrument. Explain (or prove) why the conjecture is true This is an instrumentalization process in instrumental genesis. Investigate the shape of the path that point C traces learning of geometry (see another example of a DGE vari- out ational dragging scheme in Leung.13 that when C is being dragged on ο ο C m ∠ CDA = 101. task sequence is a process of instrumentation for the dragging taining dragging modality. The stemic focus of this design is to learn about cyclic learner constructs a circle passing through the vertices A. The epi- in DGE (Leung and Lopez-Real.. be different from the above task design. Chan & Lopez-Real. 3. 2006). the Trace function made possible the way to construct a circle passing two points. with the dragging tool. the learner Leung and Lopez-Real (2002) discussed how a DGE could employ a drag-to-fit strategy (soft construction) to discourse can be developed to give a DGE proof by arrive at a conjecture that may be read like: Fig.Task design in DGE 331 framework of Baccaglini-Frank and Mariotti (2010). 2003). 3 A circle passing through B B the vertices A. that comprises the three epistemic modes which takes the ABCD becomes a soft cyclic quadrilateral obtainable by a generic form: drag-to-fit strategy (Laborde. The manner under dragging feedbacks to the learner’s main. In this way. then As the learner’s maintaining dragging skill improved. Lopez-Real and Leung. Use perpendicular bisector as a cognitive tool to DMS2 investigate circum-circle in DGE 8.65 C m ∠ ABC+m∠ CDA = 179. 2002. the contradiction for this conjecture based on the work of two learner begins to develop a Maintaining Dragging Scheme Hong Kong Form 4 (Grade 10) students. thus shifts the learner’s aware. That is. Thus. each sub-task can be regarded as a unit the intended invariant is realized (Fig. tool. If a task design has a different epistemic focus. the learner has developed a Maintaining Dragging Scheme for this task that instrumented the PM: Explore how to construct a circle that passes dragging tool in DGE. It paves a way for the learner to develop a scheme of ness to pay attention to simultaneous variation of the usage (e. are three sub-tasks. 2006). of his/her own in this epistemic mode by dragging to keep The epistemic focus of the above task design is to guide an intended invariant (angle sum equals to 180") (PM2(b)). Since there and D such that when C is being dragged on and along it. CDM(b)). a Maintaining Dragging Scheme) associated different components of the figure (PM2(c)). Leung.g. For the four points (quadrilateral) case. cerns the circular-like path as an observed invariant Suppose the task starts with asking learners first to find a (CDM(a)). the knowledge conceptualized for cyclic quadrilateral may the traced path gradually takes shape and the learner dis. 2005. B and D such ο ο m ∠ ABC = 96. Make a conjecture on the shape of the path explain (or prove) why the construction procedure works The learner postulates the following conjecture as a result of the discernment in CDM: This task design guides learners to progressively and cognitively construct a situated pedagogical instrument (a For a quadrilateral to satisfy the condition ‘‘a pair of utility scheme): interior opposite angles adds up to 180"’’. second pass- appearance of locus of validity. through a given number of points CDM: Discern how many circles can pass through the DSM: Establishing a DGE discourse given number of points DMS1 SDM: Make a conjecture about circum-circle and 7. the vertices of the quadrilateral must lie on a circle. B quadrilateral via robust and soft constructions.

