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Tatyana Olhovaya, professor, doctor of of education, full professor
Orenburg State University, Russia
Championship participant: the National Research Analytics Championship - "Russia";
the Open European-Asian Research Analytics Championship;
We propose a method to control the residual knowledge of students while teaching physics. The method is based on dynamic selection of problems from a given database using the greedy algorithm. The proposed approach brings the prompt definition of gaps in the students’ knowledge without the participation of a teacher. The necessary condition of this method’s success is the availability of the extensive database that contains not only the contents of certain problems, but also most common students' errors. The definition of gaps in the students' knowledge is based on the analysis of the errors in task solution. The invented computer program produces the list of topics to be studied and presents the recommendation for self-study.
Students have a lot of different sources of knowledge in our time of an information explosion, such as: electronic libraries, videohosting services, teachers’ blogs and automatic bases of knowledge . They help us to come to a lot of sources in a short period of time. We suppose that in an educational process it is necessary to pay a great attention to a computer control of students’ level of knowledge.
If we use automatic systems of testing in the educational process which help us to find out different gaps in the students’ knowledge it will help teachers to educe and correct this gaps.
By the time of creation of automatic testing system we have not met in the literature the description of the products of such kind.
Algorithm of computer testing
As an example of one of these automatic systems we can suggest an electronic book of problems which was created by us. The book of problems is a database which consists of physics tasks from different paragraphs of physics. Now we explain how teachers can use the book of problems before they allow their students to do a laboratory work.
For example we must evaluate the level of students’ knowledge for an electrostatics labor work.
Using a codification of paragraphs of physics we find out what topics students should know for the electrostatics laboratory work, for example:
· interaction of electric charges,
· law of conservation of electric charge,
· Coulomb's law,
· electric field strength,
· superposition principle.
Then we apply to the database of tasks from our electronic book of problems.
For example we have the next task: «Calculate the ratio of the electrostatic to gravitational interaction forces between two electrons, between two protons. At what value of the specific charge q/m of a particle would these forces become equal (in their absolute values) in the case of interaction of identical particles? »
For a decision students need the next topics:
· universal gravitation,
· Newton's third law,
· interaction of electric charges,
· Coulomb's law.
Tasks help teachers to find out the real knowledge of students, allow them to do the labor work or not. If the answer is right students will get a good mark, they know all needed topics. Students must get a number of right answers and only then teachers will allow them to do the labor work. If the answer was wrong it means that students do not know the material and they cannot do the labor work, they must repeat the material again.
Assortment of tasks
Assortment of tasks is based on different algorithms. We suppose that we should use a greedy algorithm: first of all the program gives tasks, which have a lot of conjunctions with the labor work, then tasks which help to fill the gaps in a short time. If a student cannot solve problems which have a lot of conjunctions with the labor work then program will suggest him tasks with demands in one or two paragraph (it can be tests where students should know some facts and physical quantity). Such an approach helps to fill the gaps and find topics and paragraphs of physics which students do not know.
Analysis of results
The described method of testing the knowledge was used in Orenburg State University at the laboratory works . The application of the method has greatly accelerated the testing of student’s knowledge and the procedure of getting permission to a laboratory work. The students also got a possibility to test themselves and find the gaps in their knowledge without assistance after the classes. This has greatly improved the quality of students’ training. In addition, the application of the method significantly reduced the amount of teachers’ work.
Without using the method the teacher was forced to waste a lot of time for the preliminary tests and giving authorization for laboratory work. With the introduction of the method the teacher got more time to discuss the results.
The creation of such an automated testing system arouses a number of significant difficulties. For a successful test one should have a database containing a fairly large number of tasks for each study subject. In addition, each task must be supplied with a list of the minimum required knowledge.
The success of such systems will be the higher, the greater the quantity of the problems collected in the database. However, the benefits of a long-term usage far exceed the costs of its creation.
1. Kiryakova A.V., Kargapoltseva N.A., Olhovaya T.A., Matveeva E.A., "The project - a technology" in the competence-oriented education: teaching manual, Orenburg State. Univ., Orenburg: OSU, 2011
2. Gunkov V.V., Manakov N.A. Testsimulator with a dynamic selection of tasks on basis of the electronic book of problems. "The university complex as a regional center for education, science and culture." All-Russian Scientific Conference, Orenburgskky State University, Orenburg OSU, 2012.