Design and research potential of interactive textbooks: the case of fractions


The transition from classical to electronic textbooks seems to be a logical step in the digitization advancing worldwide. However, developing an e-book ought to be more than digitizing text: key features of computer-based learning environments such as interactive exercises, adaptive demands, or automatic feedback should be integrated to take advantage of the digitization. The ALICE:fractions project aims at designing and evaluating an interactive mathematics textbook for introducing fractions in the classroom. It is based on research in mathematics education and includes the elements just mentioned. This paper describes the electronic textbook’s implementation and its theoretical background. Moreover, it introduces aspects that allow further information on learning processes to be gleaned. As an example, time on task is regarded in a study with 6th graders who used the electronic textbook in the classroom. Linear mixed models revealed a negative effect of time on task on task success. The effect was moderated by exercise difficulty and slightly by student competence: the effect was less pronounced in difficult exercises and for low-achieving students, whereas for high-achieving students or in easier exercises, the effect intensified.

In ZDM Mathematics Education
Frank Reinhold
Frank Reinhold
Professor of Mathematics Education

I am currently working as a professor of mathematics education at University of Education Freiburg.