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Randomized, Structured, Auto-graded Homework: Design Philosophy and Engineering Examples

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Computers in Education 9 - Technology 1

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count

27

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37636

Download Count

77

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Paper Authors

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Efthymia Kazakou zyBooks, A Wiley Brand

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Efthymia Kazakou is Sr. Assessments manager at zyBooks, a startup spun-off from UC Riverside and acquired by Wiley. zyBooks develops interactive, web-native learning materials for STEM courses. Efthymia oversees the development and maintenance of all zyBooks content resources used for assessment purposes.

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Alex Daniel Edgcomb zyBooks, A Wiley Brand

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Alex Edgcomb is Sr. Software Engineer at zyBooks, a startup spun-off from UC Riverside and acquired by Wiley. zyBooks develops interactive, web-native learning materials for STEM courses. Alex actively studies and publishes the efficacy of web-native learning materials on student outcomes.

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Yamuna Rajasekhar zyBooks, A Wiley Brand

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Yamuna Rajasekhar received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the UNC Charlotte. She served as a faculty member at Miami University where her research was focused on assistive technology, embedded systems, and engineering education. She is currently a Senior Content Developer at zyBooks, a startup that develops highly-interactive, web-native textbooks for a variety of STEM disciplines.

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Roman Lysecky University of Arizona; zyBooks, A Wiley Brand

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Roman Lysecky is VP of Content at zyBooks, A Wiley Brand and a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Riverside in 2005. His research focuses on embedded systems, cybersecurity, and STEM education. He has authored more than 100 research publications, received nine Best Paper Awards, is an inventor on multiple patents, and received multiple awards for Excellence at the Student Interface.

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Frank Vahid University of California, Riverside

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Frank Vahid is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the Univ. of California, Riverside. His research interests include embedded systems design, and engineering education. He is a co-founder of zyBooks.com.

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Abstract

Engineering homeworks encourage students to practice skills and apply concepts. Such homeworks are critical to a student's learning of course content and performance on high-stakes exams. Research has examined approaches to improve effectiveness of homeworks, including auto-grading for faster feedback and adaptivity to personalize a student's learning. Over the last 8 years, we have developed a homework activity framework that has been applied to multiple engineering and math disciplines with wide-spread adoptions: 600,000 students across 800 universities have submitted 90 million times. Our homework activities are integrated into web-based interactive textbooks. Such a homework activity is a sequence of progressively more difficult levels. A student must complete the first level's question to move on to the second level's question, and so on. Each level contains numerous same-difficulty questions, one of which is randomly selected when the student arrives at a level. A student's submission is auto-graded, and the student receives specific and immediate feedback to the given question and their submission. If the student answered incorrectly, then the student can try again on a new randomly-generated question of the same difficulty. Our homework activity philosophy is: (1) randomized -- each question is randomly generated to enable students plenty of practice and enable instructors to reuse the activity for an exam, (2) structured -- an activity is a sequence of incrementally harder questions so a student can demonstrate mastery, (3) auto-graded -- a student's submission is immediately assessed and the student is provided relevant feedback. This paper describes our homework activity philosophy, including pedagogical considerations made in designing such activities, many examples, and reasons for implementing such a homework activity.

Kazakou, E., & Edgcomb, A. D., & Rajasekhar, Y., & Lysecky, R., & Vahid, F. (2021, July), Randomized, Structured, Auto-graded Homework: Design Philosophy and Engineering Examples Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37636

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: © 2021 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