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2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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Making Homework Easier to Do Than to Copy
  Location: HC 3027
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.3
  Time: 1:00 PM -1:30 PM
  Author: Gerd Kortemeyer, Michigan State University
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Using the example of LON-CAPA (, this talk presents mechanisms and examples for randomizing introductory physics questions beyond merely inserting random numbers and shifting around answer options. Strategies on how to randomly generate scenarios with desired properties (including different graphs, images, formulas, setups, boundary conditions, data drawn from libraries, and the use of student input for later problem parts), as well as input mechanisms beyond numbers and multiple choice (e.g., formula input and graph input checked for properties rather than correspondence to a given answer), will be presented. Once scenarios and expected inputs are sufficiently different from student to student (while still dealing with the same physics), it becomes harder to reverse-engineer the problem than to deal with the physics -- collaborations between learners morph from cheating into peer-teaching.
  Footnotes: None
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