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Increasing Students' Time On Task In Calculus And General Physics Courses Through Webassign

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Enhancing Engineering Math with Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.660.1 - 7.660.20



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Paper Authors

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Aaron Titus

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Guoqing Tang

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Session 1657

Increasing Students’ Time on Task in Calculus and General Physics Courses through WebAssign1

Guoqing Tang* and Aaron P. Titus**

*Department of Mathematics, **Department of Physics North Carolina A&T State University Greensboro, NC 27411,

1. Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to present an approach of using WebAssign, a web-based homework management and delivery system, as a tool to develop and deliver dynamic active -engagement assignments in Calculus and General Physics courses and to increase students’ time on task outside the classroom. The pedagogical practice of incorporating web-based homework assignments to enhance students’ time on task is part of academic curricular reform effort undertaken currently by the mathematics, physics and chemistry departments at North Carolina A&T State University under the NSF funded project “Talent-21: Gateway for Advancing Science and Mathematics Talents.”

The development of dynamic active-engagement homework assignments involves the creation of well-designed and well-structured questions using HTML and Perl. Questions include features such as randomized content and Java applets. Various formats of questions were used including multiple choice, multiple select, numerical, fill-in-the-blank, symbolic, and essay questions. We will demonstrate how to use these techniques to write more intricate questions to actively engage students in the learning process, help them understand basic concepts, and improve their problem-solving skills. We will also illustrate how to use assignments delivered by WebAssign to create a learner-centered environment by promoting interactive, cooperative learning among students and increasing interaction between students and faculty.

Through using WebAssign to deliver, collect, and grade homework and quizzes, we have observed that students have increased the number of hours spent on academic tasks outside the classroom in Calculus and General Physics as well as interaction with their peers and faculty.

1 This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under the Grant HRD-9909058 and Grant DUE-9952323

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright©2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Titus, A., & Tang, G. (2002, June), Increasing Students' Time On Task In Calculus And General Physics Courses Through Webassign Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10436

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