# [LON-CAPA-cvs] cvs: modules /gerd/discussions/paper discussions.tex

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Index: modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.tex
diff -u modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.tex:1.40 modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.tex:1.41
--- modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.tex:1.40	Wed Feb 15 17:25:57 2006
+++ modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.tex	Thu Feb 16 14:47:19 2006
@@ -36,20 +36,20 @@
effective way of teaching,\cite{mazur97} and the practice has found
widespread acceptance. By using online forums the practice can be extended
outside the classroom. Over the past several years we have been using an
-online system where the threaded discussion forums are directly related to
+online system where the threaded discussion forums are directly attached to the bottom of
randomizing online problems. There is already research  (see
Ref.~\onlinecite{wallace} for a review), which suggests that online environments
can foster peer-interactions, but
we continue to be surprised by the richness
of the ensuing peer-teaching we are observing. In this study we analyze student
-discussion contributions, in particular with respect to of the
+discussion contributions, in particular with respect to the
courses, the students, and the problems. Our goal is to first identify
-online discussion behavioral patterns of successful students and to
+online discussion behavioral patterns of successful students and then to
identify the problem properties that elicit them.

% intro should be short and not have subsections

-LON-CAPA\footnote{LON-CAPA is an open-source freeware system initially developed by Michigan State University. More information can be found at http://www.lon-capa.org/.}
+The system we are using, LON-CAPA\footnote{LON-CAPA is an open-source freeware system initially developed by Michigan State University. More information can be found at http://www.lon-capa.org/.},
started in 1992 as a system to give randomized homework to students
in introductory physics courses. Randomized means that each student sees
a different version of the same computer-generated problem: different
@@ -63,9 +63,9 @@
LON-CAPA allows for immediate feedback on problem correctness to the
student, as well as multiple attempts to arrive at the correct solution (both
features can be disabled by the instructor). The system is designed to
-foster communication among the students, and asynchronous threaded
-discussion boards are linked to every online
-resource. For the purposes of this project, it is therefore possible to
+foster communication among the students, and for every online resource, asynchronous threaded
+discussion boards appear on the same page.
+For the purposes of this project, it is therefore possible to
establish a one-to-one association between an online problem and related
discussions. LON-CAPA keeps statistical data for every problem, which allows
instructors to associate problems with their degree of difficulty.
@@ -73,7 +73,7 @@
Students can post anonymously or use a screenname; the full name is always
visible to the instructors (students know this).
Instructors occasionally post to the discussion. Over time, competing
-discussion sites develop outside of LON-CAPA, which are completely
+discussion sites developed outside of LON-CAPA, which are completely
anonymous and are not visited by instructors. Kashy found
that the use of the internal discussion sites is positively correlated to
course grades and FCI scores, while the use of the external sites is
@@ -86,7 +86,7 @@
courses all teaching materials were provided online, with homework
problems embedded. No textbook was required in either course. The
algebra-based course had one section that was completely taught online, but
-the majority of the students in the algebra-based course and all the students
+the majority of the students in the algebra-based course and all of the students
in the calculus-based course had regular lectures throughout the week. For
the calculus-based course a parallel lab was offered. The three courses
were graded on an absolute scale without curving," and student
@@ -108,9 +108,9 @@

Kashy\cite{kashyd01} showed that student mastery of different types of
homework problems correlates with the students' performance on
-final exams with multiple-choice non-numerical problems having the lowest
+final exams. Multiple-choice non-numerical problems had the lowest
correlation, and numerical/mathematical problems that require a translation
-of the representation having the highest. Steinberg\cite{steinberg} also
+of the representation had the highest correlation. Steinberg\cite{steinberg} also
analyzed student performance on multiple-choice diagnostics and open-ended
exam problems and found that although they correlate for certain
students and certain problems, responses differ greatly. For this project
@@ -124,9 +124,9 @@
most easily computer-evaluated type, representing the conventional
(back of the chapter textbook) problem. For this
project, multiple-choice and short-answer will be considered as separate
-classes. Short-answer problems includes numerical answers such as 17\,kg/m$^3$, and
+classes. Short-answer problems include numerical answers such as \verb!17 kg/m^3!," and
-$1/2m(vx^2+vy^2)$. The problems on the left side of Figs.~\ref{threemasses}
+\verb!1/2*m*(vx^2+vy^2)!." The problems on the left side of Figs.~\ref{threemasses}
and \ref{trajectory} are examples of short-(numerical)-answer problems.

