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Wayne D. Russell

Medgar Evers College City University of New York
Department of Mathematics

The objective of this research is to determine the
effectiveness of using a Social-Media Supplemental
Instructional Platform (SSIP) to promote Dynamic
Self-Regulated Learning (SRL-d) in Developmental
Mathematics college students.
This study asserts that a SSIP is more effective in
creating the interactions necessary to facilitate SRL-
d which, by extension, would increase students
academic performance rate, retention rate and their
mathematical conceptions.

Over two centuries ago, the renowned philosopher
Jean- Jacques Rousseau argued that it is in the best
interest of the State to have an educated populace.
In his 1762 book The Social Contract, Rousseau saw
education as one of the responsibilities of a modern
democratic society. Today, Rousseaus argument
remains true; we, as a society, must make a greater
effort to provide for the educational needs of the

A Brief History

The Department of Labor indicated that from
January through October of 2009, some 70.1% of the
2.9 million new graduates between the ages of 16
and 24 have enrolled into institutions of higher
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES,
2011) data, indicates that 75% of the 2009 incoming
class, enrolled into developmental classes and sited
mathematics as the primary reason for the increase
in freshman dropout rate.

Dismal Statistics

This study asserts that Social Media can be used as
a platform to facilitate SRL- d which can serve to
increase students mathematical conceptions and,
by extension, their performance rates.

It argues that a virtual platform can serve to
stimulate students enthusiasm, passion, insight,
interest and curiosity. These are all primary tenets
of dynamic self-regulated learning (SRL- d).
Our Obligation

The National Center for Education Statistics(NCES )
defines nontraditional students as students who satisfies
at least one of the following characteristics:
(1) delays enrollment
(2) attends part-time for at least part of the academic year;
(3) works full-time
(4) is considered financially independent
(5) Has dependents other than a spouse
(6) is a single parent
(7) does not have a high school diploma.
The new At Risk

The United States Department of Education is deeply
concerned about the cause of low academic achievement
by American students. As these concerns continue to
grow, officials are beginning to look beyond the
traditional curriculum for answers to sources of the
problem (Willis, 1992, According to Zimmerman,
Schunk; 1994).

While a General System doctrine serves as the backdrop for
this research (Bertanffy), it is guided by a social
constructivist framework. Social constructivism was
pioneered by Lev Vygotsky, and it stresses the importance
of culture and the social context for cognitive development.
Social constructivism sees learning as an active process in
which the learner uses sensory input to construct their own
meaning through various interactions. These strategies
encourage students to communicate, collaborate, share
knowledge, and think critically.
Conceptual Framework

The sample size for the experimental group was
particularly small N
= 11, the control group consisted of
two groups N
= 78.
Considering that a typical class consist of 25 students, and
the fact that our experimental group N
= 11 we will need
to conduct more tests in order to generalize.

: Social media when used as a supplemental instructional
platform can significantly increase performance rates (pass rate
and class average) and attitude toward mathematics when
compared to the general population (control group).

: Social media when used as a supplemental instructional
platform will not significantly increase performance rates (pass
rate and class average) and attitude toward mathematics when
compared to the general population (control group).

Independent Variable: Instructional design
Dependent Variable: Test Performance (pass rate, class average)

This action research was initially conducted as a pilot during a
winter intercession there was population of N
= 126. There
was a experimental (N
= 11), a control group (N
= 78), and there
was third group that was involved in another exercise N
= 37.
All of the participants in this exercise were identified as freshmen,
they were randomly selected and assigned to 1 of 13 classes.
Seventy-five percent of the participants were identified as non-
traditional students.
The standard intercession offering consisted of one of two
courses, Math 009 (Pre-algebra) or Math 010 (Algebra). Students
received a total of 4 hours of instruction; 3 hours with their
primary instructor followed by 1 hour of tutorial. These classes
met for 5 days a week over a period of 4 weeks.

The standard instructional model employed a high
scaffold, performance- error avoidance goal orientation.

The experimental group instructional model encouraged
a low scaffold, mastery- error acceptance goal orientation
and incorporated social-media (Facebook) as a
supplemental instructional platform.
Instructional methods

Participants were randomly selected and assigned to one of
13 classes of the 2012 winter intercession. Facebook (FB)
was chosen as the social-media platform, because of its
popularity and user friendliness
Participants in the experimental class were assisted in
setting up Facebook accounts, and were introduced to Khan
Academy, purple math and Youtube as online math
resources. Participants were given a rubric to indicate the
different types of entries that could be made on FB .

