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Abstract Title: Exploring the effectiveness of problem diagrams using AB experiments in a MOOC.
Abstract: Recent study shows that providing a problem diagram can hurt students' performance as it reduces the incentive for students to draw their own. We report 6 controlled AB experiments in a MOOC, comparing students' performance and diagram drawing behavior in a total sample of 12 problem pairs. Removing the diagram makes a quarter of the problems slightly more difficult for low and medium skilled students, but often very significantly increases the likelihood of all students to draw their own diagram. We found that students of different skill levels made similar deliberate choices for each problem about whether to draw a diagram. Diagrams influence outcomes mostly in problems that involve ideal physics objects (e.g. blocks and pulleys) and those involving spatially and temporally complex real-life situations.  Apparently in most cases removing the problem diagram encourages diagram drawing without materially affecting students' chances of answering it correctly.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Saif Rayyan
MIT Physics
and Co-Presenter(s)
Zhongzhou Chen, MIT Physics
Neset Demirci, Balikesir Universitesi, Balikesir, TURKEY
Youn-Jeng Choi, MIT physics
Qian Zhou Qinghua University, Beijing, China
Dave Pritchard, MIT physics