The two-task designs have and discourse modes in techno-pedagogic task design. Perspective dragging is dragging 1. This discourse depends visual attention by the learner could posit him/her in the heavily on learner action and visualization. In the experiment reported in Leung and Or Hong Kong to explore symmetry of solid based on two (2009). this task ask learners to manipulate a pre-con- structed Cabri-3D object using object dragging and per. 4. To change the view angle. This opens up a the right mouse button and drag (Perspective very rich epistemic space to acquire geometric knowl.. A fixed (unmovable with respect to object the findings of the second sub-task. of a unit of PM–CDM–SDM sequence. next epistemic mode. It stays fix as the solid rotates (Fig. that has angular demarcation and by an axis of rotation that can be freely moved via dragging a point on it that is constrained The explanation (or proof) of this conjecture depends on on the solid. 4). Thus. a unique position on the cube feature of the Cabri-3D environment.g. a Cabri-3D exploration task is presented to since the knowledge content of the symmetry of solid is illustrate how situated discourse (SDM) can be developed richly embedded in the pre-constructed object. this task design dragging) wire frame congruent to the solid is ‘‘attached’’ to structures as an expanding spiral with each turn composed the movable solid. hold down from all possible spatial perspectives. Leung If the four perpendicular bisectors of the sides of a The pre-constructed object is a robust 3D solid (say a cube) quadrilateral are concurrent. 5). In contrast to two DGE tasks of last PM ? CDM (From exploration to discernment) section.2 Investigating symmetry of solid a dragging dialogue to talk about the symmetry of the solid. Drag P to rotate the cube about the axis (Object that combine these two modalities empower learners to Dragging) simulate the seeing and manipulation of a 3D object 3. click the figure. the task was designed as follows: dragging modalities in the Cabri-3D environment. therefore. Manipulation. Object PM (Exploring how to manipulate the pre-designed dragging refers to dragging components (e. then the quadrilateral that can be rotated. points. Dragging) edge for 3D solids. Visualize and investigate the rotational symmetry of spective dragging. object) lines) of a Cabri-3D object. a shift of in terms of dragging modalities. discernment tion for cyclic quadrilateral. The rotation is controlled by a circular dial can be inscribed in a circle (Fig. the figure by Fig. Dragging strategies 2. this task reaches a different defining condi- supple enough to accommodate the practices. The transition between the epistemic modes are blurry In this section. Drag S to move the axis of rotation to a desired to change the perspective of a Cabri-3D object. Compared to the The design of this pre-constructed Cabri-3D object is previous task. they should Learners need to practice how to manipulate the various naturally arrive at different critical aspects of cyclic components of the pre-constructed object together with quadrilateral. just like the drag-mode in two-dimensional DGE.332 A. discernment and dis- Leung and Or (2009) reported an experimental virtual course could all take place quickly in any micro-dragging task given to a group of Form 6 (Grade 12) students in episode. 4 The concurrency of all four perpendicular bisectors as a defining condition for cyclic B B quadrilateral C C A A D D 123 . strategic use of the two dragging modalities to facilitate the discernment of invariant symmetry patterns and to develop 5. different initial foci of attention.

employing different dragging modalities to investigate able perspective which visually resembles a two geometrical situation. The plane figure has a twofold rotational symmetry. rical ideas that were generated out of the Cabri-3D points of opposite edges. Students were able to make the so would the solid with respect to this axis of rotation. In the second conjecture. Talk about how to find out the rotational symmetry of dragging to find a position at which the view of the solid the solid using these two dragging modalities and the appears as a plane hexagon (Fig. 5 A Cabri-3D rotatable Axis of rotation cube Point S controls the S position of the axis The solid under P rotation about the Point P on the circular chosen axis dial controls the rotation of the solid Fixed wire frame (i) drag the axis of rotation to different positions coincides with the rotational symmetry of the solid (ii) rotate the figure with the axis of rotation passes the centre (perpen- (iii) drag to change the perspective dicularly) of the two dimensional figure. The order of rotational environment. or mid. perspective dimensional plane figure with rotational symmetry. while the other made use of goes through the mid-points of two opposite edges perspective dragging. (Leung and Or. manipulate and express geomet- opposite vertices. 2009). The following conjectures (or talking about how to do it). the two conjectures can actually be about the axis at these positions. suppose the 3D solid is a dodecahedron (a solid whose faces are regular pentagons). an Fig. thus. symmetries can be determined by rotating the solid Furthermore. 6): rotation for the dodecahedron that gives rotational sym- A small-scale pilot study was done using these tasks metry. 6 Rotatable Cabri-3D solids 123 . CDM ? SDM (Establishing a Cabri-3D discourse) For example. dragging is used as a tool to deconstruct a 3D solid into a The rotational symmetry of this plane figure pseudo-2D object to search for symmetry.Task design in DGE 333 Fig. (Fig. 7a). centres of opposite faces. These two student-generated conjectures (in particular Conjecture One (object dragging strategy) the second one which was unexpected) show that the Rotational symmetries were observed when the axis design of this task did provide an open exploration space is dragged to positions on the solid that pass through for students to visualize. location of all possible axes of rotation for the solid Then the axis that goes through the centre of this plane perspective and perpendicular to the plane is an axis of This task can be repeated for other 3D solids (Fig. one centre is in fact the orthogonal projection of an axis that made use of object dragging. use perspective 5. 7b). regarded as utilization scheme in instrumental genesis Conjecture Two (perspective dragging strategy) since they are organized strategies developed by learners Use perspective dragging to drag the solid to a suit.