All class materials were posted on FB; lectures were posted
either before or after they were delivered face to face and
participants were encouraged to post and comment on all posts.
Students were also encouraged to post videos or sites that they
felt assisted them to better understanding the subject.
In addition to domain specific materials, general educational
themes (including: contextualization, goal orientation, socio-
mathematical normalization, mathematical elaboration, self-
regulated learning and mathematical conceptions) were
presented under a You do not have to read this post! caption
throughout the exercise.
Procedure Facebook postings

The final examination served as primary assessment tools.
All 126 participants were given 100 minutes to complete a
25 multiple-choice questions exam at the end of the four
weeks .
The group means and pass rates were calculated.
Instruments Final Exam

The 11 members of the experimental group were engaged
in posting, commenting and viewing content videos on FB.
Facebook provided a perpetual pathway for
communication, as a result, so all questions (included
administrative and content) were addressed expeditiously.
Discussions from postings on FB were used to get a sense
of students perception, attitude, enthusiasm and
temperament. We were able to use Facebook as an
electronic Journal, a personalize informational repository
and a space to aid in developing students voice.
Instruments Facebook as e-journal

A Likert-type survey was conducted to assess students
perception on the effectiveness of journaling in dealing
with the anxiety associated with learning math. The
survey consisted of 18 questions.
The first 6 questions related to demographical
information and the remaining 12 questions were related
to perceptions, writing as a means of learning math, and
students mathematics conceptions.
Instruments Survey

The questionnaire consisted of 10 open ended questions
relating to the participants perception about
performance, a preparedness, and general feeling about
math at the beginning and at the end of the exercise.

. All 11 members of the experimental group completed
the questionnaire.
Questionnaires were not available for the control group.
Instruments Questionnaire

The intent of this action research is to explore the uses of
social media as a supplemental instructional Platform (SIP)
in order to develop dynamic self-regulated learning. The
dynamic component of self- regulated learning (SR-d), looks
at students qualities such as curiosity, enthusiasm,
willingness to take risks, and persistence. It is the dynamic
component that drives students to actively self-regulate.
Results and Discussions
Our objective

This session had just over 300 Facebook posts, with an
average of 15 comments per posts. There were 40 content
videos and there was an engagement rate of 100% ( all
participants watched all the videos that were posted).
Of the 6 general education theme posts presented under the
You dont have to read this! caption, more than 50% of the
class responded. However the topic of mathematical
conceptions and mathematical elaboration drew much
attention in class debates.
Results and Discussions
Virtual Interactions

Questions 7 through 13 were on a 5 point Likert-type
scale; while, questions 14 through 18 were conducted on a
7 point scale.
All members of the experimental group completed their
Twenty-four members of the control group volunteers to
participate in our survey, 2 participants failed to provide
demographical information and 2 other participants
gave neutral responses to all the questions. Those surveys
was rejected, as a result 20 control survey were
Results and Discussions

All 126 participants took a 100 minutes, 25 questions
multiple-choice final examination and the pass rates and
average scores were tabulated.
The control group (n
= 78) had a pass rate of 54% with a
class average of 72.6 %. The experimental group (n
= 11 )
had a pass rate of 82% with a class average of 82 %.
A two sample t-test was administered and Tukey
comparison test was conducted. It was confirmed that the
means were significantly difference so the hull hypothesis
was rejected.

Results and Discussions
Primary Assessment Instrument

The experimental team had a regiment of virtual
interactions. The instructional team as well as participants
served as peer facilitator. A minimal scaffold was employed
with a moderate testing regime.
Our rubric describes entry types as follows:
Content conceptual (3 degrees)
Content contextual (3 degrees)
Content procedural (3 degrees)
Informational attitudinal
Informational - general

Results and Discussions
Virtual Interactions

Yuderca Arias
January 10, 2013
Factor 3x 12.
The only thing common between the two terms (that is, the only
thing that can be divided out of each term and then moved up front)
is a "3". So I'll factor this number out to the front:
3x 12 = 3( )
When I divided the "3" out of the "3x", I was left with only the "x"
remaining. I'll put that "x" as my first term inside the parentheses:
3x 12 = 3(x )
When I divided the "3" out of the "12", I left a "4" behind, so I'll put
that in the parentheses, too:
3x 12 = 3(x 4)
This is my final answer: 3(x 4)

Results and Discussions
Virtual Interactions procedural

Simple factoring in the context of polynomial expressions is
backwards from distributing. That is, instead of multiplying
something through a parentheses, you will be seeing what you
can take back out and put in front of a parentheses, such as:
2x + 6 = 2(x) + 2(3) = 2(x + 3)
the trick is to see what can be factored out of every term in the
expression. Warning: Don't make the mistake of thinking that
"factoring" means "dividing something off and making it
magically disappear". Remember that "factoring" means "dividing
out and putting in front of the parentheses". Nothing
"disappears" when you factor; things merely get rearranged.

