S9-O/LT7-3 - A Novel E-Learning Platform for Building and Publishing Student-Driven Personalized Lessons

1. Innovative Practice Full Paper
Ayman Hajja1 , Austin J. Hunt1
1 College Of Charleston

In this Innovative Practice Full paper, we will be presenting an instruction-based web-platform that allows instructors to create programmable text- and media-based interactive and personalized mini-lessons.

The contribution presented in this paper is twofold. First, we provide a flexible and freely-accessible system that allows instructors to effectively create mini-lessons by defining a set of lesson elements, along with the order in which they should appear to students. The second primary contribution is the introduction of a novel personalization component that integrates with our system; this component allows instructors to create lessons that exhibit a “conditional flow”, meaning that the order in which lesson elements are presented to students will be guided by some data-driven conditions evaluated using answers provided by students.

Each mini-lesson is comprised of an ordered set of lesson elements. There are four types of lesson elements: the first type is referred to as “information”, which can be a paragraph of text, an image, or an audio (or video) segment. The second type of element is a “multiple choice question”, which can be either created on-the-fly along with the lesson creation, or randomly selected from a pool of pre-defined questions. The third and fourth types are “label” elements, which serve as location markers in the lesson to which we could branch to, and “jump” components, which can be used to initiate these branches. The flow of these elements are generally sequential; however, the student answers to questions can also be used to affect the flow of these elements, resulting in personalized, student-specific learning paths. At every “question” element, instructors have the ability to define a different branch (or jump) for every possible answer; for example, if one of the answers to a particular “question” element implies a misunderstanding of a topic, then the instructor may specify a branch that will alter the flow of elements’ execution such that the next displayed element (or set of elements) are meant to reinforce that topic.

We tested our system using several mini-lessons covering various topics, and we collected data from students regarding their learning experience. The data collected was analyzed and the findings presented in this paper show positive results.