### The Role of representations constructed by students in learning how to solve the transportation problem

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Copyright (c) 2024 Zoltan Pap, Gordana Stankov, Sanja Maravić Čisar

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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*Teaching Mathematics and Computer Science*,

*21*(2), 129-148. https://doi.org/10.5485/TMCS.2023.13003

##### Abstract

The purpose of the research presented in this paper was to study the role of concrete and table representations created by students in learning how to solve an optimization problem called the *transportation problem*. This topic was learned in collaborative groups using table representations suggested by teachers in 2021. In 2022, the researchers decided to enrich the students’ learning environment with concrete objects and urged the students to use them to present the problem to be solved. The students did it successfully and, to be able to record it in their notebooks, they constructed a table representation by themselves without any help from their teacher. After that, they managed to solve the problem by manipulating the objects. At the same time, each step in the solution was presented with changes in the table. The students were assessed before (pre-test) and after collaborative learning (test) in both academic years. The pre-test results were similar, but the test results were better in 2022. Therefore, it can be concluded that using concrete and table representations constructed by students in learning how to solve transportation problems makes collaborative learning more constructivist and more effective than when they use only table representations suggested by their teachers.

Subject Classification: 97M10, 97M40

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