Results and Discussions
Virtual Interactions cont.

Nia Petit-Frere
January 23, 2013
I can't stop thinking about math while at work I kept
checking my Facebook for post of math problems I just got
off work I am running home to work on math problems
that's how you know my professor did a great job at setting
up great behavior.
Ione Thomas thank you professor for the way you stretch
us so we could see math in a different way and thank you
for the confident you have in us keep up the good work.

Results and Discussions
Virtual Interactions attitude

Danielle Alexis Yeah I said the same thing. I think that 4/5 x
is the slope.
January 8, 2013 at 8:01pm Like 1 Wiiz Kenisha Yea , I
think do too , but I feel like its to easy
January 8, 2013 at 8:06pm Like 1
Danielle Alexis Yeah I know right. It was too easy .
January 8, 2013 at 8:16pm Like 1
Wayne D Russell see what can happens when you
January 9, 2013 at 9:40am Like
Wiiz Kenisha Lols

Results and Discussions
Virtual Interactions general

Timothy Hayes
January 8, 2013 New York, NY
Need help with # 69 Wayne D Russell

Results and Discussions
Virtual Interactions domain

Seen by everyone
Rashonda Smileyy Moore They gave you x so plug it into the
equation n you have y
January 8, 2013 at 3:44pm Like
Rashonda Smileyy Moore 2(0)-3 = -3 so your ordered pair is (0,-3)
January 8, 2013 at 3:45pm Like 1
Ebon Wright that helped them out as well thanks
Rashonda Moore
January 8, 2013 at 4:08pm Like
Rashonda Smileyy Moore Your welcome
January 8, 2013 at 4:35pm Like 1
Timothy Hayes
January 7, 2013 New York, NY
Okay this must be the answer
Results and Discussions
Virtual Interactions FB string-1

Ayanna Joseph
January 6, 2013
This is my answer for number 11. Can someone explain to
me what I did wrong?

Results and Discussions
Virtual Interactions FB string -2

Wayne D Russell PEMA do the stuff in the innermost (nested)
parentheses first then you multiply
January 6, 2013 at 3:47pm Like
Ayanna Joseph Oh yea I missed a step. Thanks
January 6, 2013 at 3:48pm Like
Wayne D Russell 3X- 2(4X-7) should be the 3rd line
January 6, 2013 at 3:49pm Like
Denzil Mayjah Vybz to add to what Mr. Wayne D Russell said,
you use the number closest to the brackets to multiply.
January 6, 2013 at 3:49pm Like
Wayne D Russell yes you are distributing or multiplying by -2
January 6, 2013 at 3:50pm Like

Results and Discussions
Virtual Interactions FB string-2

Wayne D Russell 3X -8X-14
January 6, 2013 at 3:50pm Like
Ayanna Joseph I didn't ask for the answer. I just forgot to
combine the like terms in the parenthesis. But Thanks
January 6, 2013 at 3:50pm Like
Wayne D Russell then add like terms
January 6, 2013 at 3:51pm Like
Ayanna Joseph Okay I got this.
January 6, 2013 at 3:51pm Like
Wayne D Russell cool - we got u.
January 6, 2013 at 3:52pm Like 1
Tisha V. Joseph Which package is that from ayanna
January 6, 2013 at 7:02pm Like

Results and Discussions
Virtual Interactions FB string-2

Our survey revealed that all our participants of the
experimental group N
= 11 , felt positive about the
exercise. Two participants invited members from another
math class but unfortunately, we had to reject the
requests. The survey indicated that participants were
excited and confident that they would do well in the final
Of the 20 persons who responded to our survey, 10 out of the
20 (50%) felt that they were adequately prepared for the
final exam; 6 out of 18 (30%) were neutral and 3 out of 20
(15%) had negative feeling about their preparation for the
final exam.

Results and Discussions
Virtual Interactions Survey

Question 2
How was writing about math and mathematical concepts
different from your previous experiences when dealing with
the subject?
It was different because my previous experiences with math
was a little difficult sometimes I cant understand what
the teaching was saying, but I am having fun learning
about math.
The experience was different, it was easier understood.

