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The availability and familiarity of online discussion tools create new instructional options that teacher educators can use to foster prospective teachers’ understanding of mathematics. In particular, online discussion blogs provide an avenue through which teacher educators can press prospective teachers to explore mathematical concepts and share their mathematical reasoning with peers. Furthermore, by incorporating visual stimulations as a design component of these discussion blogs, prospective teachers can make sense of and respond to others’ ideas about mathematical concepts with greater clarity. This paper shares preliminary findings of a research study that examined the extent to which the design of a series of visually-aided online discussion prompts facilitated prospective elementary teachers’ (PSTs) use of mathematical reasoning in a geometry and measurement course. Results suggest that (a) the wording of discussion prompts influences the nature of mathematical justifications that PSTs focus on in their responses and (b) social norms for communicating in online forums may influence the ways in which PSTs interact with peers in an online discussion blog about their mathematical reasoning.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.