\item {\it Multiple-choice multiple-response problems} require a student to
@@ -149,9 +149,6 @@
they will hit the ground, or a number of locations in order of the strength
of their local electric potential.

-\item{\it Click-On-Image problems} require a student to click on certain areas of an image. Examples are where to cut a wire in a circuit diagram so a light bulb becomes brighter,
-or the possible locations of the center of mass for an object not to tip over.
-
\item {\it Context-based reasoning problems}
problems are set in the context of real-world scenarios
and not in the context of the artificial zero-friction laboratory
@@ -182,6 +179,12 @@

\end{enumerate}
+In addition to this classification by Redish, we are considering an online-only problem type:
+\begin{itemize}
+
+\item{\it Click-On-Image problems} require a student to click on certain areas of an image. Examples are where to cut a wire in a circuit diagram so a light bulb becomes brighter,
+or the possible locations of the center of mass for an object not to tip over.
+\end{itemize}

The 497 online problems available for this study were classified by the
author. The three courses did not include estimation, qualitative, and
@@ -247,7 +250,7 @@
\item {\it Mathematical} -- the contribution deals mostly with the
mathematical aspects of the problem.

-\item {\it Physics} -- the contribution deals mostly with the physical aspects
+\item {\it Physics} -- the contribution deals mostly with the physics-related aspects
of the problem.

\end{itemize}
@@ -257,8 +260,8 @@
class'' in the analysis. This coding scheme has not been previously used,
but was chosen in correspondence to the observations reported in
Refs.~\onlinecite{lin,chi,pascarella} to distinguish between desirable and
-undesirable problem solving strategies. Instructors wish
-their students to work on a conceptual physics level, but often students
+undesirable problem solving strategies. Instructors hope that
+their students work on a conceptual physics level, but often students
categorize problems according to surface features\cite{chi} and attempt to
proceed in a purely procedural approach (plug-and-chug'') to
arrive as quickly as possible at the correct solution.\cite{lin} Pascarella\cite{pascarella}
@@ -274,13 +277,13 @@
classification, so that each contribution could have fractional membership
in more than one class. The reliability and generalizability of the
classification could be enhanced by asking more than one instructor to
-classify each contribution being weighting each
+classify each contribution and weighting each
judgement in case of disagreements.

Discussion contributions by teaching assistants and instructors were not
considered. Also, the correctness of the posting was not considered, for
-example,, a discussion entry was considered conceptual'' even if it drew
-the wrong conclusions. Table~\ref{table:disccat} shows the distribution of
+example, a discussion entry was considered conceptual'' even if it drew
+the wrong conclusions. Table~\ref{table:disccat} shows the classification distribution of
the available discussion contributions.

@@ -333,7 +336,7 @@
classes or superclasses in students' cumulative contributions was
analyzed, that is, the percentage of the respective student's discussion
contributions across all problems that belonged to a certain class or
-superclass. The outcome is independent of the absolute number of
+superclass. The analysis is independent of the absolute number of
postings a student made, for example, the discussion behavior of the student
who made 66 contributions is weighed equally to that of a student having
made only the average 5 contributions.
@@ -348,7 +351,7 @@

The relative prominence of solution-oriented discussion contributions varies
most strongly with grade, from 75\% for a 2.0 student to 45\% for a 4.0
-student. The relative prominence of physics-related and conceptual
+student. The relative prominences of physics-related and conceptual
discussion contributions increases with grade. The relative prominence of
procedural discussions does not vary significantly with grades and is
consistent with 42\% prominence across grades and gender, except for the 23
@@ -379,7 +382,7 @@
of the problems were categorized by their difficulty index and the average
percentage plotted in Fig.~\ref{fig:diff}. Only superclasses are shown, namely the emotional climate, as well as all related procedural and conceptual contributions. The plot should be
interpreted as follows: for a
-problem with difficulty index of six, ten percent of the online discussion
+problem with a difficulty index of six, ten percent of the online discussion
was conceptual. The lines are polynomial fits to the data.

