School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Margaret Ackerman

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Secondary; Education, Technology; Education, Mathematics; Education, Sociology of; Mass Communications


Blogging, Computer-Mediated Communication, Discussion Boards, Mathematics, Social Networking, Technology


Communication | Communication Technology and New Media | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Instructional Media Design | Science and Mathematics Education


The purpose of this study was to determine if online reflections through social networking affect students' sense of community and levels of perceived conceptual learning in Algebra I courses. Social constructivism, connectivism, and computer-mediated communication in relation to reflective practices form the theoretical and practical framework for the use of Web 2.0 technologies in this investigation. A quasi-experimental nonequivalent control group design was used to examine Algebra I students' sense of community as measured by the Sense of Classroom Community Index, and perceived learning as measured by Perceived Learning Instrument. The sample consisted of 27 Algebra I students at a Central Florida middle school. There were 14 participants in the experimental group and 13 students in the control group. Both groups completed pre and posttest survey instruments for the independent variables of sense of community and perceived learning. The tests were separated by four weeks of instruction on Algebra 1 course content and participation in discourse through face-to-face and discussion board formats. Independent t-tests were employed in data analysis. The results of the study revealed no significant differences between experimental and control groups in relation to students' sense of community and perceived learning. However, the findings support curriculum design targeted to those concepts Algebra I students have the most difficulty with, and advance the understanding of students' cognitive development and feelings regarding comfort when communicating their mathematical thinking through Web 2.0 technologies.