What is it about?

What if, instead of sitting quietly in math class, we could actually play and manipulate mathematical objects? What if we could understand them through interaction? In this paper, we explore how to design embodied experiences to grasp the concept of derivatives.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that designing an embodied learning experience is about more than just usability. In particular, interaction design impacts mathematical meaning, for example, focusing on body position emphasises derivatives as slopes, while focusing on body movement emphasises derivatives as variation rates.


I believe this publication has strong implications for the field of embodied learning of mathematics. Specifically, this work shows that designing for embodied interaction does not necessarily support embodied cognition in terms of learning. As a result, when designing embodied interaction, one should consider the mathematical meaning highlighted by the interaction, as well as the mathematical meaning highlighted by the underlying bodily actions, and consider how they can align and support each other.

Julia Chatain
ETH Zürich

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Grasping Derivatives: Teaching Mathematics through Embodied Interactions using Tablets and Virtual Reality, June 2022, ACM (Association for Computing Machinery),
DOI: 10.1145/3501712.3529748.
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