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Explanet: A Framework To Manage And Analyze Student Authored Course Content

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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

Web Education: Delivery and Evaluation

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.558.1 - 8.558.17

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Paper Authors

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Tara Madhyastha

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Jessica Masters

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Ali Shakouri

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

ExplaNet: A Framework to Manage and Analyze Student-Authored Course Content ¡ ¢


Jessica Masters, Tara M. Madhyastha , Ali Shakouri

1 Introduction It has become clear that the Web should be a useful tool for education. The ability to self-publish is a major driving force behind this. Instructors can easily share course content with students and other instructors. In addition, on-line quizzes, applets, and simulations can allow students to take a more active role in the learning process. Unfortunately, the problem of creating course modules that meet the needs of a broad audience is analogous to the reuse of software modules: it is difficult to create modules that can be widely reused. This process is expensive, and with constantly emerging technological areas, modules need to be continually updated. We have created a framework, ExplaNet, that allows students to author course content for each other in a guided assessment environment. ExplaNet can be seen as an extension to course discussion boards, which are frequently used to post and answer student questions with instructor moderation. In ExplaNet, the instructors post questions for students to solve, posting their explanations. Explanations can be sub- mitted in a variety of multi-media formats. If questions cover important concepts, this will generate a lot of course content. Student who do not understand the questions will be able to access the explanations provided by other students. Students can also rank explanations, creating an individual profile for each student that can be used to customize the explanations provided in the future. Instructors can use ExplaNet to assess student answers and trace the flow of information throughout the class. The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. Section 2 describes related work in the area of on- line quizzing and assessment and collaborative filtering. Section 3 describes ExplaNet in detail. Next, in Section 4, we describe preliminary experiments with ExplaNet and the results. We conclude in Section 5 with a summary of our work thus far, and the directions for future work.

2 Related Work There have been several models developed to categorize how students take in and process information [3, 5, 6, 9]. By using these models, instructors can create courseware that appeals to students with a variety of learning preferences. There is currently a wealth of such course materials. In the area of Electrical Engineering alone, several on-line applets and simulations have been designed to help students £

¤ Department of Computer Science, University of California at Santa Cruz, ¥ Department of Computer Engineering, University of California at Santa Cruz, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of California at Santa Cruz,


Madhyastha, T., & Masters, J., & Shakouri, A. (2003, June), Explanet: A Framework To Manage And Analyze Student Authored Course Content Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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