Student Success and Attempts on Auto-Graded Homework Across Multiple Cohorts in Material and Energy Balances


  • Kayla E Chapman University of Toledo
  • Megan E Davidson University of Toledo
  • Matthew W Liberatore University of Toledo



Student success and attempts on hundreds of online homework problems housed in a fully interactive online textbook, Material and Energy Balances zyBook, were studied over three cohorts of students (n=284). Auto-graded homework questions with randomized numbers and content can explore proficiency in the course material. Students are allowed to attempt any question as many times as needed, and a median success of 94% was found. Also, students completed thousands of attempts after correctly answering without the incentive to improve grades.

Author Biographies

Kayla E Chapman, University of Toledo

Kayla E. Chapman is currently studying chemical engineering at the University of Toledo and expects to earn a BS degree in 2021. She has assisted with multiple areas of research and data analysis regarding zyBooks reading participation and challenge activities. She became interested in performing research after completing a chemical engineering course that used zyBooks. 

Megan E Davidson, University of Toledo

Megan E. Davidson earned her BS degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toledo in 2019. She currently works at Cooper Tire and Rubber Company.

Matthew W Liberatore, University of Toledo

Matthew W. Liberatore is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Toledo. He earned a BS degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and MS and PhD degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, all in chemical engineering. His current research involves the rheology of complex fluids as well as active learning, reverse engineering online videos, and interactive textbooks. Dr. Liberatore’s website is