Melanie Cooper

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This research describes a probabilistic approach for developing predictive models of how students learn problem-solving skills in general qualitative chemistry. The goal is to use these models to apply active, real-time interventions when the learning appears less than optimal. We first use self-organizing artificial neural networks to identify the most(More)
This paper describes a software tool that utilizes the Tablet PC’s natural user interface to provide interactivity between an instructor and her students in an organic chemistry course. The instructor and the students are equipped with electronic tablets and wireless access to the Internet. The software tool, called OrganicPad, enables an instructor to(More)
Metacognition is fundamental in achieving understanding of chemistry and developing of problem solving skills. This paper describes an across-method-and-time instrument designed to assess the use of metacognition in chemistry problem solving. This multi method instrument combines a self report, namely the Metacognitive Activities Inventory (MCA-I), with a(More)
Biological systems, from the molecular to the ecological, involve dynamic interaction networks. To examine student thinking about networks we used graphical responses, since they are easier to evaluate for implied, but unarticulated assumptions. Senior college level molecular biology students were presented with simple molecular level scenarios;(More)
Using a combination of machine learning probabilistic tools, we have shown that some chemistry students fail to develop productive problem solving strategies through practice alone and will require interventions to continue making strategic progress. One particularly useful form of intervention was face-to-face collaborative learning which increased the(More)
Helping students understand "chemical energy" is notoriously difficult. Many hold inconsistent ideas about what energy is, how and why it changes during the course of a chemical reaction, and how these changes are related to bond energies and reaction dynamics. There are (at least) three major sources for this problem: 1) the way biologists talk about(More)
While evolutionary theory follows from observable facts and logical inferences (Mayr, 1985), historically, the origin of novel inheritable variations was a major obstacle to acceptance of natural selection (Bowler, 1992; Bowler, 2005). While molecular mechanisms address this issue (Jablonka and Lamb, 2005), analysis of responses to the Biological Concept(More)
This paper describes a novel intelligent tutoring system called beSocratic, which targets question types that allow students to respond with free-form input but are able to be automatically evaluated and analyzed. Using beSocratic's GraphPad module, students are able to draw data structures using a mouse, touch, or a stylus. Once a student has completed a(More)
Over the years a great deal of time and attention has been devoted to reform of teaching and learning in chemistry. However, many of these efforts have focused on individual faculty's experiences and intuition, rather than our understanding of how people learn or evidence about the effects of such reforms. For example, while it is widely known that students(More)
Today, most higher education institutions use broad learning management systems such as Blackboard, Moodle, or Instructure Canvas to aid in assessment. Additionally, specialized systems (such as Mastering software series, OWL, etc.) exist for individual disciples and courses. While these systems have shown improvements in student learning, the majority of(More)