Working against the WeBWork clock: What are the behaviour patterns of students who struggle to complete online calculus assignments?
Alain Prat is a Science Teaching and Learning Fellow in the Math Department at UBC. His research focuses on understanding and supporting the lowest performing first year calculus students. He writes:
“Since 2010, the math department at UBC has been gradually adopting the WeBWork online homework system in most first and second year courses. Instructors typically give students several days to complete their WeBWork assignments, and allow students several attempts at each problem. Despite this, many students struggle to complete their online assignments. In this talk, I’ll discuss how the timing of answer submission recorded in WeBWork log files can reveal the behaviour patterns of students who struggle with WeBWork. In particular, students who don’t complete the WeBWork start the assignments closer to the deadline, have shorter login sessions and don’t persist for as long once they encounter a problem they can’t solve. I’ll discuss what these observations can reveal about the mindset of struggling students, and how assignments could be restructured to help increase their completion rate.”