This paper presents the current status of a research project investigating the use of a novel web-based adaptive learning system to improve student mastery of digital logic concepts while considering the demographics of the individual student. Adaptive learning is a pedagogical approach that dynamically alters the difficulty of content based on an ongoing assessment of the student’s capability. This technique is becoming more popular with the advancement of web-based learning solutions and increased student enrollment. Using this type of e-learning environment has the potential to address background deficiencies of students who lack the necessary prerequisite skills coming out of high school. This three-year project is currently in its second year through funding from the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE). During the first year of this project our team developed a set of course materials and assessment instruments for the area of digital logic. This is content found in all accredited undergraduate electrical and computer engineering curriculums. In year two, our team used the material in a variety of course delivery formats including live, online to on-campus students, online to off-campus students, and online to remote community college students. Data was collected on student performance while also tracking student demographics such as gender, ethnicity, GPA, credits earned, ACT scores, and transfer credits. The data was analyzed to determine if there were any learning outcomes that had significantly lower student performance overall, and if there were any specific student sub-groups that performed lower on any of the outcomes. In year three of the project our team is deploying adaptive learning modules on targeted outcomes to measure their impact. This paper will present the course materials developed during year one, the data and the baseline results collected during year two, and the initial results of the adaptive learning modules. This paper will benefit engineering educators teaching logic circuits/design and are interested in using an online learning environment to either supplement or replace in-class instruction.
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