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Paper: Online Classrooms: Powerful Tools for Rapid-Iteration Pedagogical Improvements
Volume: 500, Celebrating Science: Putting Education Best Practices to Work
Page: 177
Authors: Horodyskyj, L.; Semken, S.; Anbar, A.; Buxner, S.
Abstract: Online education offers the opportunity to reach a variety of students including non-traditional and geographically diverse students. Research has shown that online courses modeled after traditional lecture-exam courses are ineffective. Over the past three years, Arizona State University developed and offered Habitable Worlds, an online-only astrobiology lab course featuring active learning tools. The course is offered in an intelligent tutoring system (ITS) that records a wealth of student data. In analyzing data from the Fall 2013 offering of the course, we were able to identify pre-post quiz results that were suboptimal and where in the lesson and how precisely students were missing concepts. The problem areas were redesigned, and the improved lessons were deployed a few months later. We saw significant improvements in our pre-post quiz results due to the implemented changes. This demonstrates the effectiveness of using robust ITS not only to present content online, but to provide instantaneous data for rapid iteration and improvement of existing content.
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