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Board # 20 :Annotations and Discussions of Textbooks and Papers Using a Web-based System (Work in Progress)

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Chemical Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Matthew W Liberatore University of Toledo Orcid 16x16

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Matthew W. Liberatore is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Toledo. He earned a B.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, all in chemical engineering. His current research involves the rheology of complex fluids as well as active learning and interactive textbooks.

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Textbook reading over many decades for higher education students is commonly reported at 30% or less. Using a web-based platform called Perusall (, students in a graduate course in fluid mechanics annotated a traditional textbook and journal papers. Students’ questions about or comments on the readings are awarded a fraction of the total grade for the course. The pertinent features used to engage the students in the textbook readings will be discussed as well as example responses, scoring, inter-student discussions, faculty intervention, and survey on the system’s features and likability. The quantity and quality of the comments are graded using machine-learning algorithms built into the platform. Each comment is auto-graded on a 0, 1, or 2-point scale, which will be discussed based on student feedback and the professional judgment of the faculty member. Since the student’s reading grades account for only the top scoring comments, e.g., the three highest scoring comments out of five total comments by an individual student, what fraction of graduate students submit the minimum number of comments and what fraction over-comment to ensure a higher reading grade. The comments’ spacing across content can be accounted for, which assures reading of the entire assignment, and the results in the reading over the course of the semester will be presented and analyzed.

Liberatore, M. W. (2017, June), Board # 20 :Annotations and Discussions of Textbooks and Papers Using a Web-based System (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27805

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