Faculty Spotlight – Martha Hubertz

Martha Hubertz, Lecturer

In Spring 2019, I selected a new text for my Psychology of Women Class, an online HIP- designated Service-Learning class, and my goal was to add an adaptive component that would assist students in learning by increasing their self-monitoring of what they read and comprehend.  This course has a high enrollment and is fully online with approximately 70% transfer students. As part of the Course Redesign Initiative, I worked with both Acrobatiq, a branch of Vital Source, and my instructional designer to create an adaptive version of the textbook. In Spring 2020, students piloted the adaptive courseware from Acrobatiq that provided lessons of content with formative practice, followed by an adaptive activity and a graded quiz. This courseware was generated from a Vital Source textbook using AI and includes AI-generated formative questions.Their courseware allows for a two-pronged approach towards adaptive learning based on the doer-effect. One prong involves SmartStart, where the text is chunked into units, modules, and lessons. This process also generates formative assessments made up of hundreds of computer-generated questions. The second prong involves the use of artificial intelligence applied to course content through adaptive practice. “Personal Practice” was an adaptive activity that appeared at the end of each chapter. Students completed this practice before taking a “ Test Your Knowledge Quiz” that I created for each chapter. The formative activities generate a learning estimate (the likelihood of a student answering correctly on a question of similar difficulty). This allowed students to increase self-monitoring of their mastery of textbook content.

Advantages of this courseware included it was downloadable by students in areas with spotty internet, has an accessible read-to-me function, and offered students a scalable ‘path to success’ feature. Instructor created content was embedded as needed. The instructor dashboard allows one to easily see where students struggle and what learning objectives are problematic for the class. 

What Role Does Instructional Design Play?

My ID, Joe Lloyd and I worked closely with Acrobatiq. As they incorporated the computer-generated items, he and I worked to create a series of “Test your Knowledge” chapter quizzes to embed in Acrobatiq. Once I created each 10-item quiz, he mapped the associated learning objective, selected item type (e.g., multiple choice), and added the items into the platform. This was not a time-consuming process on either of our parts. He also assisted me in embedding chapter links into Canvas.

In Fall 2020, we examined the data from the prior semester and developed customized “personal practice” for the 4 most difficult chapters based on student data.

In Fall 2021 we added a new class to my Acrobatiq bookshelf and were able to get Acrobatiq courseware included in UCF First Day. The text was under $70 through first day; thereby allowing students to have a fully adaptive text with heaps of resources for less than the price of the e-book version of the text. 

Describe The Impact PAL Has Had On Students’ Learning

My hope was that incorporating adaptive learning elements into this online course would allow for a more active learning experience for students and further increase student success and engagement. Students were surveyed last Spring and data indicated that students found the Acrobatiq platform and SmartStart items indistinguishable from similar publisher “adaptive” platforms. Results further indicated that participants felt the courseware increased both comprehension and test scores. In the comments, student perceptions were also overwhelmingly positive.

In a comparison of Fall 2019, when students had a non-adaptive version of the text to Spring 2020 using the Acrobatiq adaptive e-text, to Spring 2021 with the AI Personal Practice incorporated, results indicate that student scores increased on each exam when using the adaptive version of the text and increased further when the AI personal practice items were added. The mean and median scores for each test improved when utilizing the adaptive e-text with the AI feature are presented below.

I have now presented on the efficacy of the AI features of Acrobatiq at multiple conferences. One of which was with my ID. I also have 2 papers in prep currently looking at student engagement data and use of the Acrobatiq courseware to drive student learning. The use of AI in educational courseware is an exciting frontier in higher education. It is also somethings students are increasingly familiar with prior to starting at UCF thanks primarily to ALEKS.  

Related Resources: 

Publications and Presentations to Date:

  • Van Campenhout, R., Hubertz, M., & Johnson, B. (in prep). Evaluating AI-Generated Questions: A Mixed-Methods Analysis Using Question Data and Student Perceptions. Paper submitted to AIED2022 (23rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education).
  • Van Campenhout, R., Hubertz, M., Schroeder, K. & Johnson, B. (2022). Courseware at Scale: Using AI to Create Learning by Doing. Paper accepted for presentation at the 2022 IMS Global Learning Impact Conference. June 13-16 in Nashville.
  • Hubertz, M. & Van Campenhout, R. (2022). Teaching and Iterative Improvement: The Impact of Instructor Implementation of Courseware on Student Outcomes. Paper presented at the IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2022 Official Conference Proceedings. ISSN: 2189-1036, pp. 201–210.Honolulu, Hawaiihttps://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-1036.2022.19  Link to paper: https://papers.iafor.org/submission61522/
  • Schroeder, K., Hubertz, M., Johnson, B. G., & Van Campenhout, R. (2021). Courseware at Scale: Using Artificial Intelligence to Create Learning by Doing from Textbooks. Presented at OLC Accelerate, Washington D.C., Oct. 6 2021. https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/olc-accelerate-2021-session-page/?session=10124&kwds=
  • Hubertz, M., Lloyd, J., & Doran, C. & Winer, L. (2020). Adaptive Learning through Acrobatiq. Presentation at the 2020 Virtual Florida Adaptive Learning Summit.
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