2020 journal article
Comparison of the Effectiveness of Online Homework With Handwritten Homework in Electrical and Computer Engineering Classes
IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON EDUCATION, 63(3), 209–215.
Contribution: This article compares the predictive performance of the scores on WeBWorK homework (online) with those of standard handwritten homework. The comparison is done across six undergraduate electrical engineering classes where each of the nine instructors have used both homework modalities. Background: Online homework systems have been used for many years, but analysis of their effectiveness is mixed. Previous work has been limited to a small number of classes in a wide variety of disciplines. This article has a larger number of classes and instructors than previous studies. The classes cover many basic topic areas in electrical and computer engineering, so is directly applicable to the audience of these transactions. Research Question: What is the effect of online homework compared to traditional handwritten homework on the performance of the students on the final exams in selected ECE classes? Methodology: Mixed-effects analysis of variance models are used to determine the predictive ability of performance on homework of the two modalities on the performance on the final exams. The data are limited to classes where the instructors have taught the class using both modalities. These models incorporate the effect of modalities for each instructor and the effect of the modalities across all classes. Findings: The result is that there is no significant statistical difference in the two modalities to predict final exam scores. This indicates that the advantages of using the automated online system can be obtained with no detrimental effect on the students' learning.