Improved Student Achievement Using Personalized Online Homework For A Course In Material And Energy Balances


  • Matthew W. Liberatore Colorado School of Mines


Personalized, online homework was used to supplement textbook homework, quizzes, and exams for one section of a course in material and energy balances. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that students using personalized, online homework earned better grades in the course. The online homework system asks the same questions of each student while changing one or more numeric values in the problem statement. A comparison of performance on common quizzes, exams, and final course grades between students using the textbook and online homeworks versus students completing textbook homework and simple, multiple choice reading quizzes showed a statistically significant increase in achievement for the students using online homework. Of note, 91% of the students using online homework achieved C or better as their final course grade compared with 72% of the students in the control group. Student evaluations show that 66% of the students prefer textbook homework in combination with online homework to maximize learning of the course material.

Author Biography

Matthew W. Liberatore, Colorado School of Mines

Matthew W. Liberatore is an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. He earned a B.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, all in chemical engineering. His current research involves the rheology of complex fluids especially traditional and renewable energy fluids, entangled polymer solutions, and colloid slurries.