Session S64c (Thursday, 9:30am, Mueller 008)

P939: Successful use of adaptive online learning: yes, no, or maybe?

Betsy Ratcliff, Michelle Richards-Babb, R. Steven Stefancic (West Virginia University, USA)

To promote long-term retention of students’ content knowledge in general chemistry course-work, we used the ALEKS adaptive learning system as a formative assessment tool in fall 2011. Our initial implementation was broad and encompassed approximately 1340 first semester general chemistry students spread across seven different course sections. As a form of summative assessment of the curriculum and our ALEKS implementation, we administered an ACS standardized exam as the final exam for the course. Since we had administered this exam previously in fall 2007, when using a more traditional grill-and-drill online homework system, we could quantitatively compare students’ content knowledge after having used ALEKS vs. traditional grill-and-drill online homework. In this presentation, we will compare the ACS final exam performance of the students in the 2007 and 2011 cohorts. Student perspectives and attitudes toward the adaptive learning approach as acquired from attitudinal surveys will also be discussed.


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