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Can I have More Problems to Practice? Student Usage and Course Success Related to Auto-graded, End-of-chapter Problems in a Material and Energy Balances Course

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Chemical Engineering Pedagogy

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Kayla Chapman

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Kayla Chapman is currently studying chemical engineering at the University of Toledo and expects to earn a B.S. degree in 2021. She has assisted with multiple areas of research and data analysis regarding zyBooks reading participation and challenge activities. She became interested in performing research after completing a chemical engineering course that used zyBooks.

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Matthew W. Liberatore The 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, reverse engineering online videos, and interactive textbooks. His website is:

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Online homework and interactive textbooks provide big data that can help address many questions about student engagement and learning. Auto-graded homework questions with randomized numbers and content can explore students’ proficiency in course material. Using a fully interactive online textbook, Material and Energy Balances zyBook, success and attempts on homework questions are quantified. In past studies, students with an unlimited number of attempts completed a median of 94% correct over hundreds of questions. To provide students with more practice before exams, end-of-chapter problems were assigned. Students were only assigned a fraction of these summative, end-of-chapter problems. A single cohort of ~100 students generated data across 7 chapters before each of three midterm exams. Measuring if students correctly solved end-of-chapter problems beyond those required for a grade and if the extra practice helped their exam grades are central research themes. More specifically, several research questions will be explored: 1. What fraction of students correctly solve problems beyond those earning a homework grade? 2. Does the fraction of students completed extra problems and the number of extra problems successfully completed change over the course of the semester? 3. Since previous research found that success on homework problems increases with each letter grade, does completing more end-of-chapter questions than required correlate with higher exam grades?

Chapman, K., & Liberatore, M. W. (2021, July), Can I have More Problems to Practice? Student Usage and Course Success Related to Auto-graded, End-of-chapter Problems in a Material and Energy Balances Course Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36779

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