June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Computers in Education
26.1423.1 - 26.1423.17
Student Performance Improvement using Interactive Textbooks: A Three-University Cross-Semester AnalysisAn interactive textbook has substantially less text than a traditional textbook, insteadhaving numerous embedded question sets designed for learning and not quizzing, havingnumerous animations of key concepts, and with some built-in tools.We conducted an analysis to determine whether introducing an interactive textbook intointroductory engineering courses can improve student grades.The studies included four introductory computer-programming courses at three researchuniversities: C++ at [redacted University 1], C/C++ at [redacted University 2], andMATLAB at [redacted University 3]. For each, two course offerings were compared, thefirst using a static textbook or static web resources, and the second using an interactivetextbook. Most other course features remained the same between offerings, including theteacher and the semester offering (e.g., Spring semester), or were very similar;differences are noted.We compared the two offerings’ final course grades and performance on specific courseitems, including exams and projects.Across all courses involving 1,945 students, course grades improved by 0.28 points on a0-4 point scale (p-value < 0.001), or 1/4 letter grade, from static to interactive textbook.More importantly, students in the lower quartile of the course improved by 0.38 points(p-value < 0.001), or 1/3 letter grade. Exam scores improved by 13.6% (p-value < 0.001)and project scores by 7.4% (p-value < 0.001) from static to interactive textbooks.98% of the students subscribed to the interactive textbook and completed at least someactivities in the interactive textbook. The average student completed 87% of the assignedactivities in the interactive textbook. The teaching participants were asked their opinionfor what caused student performance improvement. A representative answer was: “Iassigned [interactive textbook] readings due every two weeks. I noticed a difference. Thestudents would ask more involved questions. They noticed that the reading did the basicsand that lecture reviewed the basics, but went more in depth -- covering the exceptionsand unusual cases.”Interactive textbooks significantly improved student course grades, including exam andproject grades, especially for the least-prepared students.
Edgcomb, A. D., & Vahid, F., & Lysecky, R., & Knoesen, A., & Amirtharajah, R., & Dorf, M. L. (2015, June), Student Performance Improvement using Interactive Textbooks: A Three-University Cross-Semester Analysis Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24760
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