Pathways of students’ Progress through an On-demand Online Curriculum

Jim Morgan, Euan Lindsay, Colm Howlin, Maartje van den Bogaard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Charles Sturt University makes its underpinning technical curriculum available to its students using an on-demand online system they call their Topic Tree. The tree is a directed acyclic graph where nodes represent topics to be learned, and edges represent the prerequisite relationships that exist between the topics. Branches on the topic tree represent concentrations in an area of knowledge, sub-branches (water quality, fluid mechanics, etc.) represent distinct subsets of knowledge - specialty. Delivery of the technical content is in three-hour modules, and students are free to choose the order in which they engage with these topics.
Previous work has identified that students engage with the on-demand curriculum much as they engage with on-demand entertainment platforms such as Netflix, completing long sequences of topics with short periods between them – the traditional “binge” model of consumption.
This paper presents a more fine-grained analysis of students’ pathways through the topic tree, focusing on the distance between successive topics completed by the students. Students’ progress is characterized by a three-dimensional framework – time, distance, and purpose.
In general, pathways through the tree fall into one of four patterns:
- Forward movement along a branch of the tree,
- Movement backward along a branch of the tree,
- Repeating the same topic,
- Switching to a different branch of the tree (backward distance to the junction of the branches combined with a forward distance along the new branch)
Different students engage with the topic tree using different combinations of these pathways, distance absolute distance traveled through the topics, and different time gaps between activities on the topics. This paper will identify the different combinations that can be found in the student log data.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 126th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition
PublisherASEE
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventASEE 2019 126th Annual Conference and Exposition - Tampa convention center, Tampa, United States
Duration: 16 Jun 201919 Jun 2019
Conference number: 126
https://www.asee.org/conferences-and-events/conferences/annual-conference/2019

Conference

ConferenceASEE 2019 126th Annual Conference and Exposition
Abbreviated titleASEE 2019
CountryUnited States
CityTampa
Period16/06/1919/06/19
Internet address

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    Morgan, J., Lindsay, E., Howlin, C., & van den Bogaard, M. (2019). Pathways of students’ Progress through an On-demand Online Curriculum. In Proceedings of the 2019 126th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition [26149] ASEE. https://www.asee.org/public/conferences/140/papers/26149/view