During the past decade, numerous instructional materials for teaching mathematics have been made available online, ready to be applied in classrooms. In this study, I focus on Open Educational Resources (OERs) that are shared on the GeoGebra Materials platform and created by their users. These dynamic materials are not supported by editorial teams who are following certain guidelines ensuring uniform styles and such resources have therefore inconsistent quality. For this reason, it is often difficult for teachers to quickly find “good” OERs to use in their own lessons which leads to my research aims. This study investigates quality criteria of dynamic materials for mathematics teaching and how their educational values can be described.
This project combines qualitative and quantitative research and is structured into six stages, including multiple phases of data collection and analysis. At first, I conducted 12 expert interviews with participants from Hong Kong, Uruguay, England, Austria, Hungary and Germany. After the analysis, the following eight dimensions emerged describing main aspects contributing to the quality of dynamic materials: (i) author, (ii) mathematical content, (iii) resource type, (iv) supporting the learning of mathematics, (v) integrating into teaching, (vi) advantages of dynamic material, (vii) design and presentation, and (viii) technical aspects. Above all, I consider the author as the most important aspect influencing the other dimensions and with the highest impact on the quality of dynamic material. To be able to further investigate the relevance of the emerged findings related to the fourth quality dimension “supporting the learning of mathematics”, I also conducted two quantitative research stages. After developing two versions of an online questionnaire for mathematics teachers, I gathered and analyzed responses of 84 Italian and Austrian participants. Results showed that teachers particularly highlighted the potential and quality of online dynamic materials that support the learning of mathematics through visualizations, discovery learning, proofs or focus on presenting, understanding or constructing mathematical concepts.
In this study, I also developed a conceptual design of a review system to be implemented on platforms aiming to assess the quality of their stored resources. These ideas should support teachers in finding “good” dynamic materials quickly for their own classes based on their own needs and educational backgrounds. I presented different versions of questionnaires as assessment tools based on the aforementioned quality dimension system. Moreover, I developed alternatives for a review system and further approaches aiming to identify high-quality materials and high-quality authors within online repositories. Finally, several ideas were already implemented on the GeoGebra Materials platform based on this projects findings.