This paper describes the development and benefits of an adaptive digital module on cell growth to tackle the problem of educating a heterogeneous group of students at the beginning of an undergraduate course on process engineering. Aim of the digital module is to provide students with the minimal level of knowledge on cell growth kinetics they need to comprehend the content knowledge of the subsequent lectures and pass the exam. The module was organised to offer the subject matter in a differentiated manner, so that students could follow different learning paths. Two student groups were investigated, one consisting of students who had received their prior education abroad and one of students that had not. Exam scores, questionnaires, and logged user data of the two student groups were analysed to discover whether the digital module had the intended effect. The results indicate that students did indeed follow different learning paths. Also, the differences in exam scores between the two student groups that was present before the introduction of the digital module was found to have decreased afterwards. In general, students appreciated the use of the material regardless of their prior education. We therefore conclude that the use of adaptive digital learning material is a possible way to solve the problem of differences in prior education of students entering a course.
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso
Electronic Journal of Biotechnology v.14 n.2 2011
adaptive digital learning material
intelligent tutoring system
intelligent Web-based educational system
Accommodating the difference in students' prior knowledge of cell growth kinetics