The greatest variation is found in the emotional climate of the discussion.
@@ -482,13 +485,13 @@
climate ($6\pm1$ versus $2\pm1$);
the algebra-based course had a higher prominence of chat ($21\pm2$\% versus
$11\pm1$\% (first semester) and $14\pm2$\% (second
-semester). Physics-related discussions were significantly higher in the
+semester)). Physics-related discussions were significantly higher in the
calculus-based course ($28\pm2$\% (first semester) and $23\pm2$\% (second
-semester) in comparison to $17\pm2$\% in the algebra-based
+semester)) in comparison to $17\pm2$\% in the algebra-based
course. Conceptual-discussions were significantly higher in the first
semester of the calculus-based course ($12\pm2$\% (calculus, first semester)
-and $6\pm2$\% (algebra), but this difference vanished in the second
-semester($7\pm1$\% (calculus, second semester).
+and $6\pm2$\% (algebra)), but this difference vanished in the second
+semester ($7\pm1$\% (calculus, second semester)).

The last observation is discouraging, because as the students in
the calculus-based course progressed further in their study of physics,
@@ -507,7 +510,7 @@
assigning homework, instructors usually have an instructional goal in mind,
for example, they would like the students to grapple with a certain concept
or work through a specific strategy of problem solving. The fact that a specific problem only serves this purpose when being
-approached with an expert mindset is under appreciated.
+approached with an expert mindset is underappreciated.

An even deeper misconception is the assumption that solving the problem
correctly is a reliable indicator of the concept or problem solving strategy
@@ -526,7 +529,7 @@
there is no external torque, and the problem was intended as a simple example
of angular momentum conservation. Because the disk has a several centimeter
radius, a bug can safely be approximated as a point mass. With $m_d$ being the mass of the disk,
-$m_b$ the mass of the bug, $r$ the radius of the disk, $\omega_0$ the initial angular velocity, and $\omega$ the final angular velocity which we are looking for,
+$m_b$ the mass of the bug, $r$ the radius of the disk, $\omega_0$ the initial angular velocity, and $\omega$ the final angular velocity we are looking for,
angular momentum conservaton yields
$(\frac{1}{2}m_dr^2+m_b0^2)\omega_0=(\frac{1}{2}m_dr^2+m_br^2)\omega$, and
therefore $\omega=\omega_0m_d/(m_d+2m_b)$. As long as the disk is much
@@ -566,7 +569,7 @@

Many of these shortcomings may be correctable through early detection and
closely following the online student discussions prior to lecture,
-particularly around the assigned reading problems. Following student discussions can thus be used as an
+particularly around the assigned reading problems. Following online student discussions can thus be used as an
extension of the Just-in-Time Teaching technique.\cite{jitt}

\subsection{Comparison to other research approaches}
@@ -580,7 +583,7 @@
slow,"\cite{lin} they might try hard to exhibit them in the research
setting. The observation of student discussions is likely
closer to the behavior students would exhibit when not observed. The
-groups are smaller, and in most studies interact on problems less
+groups however are smaller, and in most studies interact on problems less
complex than the average homework problem.

An advantage for the researcher is the ready availability of the online
@@ -596,7 +599,7 @@
used with systems like LON-CAPA.
If the online problems are not randomized,
discussions would likely consist of one or two entries with only the final
-answer, such as 17.5\,m/s or Answer B. Also, the online system must not
+answer, such as 17.5\,m/s" or Answer B." Also, the online system must not
have a separate discussion area, but provide contextual discussion
functionality.

@@ -653,7 +656,10 @@
NSF-ITR 0085921 and NSF-CCLI-ASA 0243126. Any opinions, findings, and
conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of
the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science
-Foundation.
+Foundation. The author would like to thank everybody in the LON-CAPA group at MSU for their hard work on the software platform,
+Anna Kortemeyer for her assistance in preparing the manuscript,
+Joyce Parker, Walter Benenson, and David Fortus at MSU for useful discussions, as well as his students for
+their patience and willingness to participate in this study.
\end{acknowledgments}

\begin{thebibliography}{16}
@@ -961,7 +967,7 @@

\begin{figure}[h!]
%\includegraphics[width=6.5in]{KortemeyerFig1}
-\caption{Web viewof the same LON-CAPA problem for two
+\caption{Web view of the same LON-CAPA problem for two
students.\label{twoproblems} }
\end{figure}

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