Results and Discussions

Writing about Math and mathematical concept was different
from my previous experiences, the material we used in
class was helpful and more easily understood. I had the
opportunity last semester of being taught mathematics
using the traditional it was not easily understood. This
style of teaching assist , I now have a liking for the math.

Math and mathematical concepts are different from my
previous experience, because I was taught in Elementary
the teachers was not giving full details and was given
short ways of doing mathematical problems which made
it difficult to understand (E.N).

Results and Discussions

Writing about math was extremely difficult at first;
however, when I enter Math 010 having a professor who
broke down all the concepts by showing me different
techniques; It made it possible for me to understand the
math. As a result I saw great improvement in my quiz score.

Writing about math and mathematical concepts is different
from my previous experiences because I had previously
learnt traditional way of copying notes from the board. In
this math class we were given lots of other options to learn
the Math.

Results and Discussions
Questionnaires- Students voices

Math and mathematical concepts are not only working with
numbers but you learn definition of mathematical words and
terms. I was able to have supports from my classmates and tutors.
My previous experience when dealing with the subject was
uneasy for me because I was not socializing enough at school
which lead me to doubt myself.

I have a better understanding of math and mathematical concept
after taking Prof. Russells Math 010 class. He provided
individual assistance and assured each student fully comprehend
the lesson for each session. Learning about different concept
became much easy in Prof. Russell. Class
I have acquire a love for math after being introduce to writing
about math and mathematical concept in Prof. Russell Math 010
class. I have such an admiration for this unique way of teaching.

Results and Discussions
Questionnaires Students voices

The National Center for Education Statistics, (NCES)
continues to identify Mathematics as one of the more
challenging subject for first-year undergraduate students in
public Institution of Higher Education (IHE). Although
trends for the 2007-2009 developmental math enrolment has
decreased from a larger percentages of first-year
undergraduate female students reported enrollment in
Developmental courses in 200708 than in 200304 (25 vs. 23
percent). It is also reported that greater percentage of
dependent undergraduates (26 percent) reported enrollment
in developmental courses, compared to independent 20

Our reality

Zan (2002) argued that in order to study mathematics, it is
important not only to be able to recognize what we did not
understand but more importantly - why. This is one factor that is
not often stressed in the typical mathematics classroom. By
introducing a social media platform we are better able to address
some of these questions. This is particularly important to the non-
traditional students who might have myriad of unanswered
questions. I am convince that social media can be used as an
instructional platform to increase dynamic self-regulated
learning. It provides a space were the learner can self-regulate,
increase social interaction and in doing so develop a voice that
facilitates higher order elaborations.

Our Students reality

Students often perceive their mathematical knowledge as
something that someone in authority has told them or
shown them. As long as students seek approval from an
external authority, their own thoughts and beliefs will
remain hidden (Schifter & Fosnot, 1993).

According to the NCES 2013, developmental education is
certainly costly. States spend tens of millions of dollars on
remediation, and very rough national estimates suggest that
well over $1 billion a year are spent on these services.

The simple facts

This sense of ownership is critical for extracting knowledge
and higher metacognitive skills that are required for a
deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. According
to Schunk & Zimmerman (1994): The construct of self-
regulation refers to the degree that individuals are
metacognitively, motivationally, and behaviorally active
participants in their own learning process (p. 3).

The reality

This research is particularly poignant for non-tradition
students as they constitute the new at-risk population in
higher education.

If we, as educators and researchers, are able to create an
educational design that increase contact time, while
providing a pedagogically rich, perpetual virtual platform
that facilitate knowledge construction we would have
done our part in creating a better democracy.

Remember Rousseau

This research is particularly poignant for non-tradition
students as they constitute the new at-risk population in
higher education. We argue that social media can serve
as a supplemental instructional platform to increase
dynamic self-regulated learning. We argue that this
platform can positively impact performance and retention
If we, as educators and researchers, are able to create an
educational design that increase contact time, while
providing a pedagogically rich, perpetual virtual platform
that facilitate knowledge construction, we would have
done our part in creating a better democracy.

Remember Rousseau

We have actively been conducting this research for 3
regular semesters and 2 intercessions.
We have just over 350 students who have been involved
this exercise, a more defined rubric and more detail metrics.

We hope to include a Conceptions of Mathematics
Inventory-Revised (CMI-R) and we will be ready to
present our findings in Fall 2014.

Thank you.

Further Research
Remember who we serve.