Interactive Examples: Can Students Learn Concept-Based Problem Solving on the Web
AAPT Meeting, Austin, TX, January 2003 (Invited Talk)
A familiar complaint of introductory physics instructors is that many students equate problem-solving with equation manipulation. Over the past few years, we have developed web-based exercises called Interactive Examples (IEs) that are designed to actively engage students in a Socratic dialogue to promote concept-based problem-solving. In each IE, the student is asked to solve a single challenging quantitative problem. The help sequence (questions designed to lead the student through sequential conceptual, strategic, and quantitative analyses) provides feedback based on the student's responses, providing as much, or as little, help as the student needs to solve the initial problem. All submissions are logged so that we can study how students interact with these exercises in order to improve them. All current IEs are available for use at: http://per.physics.illinois.edu/resources/interactive-examples/. We will present in this talk preliminary results on the effectiveness of these IEs in terms of both student perceptions and student performance.