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EnCoMPASS: Emerging Communities for Mathematical Practice and Assessment

Project #: 05
Name: Wes Shumar, PhD (; 215.895.2060)
Department: Anthropology


The EnCoMPASS Project is developing an online professional teaching community of mathematics educators focused on understanding and improving mathematical thinking through work with formative assessment rubrics and feedback to student problem solving. In this community, members extend their content knowledge for teaching and seek to become more effective at supporting the mathematical development of each student.

Associated Independent Study

While the project specifically focuses on math teachers, there is an underlying set of social science research principles here. First, that there is a relationship between the things that people do (practices) they way they talk about those things, and how those practices and discussion shapes the way they think. Further, this is an internet research project in that it looks at the ways software and the online environment can facilitate teachers work, their interactions with students and their interactions with each other. An independent study could focus on what we learn about the basic process of the social nature of knowledge production and learning and the ways new communication technologies can enhance opportunities to think and learn.

Gained Experience

Students will be actively learning the process of analyzing online interactional data, learning to do literature reviews for publications, and learning writing up research. There could be opportunities for presenting papers at academic conferences and research day at Drexel.


The project will produce several new papers and there may be an edited volume to come out of it as well.


  • Importing survey data into data analysis software
  • Importing online discussion data and digital artifacts into data analysis software
  • Helping to run analyses and intepret data
  • Writing data summaries
  • Helping to do literature reviews
  • Helping to write papers


Mostly 3401 Market Street and the PSA Library./p>


Currently research meetings are on Thursdays. We would want to set up a schedule where the student research came to thos research meetings, but also met to set up work the student would do. The overall time would be for 20 hours a week, but much of that time could be flexibly scheduled.

Interview Availability:

April 10, April 12