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Predicting Student Success via Online Homework Usage

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Journal of Learning Design Volume 7, Number 2 ISSN 1832-8342


With the amount of data available through an online homework system about students' study habits, it stands to reason that such systems can be used to identify likely student outcomes. A study was conducted to see how student usage of an online chemistry homework system (OWL) correlated with student success in a general chemistry course. Online chemistry homework activity was examined for first-year students taking general chemistry at a midsize, private university. The six different chemistry question sets examined were: bond properties; standard molar enthalpy; electronegativity; Lewis dot structures; calorimetry; and stoichiometry. Students' OWL activity was then correlated with their exam grades and their final course grades. Results showed that higher average time spent per question correlated positively with student success as measured by final grades. However, multiple attempts per question correlated negatively with student success. A multiple linear regression model and other guidelines are presented for instructors' use to identify chemistry topics where students may need additional instruction to improve their understanding.


Bowman, C.R., Gulacar, O. & King, D.B. Predicting Student Success via Online Homework Usage. Journal of Learning Design, 7(2), 47-61. Retrieved November 17, 2019 from .

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