Predictively Improving the Problem Solving of Science Students

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

This complex project will continue work by Ron Stevens to create an experiment with Interactive Multi-Media Exercises (IMMEX) to improve student performance in Chemistry under certain conditions. The research will compare the effects of an intelligent tutoring (ITS) feedback system with a computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) system. Secondly, the project will use an online collaborative problem-solving approach to create an improved model of student problem solving practices. The intent is to improve the learning rate of novices in chemistry.


The students would be chosen from an existing field sample of thousands of high school and college students.

Research Design: 

The study will involve creating an intervention and conducting a post-test quasi-experimental design. The studies will be conducted with over 10,000 students who will be randomly assigned to control and intervention groups. Supporting data for extending models will include gender, ethnicity, motivation measures, course identity, and standardized test scores.


Findings will be posted as they become available.

Publications & Presentations: 

Stevens, R.H. and Thadani, V. (2006). "A Bayesian Network Approach for Modeling the Contextual Variables on Problem Solving." Lecture Notes in Computer Science, v.4053, p. 71.

Stevens, R.H., and Casillas, A. (2006). "Artifical Neural Networks," in Automated Scoring (Mislevy & Williamson, eds). Lawrence Erlbaum, Inc., p. 459.

Cooper, M. M. Cox Jr., C. T., Nammouz, M., Case, E., & Stevens, R. H. (2008). "An Assessment of the Effect of Collaborative Groups on Students: Problem Solving Strategies and Abilities." J. Chem Ed, v.85, p. 866.

Stevens, R. H., Galloway, T., and Berka, C. (2007). "Exploring Neural Trajectories of Scientific Problem Solving Skill Acquisition." Lecture Notes in Computer Science, v.4565, p. 400.

Cooper, M. M., Sandi-Urena, S., Stevens, R. (2008). "Reliable multi method assessment of metacognition use in chemistry problem solving." Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., v.9, p. 18.

Cox Jr. C. T., Cooper, M. M., Pease, R., Buchanan, K., Hernandez-Cruz, L., Stevens, R., Picione, J., Holme T. (2008). "Advancements in curriculum and assessment by the use of IMMEX technology in the organic laboratory." Chem. Ed. Resc. Pract., v.8, p. 25.

Soller, A., and Stevens, R. H. (2007). "Applications of Stochastic Analyses for Collaborative Learning and Cognitive Assessment." In Advances in Latent Variable Mixture Models, Gregory Hancock and Karen Samuelson (Eds.). Information Age Publishing, p. 1.

Cooper, M. M. Cox Jr., C. T., Nammouz, M., & Stevens, R. H. (2007). "Improving Problem Solving with Simple Interventions." New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences, v.3, p. 64.

Thadani, V., Stevens, R., Tao, A. (2009). "Measuring Complex Features of Science Instruction: Developing Tools to." Journal of the Learning Sciences, v.18, p. 285.