Recent News

(June 2017) We have finished testing our technology in the lab with third-grade volunteers. We would like to wish a big thank you to all the students and parents that made this possible!

(July 2017) We have entered into a partnership with a local third-grade classroom to test our technology in a real-world setting!

What is the LLAMA all about?

Manipulatives are a powerful tool to help students grasp the foundational concepts of mathematics. This is especially true of elementary school mathematics when it is integral that students learn mathematical concepts and how they can be used to solve problems and compute solutions. One way to introduce manipulatives into the elementary school classroom and increase student engagement with STEM-based technologies is through the use of motion-sensing input devices such as the Microsoft Kinect. These devices interpret user movements and translate the movements into a gaming environment displayed on a screen.

We plan to create an environment where students use motion-sensing input devices to interact with mathematics manipulatives in an engaging environment. Specifically, the goal of this project is to create a new toolset that will be called motion virtual manipulatives (MVMs). MVMs will:

Once the research is finished, the software will be available at little to no cost to students or teachers. We also plan to take the technology into schools to evaluate it with the intent of improving the software and expanding implementation to other grade levels, mathematical manipulatives, and school settings.

Current faculty research investigators include Dr. Adam Feldhaus and Dr. Sarah Diesburg, both chosen as UNI CET Fellows for 2015-2017 and funded through the UNI CET. Past and present undergraduate student researchers include:

Peer-Reviewed Presentations

Feldhaus CA, Diesburg S. Motion Virtual Manipulatives and Elementary School Mathematics. Presentation at The Rural Education National Forum, Columbus, Ohio, October 2016 (37% acceptance rate).

Feldhaus CA, Diesburg S. Using Motion Virtual Manipulatives to Teach Elementary School Mathematics. Presentation at The Twentieth Annual Conference of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, January 2016 (50% acceptance rate).

Invited Presentations

Feldhaus CA, Diesburg S. Motion Virtual Manipulatives and Elementary School Mathematics. Presentation at The Iowa Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Conference, March 2016.

Student Posters

Oswald C, Brown B, Diesburg S, Feldhaus CA. Motion Virtual Manipulatives: Emerging Technology for the Elementary Math Classroom. UNI Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium, July 2016.

Boudreau C, Oswald C, Diesburg S, Feldhaus CA. Design and Evaluation of Motion Virtual Manipulatives in Elementary Mathematics. UNI Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium, July 2015.

Student Research Presentations

Coming soon