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Creation Of An Online Vector Addition Tutorial: Exploring The Advantages Of Providing Diagnostic, Multilevel Feedback In Basic Skills Remediation

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.341.1 - 8.341.7

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Paper Authors

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Megan Rothney

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Robert Roselli

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Session 2793

Creation of an Online Vector Addition Tutorial: Exploring the Advantages of Providing Diagnostic, Multilevel Feedback in Basic Skills Remediation

Megan P. Rothney 1, Robert J. Roselli1, Larry Howard2 Department of Biomedical Engineering1 /Institute for Software Integrated Systems2 Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235


Student deficiencies in introductory concepts such as vector addition can hinder their ability to advance in successive courses. While dedicating class time to the concept can be of some assistance, the ability to practice in a positive environment that provides immediate feedback could be significantly more instructive. Online tutorials provide an out-of-class mechanism for students to learn key concepts. If tutorials are well crafted they will help students to learn from the mistakes that they make. The vector remediation module is designed to assist students in the process of adding two vectors in the context of a biomechanics problem. The Courseware Authoring and Packaging Environment1 software (CAPE) supplies a diagnostic correction mechanism that identifies common student errors and provides specific feedback based on the type of mistake encountered. Each student is given three chances to answer the question properly. The type of feedback becomes more specific as the number of incorrect responses increases. Some common student errors, such as reversing the components of the vectors, are diagnosed within the software and specific feedback is provided to the student. However, if the student error does not match any of the common errors, a more general diagnostic path is offered through the tutorial. The vector remediation module will be used in an introductory biomechanics course at Vanderbilt University. It will be tested to see if it increases the ability of students to perform vector addition on homework and exams, and to determine if the time spent in reviewing vector addition in the classroom can be reduced.


As more course materials become available to students via courseware management websites, online tutorials are becoming an increasingly important component of the course material delivered to college students. These often take the form of PowerPoint slide shows including lecture material or examples of important concepts that have been taught, or will be taught in class. The student progresses through the slides in a linear manner from the predetermined start of the material to its conclusion. The vector remediation module has been designed to be used in

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Rothney, M., & Roselli, R. (2003, June), Creation Of An Online Vector Addition Tutorial: Exploring The Advantages Of Providing Diagnostic, Multilevel Feedback In Basic Skills Remediation Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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