Quantifying Self-guided Repetition Within an Interactive Textbook for a Material and Energy Balances Course

Published 2018


Prof. Matthew W. Liberatore
University of Toldedo

Ms. Katherine Roach
Chemical Engineering Student

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Interactive technology has quickly integrated into daily lives through handheld electronics and the
Internet. Here, an interactive textbook replacement from zyBooks for a material and energy
balances course has been used in recent years. While features of the interactive textbook were
highlighted previously, including animations replacing figures and question sets in lieu of large
blocks of text, student usage will be the focus of this contribution. Similarly, reading analytics
have been presented previously with average reading rates of 87 and 93% for 2016 and 2017,
respectively (n = 100 in 2016 and 88 in 2017). While these reading rates surpass rates of less than
30% reported for traditional textbooks, new research questions are asked based on large sets of
web analytics generated by students using/reading the interactive textbook. First, for one cohort in
2017, almost 8,000 animation views were completed, i.e., all steps were clicked and watched. The
utility of an interactive textbook to provide repetition will be explored. Analysis will also be
provided for students’ attempts and success when completing auto-graded homework problems
within randomized numbers and content within the interactive textbook. For the 2017 cohort, over
170 auto-graded questions were assigned to the students generating over 40,000 attempts. New
findings related to the types of questions needing the most attempts before correct will be
presented. Finally, questions – and the related concepts – will be identified that students completed
large numbers of attempts after answering the question correctly and earning their grade, i.e.,
performing self-guided repetition.

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