This video provides an introduction on MEAs and teacher testimonials about using CPALMS MEAs in the classroom. Sample MEAs can be found below this video. Please click on the play button to watch the video.
MEA design principles
The theoretical framework for the development of MEAs is based on the models and modeling perspective authored by Lesh et. al. (2000). This framework specifies six principles of MEA design: model constructions, reality, self-assessment, model documentation, re-usability, and effective prototype. These principles have been adapted for engineering content and contexts, yielding problems that immerse students in age appropriate but authentic engineering practice. Below is an additional description of the six principles:
1. Model Construction Principle: ensures that the activity requires the construction of an explicit description, explanation, or procedure for a mathematically significant situation.
2. The Reality Principle: ensures that problems are meaningful and relevant to the students and be based on real-life. The MEAs should be meaningful in the student's everyday life.
3. Self-Assessment Principle: ensures that the activity contains criteria the students themselves can identify and use to test and revise their current ways of thinking. The problem statement must strongly suggest appropriate criteria for assessing the usefulness of a solution. The data must also play a part in allowing students to self-assess.
4. Model Documentation Principle: ensures that students are required to create some form of documentation that will reveal explicitly how they are thinking about the problem situation.
5. Model Share-Ability and Reusability Principle: ensures that solutions created by students are generalizable or easily adapted to other similar situations. This requires the students to produce share-able and re-usable solutions.
6. Effective Prototype Principle: ensures that the model produced will be as simple as possible, yet still mathematically significant.