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

www lon-capa-cvs@mail.lon-capa.org
Fri, 22 Apr 2005 21:29:12 -0000

www		Fri Apr 22 17:29:12 2005 EDT

  Modified files:              
    /modules/gerd/discussions/paper	discussions.bib discussions.tex 
  Intro and start on conclusions
Index: modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.bib
diff -u modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.bib:1.4 modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.bib:1.5
--- modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.bib:1.4	Fri Apr 22 13:20:42 2005
+++ modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.bib	Fri Apr 22 17:29:12 2005
@@ -7,6 +7,14 @@
    title = "The problem with problems"
+   author = "Eric Mazur",
+   year = "1997",
+   booktitle = "Peer Instruction",
+   isbn="0-13-565441-6",
+   publisher="Prentice Hall"
    author = "Robert J. Beichner",
    year = "1994",
@@ -22,7 +30,16 @@
    journal = "Am. J. Phys.",
    volume = "55",
    pages = "503-513",
-   title = "Student difficulties in connecting graphs and physics: Examples from kinematics"
+   title = "Student difficulties in connecting graphs and physics: examples from kinematics"
+   author = "Raven Wallace",
+   year = "2003",
+   journal = "Education, Communication and Information",
+   volume = "3",
+   pages = "241-280",
+   title = "Online learning in higher education: a review of research on interactions among teachers and students"
@@ -34,6 +51,14 @@
    year = "2003",
+   author = "Gregor M. Novak and Evelyn T. Patterson and Andrew D. Gavrin and Wolfgang Christian",
+   booktitle = "Just-in-time teaching: blending active learning with web technology",
+   isbn="0-13-085034-9",
+   publisher="Prentice Hall",
+   year = "1999",
    author = "Deborah A. Kashy and Guy Albertelli and Guy Ashkenazi and Edwin Kashy and Hon-Kie Ng and Michael Thoennessen",
    year = "2001",
Index: modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.tex
diff -u modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.tex:1.14 modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.tex:1.15
--- modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.tex:1.14	Fri Apr 22 13:20:42 2005
+++ modules/gerd/discussions/paper/discussions.tex	Fri Apr 22 17:29:12 2005
@@ -31,8 +31,8 @@
 Asynchronous online student discussion entries around online homework problems in introductory physics courses
-are analyzed with respect to course type, problem difficulty, and problem type. It is found that these variables
-can significantly change the character of the online student collaborations. 
+are analyzed with respect to course type, student course performance, student gender, problem difficulty, and problem type. It is found that 
+these variables can significantly change the character of the online student collaborations. 
@@ -40,7 +40,13 @@
+Students discussing physics with their peers in-class has proven to be an effective way of teaching~\cite{mazur97}, and the practice has found 
+wide-spread acceptance. Using online forums, the practice can be extended outside the classroom. Over the past years, we have been using an 
+online system where the threaded discussion forums are directly attached to randomizing online problems, and in spite of supporting research
+(e.g.,~\cite{wallace} for a review) are continually surprised by the 
+richness of the ensuing peer-interactions. In this study, we are attempting to systematically analyze the student discussion contributions, 
+in particular with respect to properties of the courses, the students, and the questions. Our goal is to first identify online discussion 
+behavioral patterns of successful students, and in a next step identify the question properties which elicit them.
 \subsection{\label{subsec:system}The LON-CAPA Online System}
 LON-CAPA started in 1992 as a system to give randomized homework to students in introductory physics courses.  
@@ -300,9 +306,10 @@
 Except for the exceptionally high prominance of procedural discussion among the best female students, the results are not surprising, but verify the validity
 of the classification approach.
-\section{Results of Analysis by Question}
+At the same time, the results confirm that conceptual and physics-related discussions are positively correlated with success in the course, while solution-oriented discussion contributions are strongly negatively correlated. While cause and effect may be arguable, in the following 
+section~\ref{sec:question}, particular attention needs to be paid to question properties that elicit either the desirable or undesirable discussion behavioral patterns.
+\section{Results of Analysis by Question\label{sec:question}
 \subsection{Influence of Question Difficulty}
 The discussion characteristics of the problems were binned by their 
 difficulty index (equation~\ref{eqn:diffidx}) and the average percentage plotted in figure~\ref{fig:diff}. Only superclasses are
@@ -412,9 +419,19 @@
 assumption that solving the problem correctly is a reliable indicator of the concept or problem solving strategy being successfully communicated. What the (expert) instructor had in mind, and what the
 (novice) learner actually does, is worlds apart~\cite{lin}. Students are going through reasoning processes and steps that are hardly imaginable to the instructor, and more often than not do several times more work
 than necessary. The situation that they get a problem right for the wrong reasons is rare, but the instances that they get the problem correct with the same (minimal) amount of steps that an expert 
-would are equally rare --- in the end, the concept that was meant to be communicated is lost.  
+would are equally rare --- in the end, the concept that was meant to be communicated is lost.
+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, may be a valid extension of the Just-in-Time Teaching~\cite{jitt} technique.
+Online student discussions are a rich source of insight into student problem solving behavior. It was verified that indeed conceptual and physics-related discussion contributions are characteristics of students who are successful in the course, while the prominance of solution-oriented
+discussion contributions is strongly negatively correlated with success in the course.
+Different discussion patterns ensue around different question characteristics:
+\item[Difficulty] Very easy problems can elicit a high level conceptual discussions,
+and so can problems of mid-range difficulty. As problems become more difficult, there is no significant gain in conceptual discussions.
+\item[Question Types] Different question types result in different association discussion patterns.
 Supported by the National Science Foundation under 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.