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Customized Instruction In A Web Based, First Year Class: Maintaining Presence And The Importance Of Transition Using Content Management Tools

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Goal Specific First-Year Courses

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

14.398.1 - 14.398.15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/5683

Download Count

22

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Paper Authors

biography

Srikanth Tadepalli University of Texas, Austin

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Srikanth Tadepalli is a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas. After recieving his BS in Mechanical Engineering from India, he moved to UT where obtained his MSE in Manufacturing Systems Engineering specializing in Design for Manufacturing. He has worked as a Teaching Assistant and as an Assistant Instructor for the Computers and Programming course over a period of 3 years at The University of Texas at Austin and was awarded "The H. Grady Rylander Longhorn Mechanical Engineering Club Excellence in Teaching" Fellowship award for the years 2003-2004 and 2007-2008. He has also been cited in multiple publications of the "Who's Who" series. His research interests include Similitude and Scaling Theory, System Dynamics, Non-Linear Dimensional Analysis and Rapid Prototyping with specific emphasis in Selective Laser Sintering and applications in Product Design.

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Mitchell Pryor

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Cameron Booth University of Texas, Austin

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Cameron is a PhD student in the Mechanical Engineering department specializing in Dynamic Systems and Controls, and a recepient of the Thrust Fellowship. Cameron received his undergraduate education from Georgetown University and has worked for about 2 years as a Teaching Assistant for the Computers and Programming course taught at The University of Texas at Austin.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Customized instruction in a web-based, first-year class: maintaining presence and the importance of transition using content management tools

Abstract

Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) is a learning strategy employed in a situation where common academic goals are achieved through the individual efforts and advancement of a particular user. This strategy is particularly useful in first-year programming classes where students with varied backgrounds are introduced to advanced coding practices. Since high schools do not provide equivalent computer exposure, expecting students from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds to assimilate computers and related technologies at the same rate is unrealistic. PSI offers students the freedom to identify their own individual strengths and weaknesses and therefore ascertain the amount of work they personally must invest to successfully complete the course. However, all registered students need to share a common platform that allows them access to the same set of material and tests. It must also implement the requirement of conditional access to new subjects as students progress. This framework is realized through internet and web-based resources where study material is stored for browsing by the student depending on his/her progress. This paper addresses two often neglected elements in this course format: presence and transition. It is imperative for the teaching staff - that does not regularly interact with students – to maintain an engaging presence within the course material so students are neither overwhelmed nor overlooked. Presence is important to provide continuous assistance and mentoring by engaging students in a way that happens naturally in the classroom setting but must be actively sought in this course format. Also critical is the ability to transition to new content, instructors, and implementations, so that the presence, style and preferred content can be customized and easily refreshed. New course instructors may not be adept at using the current system. Thus the learning curve and time investment must be reduced without a commensurate reduction in implementation creativity and flexibility. In an attempt to address these issues, this paper provides a case and implementation strategy for how web-based instruction can be administered effectively while maintaining presence and easing transition.

Introduction

PSI, or Personalized System of Instruction1, is a unique educational technique employed in a situation where a baseline mastery of material is accomplished on a per student basis through individually paced learning and advancement of a particular user. The idea of PSI as a learning tool was developed as an alternative to traditional class discourse1. Using the rather innovative concept of unsupervised instruction that allows for individual growth through proactive learning2, PSI is well suited to first-year programming classes where students with widely varying experience, ability to assimilate new material and backgrounds are introduced to advanced coding practices. Since there is little standardization across high schools that provide computer exposure, expecting students from diverse educational and cultural backdrops to master computers and related technologies at the same rate is unrealistic. By recognizing that both mastery and time cannot be kept constant, PSI offers students the freedom to identify their own individual

Tadepalli, S., & Pryor, M., & Booth, C. (2009, June), Customized Instruction In A Web Based, First Year Class: Maintaining Presence And The Importance Of Transition Using Content Management Tools Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5683

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015