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Title: Interactive Editing of Circuits in a Step-Based Tutoring System
Step-based tutoring systems are known to be more effective than traditional answer-based systems. They however require that each step in a student’s work be accepted and evaluated automatically to provide effective feedback. In the domain of linear circuit analysis, it is frequently necessary to allow students to draw or edit circuits on their screen to simplify or otherwise transform them. Here, the interface developed to accept such input and provide immediate feedback in the Circuit Tutor system is described, along with systematic assessment data. Advanced simplification methods such as removing circuit sections that are removably hinged, voltage-splittable, or current-splittable are taught to students in an interactive tutorial and then supported in the circuit editor itself. To address the learning curve associated with such an interface, ~70 video tutorials were created to demonstrate exactly how to work the randomly generated problems at each level of each of the tutorials in the system. A complete written record or “transcript” of student’s work in the system is being made available, showing both incorrect and correct steps. Introductory interactive (multiple choice) tutorials are now included on most topics. Assessment of exercises using the interactive editor was carried out by professional evaluators for several institutions, including three that heavily serve underrepresented minorities. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used, including focus groups, surveys, and interviews. Controlled, randomized, blind evaluations were carried out in three different course sections in Spring and Fall 2019 to evaluate three tutorials using the interactive editor, comparing use of Circuit Tutor to both a commercial answer-based system and to conventional textbook-based paper homework. In Fall 2019, students rated the software a mean of 4.14/5 for being helpful to learn the material vs. 3.05/5 for paper homework (HW), p < 0.001 and effect size d = 1.11σ. On relevant exam questions that semester, students scored significantly (p = 0.014) higher with an effect size of d = 0.64σ when using Circuit Tutor compared to paper HW in one class section, with no significant difference in the other section.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1821628
NSF-PAR ID:
10179925
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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