Session S51a (Tuesday, 9:30am, Thomas 118)

P478: Owlbook: A fully integrated, interactive online text for general chemistry

Susan Young (Hartwick College, USA), Beatrice Botch, Roberta Day (University of Massachusetts, USA), William Vining (State University of New York – Oneonta, USA)

This presentation will review the creation and testing of an assignable, fully integrated online textbook and homework system for general chemistry. This project is an extension of the OWL electronic learning system, which combines highly parameterized homework questions with rich, detailed feedback along with conceptual learning exercises and tutorial help. The new integrated text combines text, conceptual learning and problem solving into interactive reading assignments where students work through both the readings and the graded explorations and problems. While the organization of the material is traditional in order and scope, the presentation intermixes noninteractive material such as static explanations, video examples, and whiteboard problem solutions with interactive and assignable figure-based exercises, concept simulations, tutorials and problem-based homework.

Each section of interactive reading assignments is followed by a set of mastery homework questions. These questions are categorized into units covering each content area. The chapter ends with a set of general and challenge questions, as well as questions relating the chapter content to students’ lives using the students’ own personal data inputs.

The principal goal of the project is to create a system in which the students experience “text” and assignable homework as an integrated whole. Results from tests with a dozen classes will be presented, highlighting how students navigate the system, which parts they do and do not use, and how assignability influences their decisions as to how to use the system.


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