From a recent issue of Campus Technology:
Homework assignments in Lisa Dysleski's general chemistry courses…were supposed to help students--mostly freshmen--understand the subject better and make them reach beyond mere facts and actually think. Instead, students became frustrated with difficult questions…and were simply giving each other homework answers.And now, for the rest of the story...
Dysleski and her colleagues…turned to a solution that has not only solved the problem completely--it has resulted in several other positive changes in the large, 250-student introductory chemistry courses….
The software assesses each student's skill level at the beginning of the semester, then tailors learning goals and homework questions throughout the course to match individual skill levels and learning paces.
"I love that my students are more prepared during lectures," she said. "I love that they're actually doing homework on their own. I love that they're coming to office hours with good questions." Those changes--as well as test scores that rose an unheard-of 10 percentage points in fall 2008 compared to fall 2007….”
Dysleski said she's more than pleased with the changes she's seeing in class. "In lectures, it feels as if students are participating more. They're yelling out answers more than in the past. They come to office hours more with prepared questions.”