Search EdWorkingPapers

Carol Yu

Dorottya Demszky, Rose Wang, Sean Geraghty, Carol Yu.

Providing ample opportunities for students to express their thinking is pivotal to their learning of mathematical concepts. We introduce the Talk Meter, which provides in-the-moment automated feedback on student-teacher talk ratios. We conduct a randomized controlled trial on a virtual math tutoring platform (n=742 tutors) to evaluate the effectiveness of the Talk Meter at increasing student talk. In one treatment arm, we show the Talk Meter only to the tutor, while in the other arm we show it to both the student and the tutor. We find that the Talk Meter increases student talk ratios in both treatment conditions by 13-14%; this trend is driven by the tutor talking less in the tutor-facing condition, whereas in the student-facing condition it is driven by the student expressing significantly more mathematical thinking. Through interviews with tutors, we find the student-facing Talk Meter was more motivating to students, especially those with introverted personalities, and was effective at encouraging joint effort towards balanced talk time. These results demonstrate the promise of in-the-moment joint talk time feedback to both teachers and students as a low cost, engaging, and scalable way to increase students' mathematical reasoning.

More →