Online Practice Problem Strategies
PathFinder is a dynamic website that assembles ebooks on the fly from an xml database. The ebooks have randomly selected and generated exercises that are automatically graded. Instantaneous feedback is provided to both students and teachers regarding performance on online exercises. The PathFinder website was used to investigate four scenarios regarding the opportunity to complete unscored online practice problems along with scored problems. Four scenarios were tested, each consisting of four problems. Scenarios were randomly applied such that each student was exposed to all four, but on different problem sets. In all scenarios the fourth problem had no practice problem, so it could be used as a test of the effectiveness of the practice problems provided for the first three problems. In the first scenario, no practice problems were provided. In the second, three similar practice problems were provided. In the third, three related practice problems were provided. In the fourth, the first problem had a similar, the second a related, and the third no practice problem.