Step-Based Tutoring as a Tool to Support both Remote and In-Person Learning of Diverse Students

Brian Skromme
Arizona State University

A key current issue is making high-quality education accessible to non-traditional students who are unable to attend college in person for four years, as exemplified in ASU’s fully online, ABET-accredited undergraduate degree program in electrical engineering. Its enrollment has grown rapidly to surpass the number of traditional on-campus students. Even traditional students find remote instruction convenient and desirable at least for some courses. Supporting remote instruction requires new, creative approaches to maximize its effectiveness. This workshop will discuss the use of an innovative step-based tutoring system to support learning in the important gateway course on linear circuit analysis. In a step-based system, students read the equivalent of textbook information online in an interactive format (with special emphasis on conceptual issues), then view fully worked and explained examples and videos and complete homework problems in a game-like system that accepts and gives immediate feedback on every stage of student work. Special interfaces are used to accept each step of student work. Students strongly preferred this system over traditional paper or electronic homework in numerous surveys and have shown significantly improved learning in multiple randomized, controlled experiments in both classroom and laboratory settings. Participants will be given free access to the system for use at their own institutions.