Perceptual apprehension: what is recognized at first glance for a figure. Thus. an understanding on how the drag-mode functions under variation would inform the discernment process in concept formation. Duval’s cog- ment and the tool embedded in it. Leung rooted in variation in its design. a b A DGE exploration task should motivate learners to make mathematical conjectures and even to arrive at Fig. They can be regarded as activities that depend on steps or sequences of action. 2008) to study the epistemic relation between variation and the drag-mode in DGE. purpose to a dragging modality. con. in Critical Discernment Mode mainly with operative 123 . These two aspects are inter-mingled and mutually insights. 7 Using perspective dragging strategy to generate symmetry of mathematical proofs. This section uses DGE as a context to discuss the learners focus on developing a dynamic visual reasoning knowledge potential that techno-pedagogic task can carry. A perspective of proof in DGE can dodecahedron in Cabri-3D be developed from a drag-dependent discourse that seeks to explain DGE phenomena in a systemic fashion (see instrumentalization process was taking place by assigning a work by Leung. and they permeate in the three modes of techno- pedagogic task design. learners’ epistemic abilities can be amplified and empow- 4.’’ (Leung. letting learners visualize changes in DGE strategies … undergo an evolution in meanings and in figures. The drag-mode in DGE is sion. The three epistemic nitive apprehension framework on the visualization of modes are like threads that connect and weave the geometric (static) drawings (Duval. Baccaglini-Frank et al. p. In the Situated Discourse Mode. 2008. the nature of the Dragging (discourse). In DGE. and ‘‘dynamic signs’’ in the process of concept formation eventually into formation of primitive dragging dialogue … In this vein of thought. These dragging signs … evolved … as the awareness learners express and explain geometrical knowledge in of critical features deepened. In the Critical Discernment Mode. be utilized to realize different apprehensions. In this connection to visualization. It is an instrument which Mid-point of an edge enables geometrical concepts to take visual dynamic forms subject to learner actions through experiencing invariant under different dimensions of variation mediated by drag- ging. dragging tool in DGE makes possible the construction of strategies are employed to operate on DGE figures transient signs that are not intrinsically stable but can searching for meaning and insight along with a refinement point to critical features of the phenomenon at hand. Thus. recognizing geometric Referring back to the three task modes. Work has been done by Leung (2003. 2. 1995) which are summarized as use these threads to discover or invent mathematical follows: patterns. enhancing. 2009. 2009. 154) terms of a dragging discourse and/or construction Furthermore. 3. 1995) may be ger- knowledge patterns situated in the environment using mane to the techno-pedagogic task design framework. appropriate tools as needles. Operative apprehension: operating on the figure for ered. modes. of the dragging discourse.. 2009). In the Situated Discourse Mode. The dragging activities in each mode can is a sign of meaning construction. Leung and Or. these cognitive invariants and subsequently constructing soft figures to apprehensions can be taken as principal threads to weave represent those invariants under the drag-mode instrument the task design. Sequential apprehension: construct a figure or describe 6 Remarks on variation and visualization its construction. based on a dragging dialogue established in the other two Such potential is dependent on the nature of the environ. This evolves into construction or manipulation relation to each other. In the Establishing Practices Mode. To design a techno-pedagogic There are four types of cognitive apprehension of geo- task is then to create a setting to ‘‘train’’ learners how to metric figures (Duval. 1. in the Critical Discernment Mode. task design in Establishing Practices Mode struction activities instrumented by dragging modalities concerns mainly with perceptual and sequential apprehen- can be structured by variation. sequence. Discursive apprehension: discursive statements or Dynamic variation and visualization are major aspects in a descriptions giving mathematical properties for a technology-rich pedagogical environment under which figure.334 A. dragging starts as a percep- ‘‘DGE objects constructed under different dragging tual exercise.

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