Professor Philip S. Stevens

Professor Philip S. Stevens

Professor Stevens' research focuses on characterizing the chemical mechanisms in the atmosphere that influence regional air quality and global climate change. An accurate understanding of this chemistry is essential to assess, control, and predict the impact of anthropogenic perturbations on the chemical and radiative properties of the atmosphere.

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CALM is a novel Web based tool for enhancing problem-solving skills of students through directed inquiry. Based upon a Socratic pedagogy it presents a student with individualized, algorithmically generated questions on a given topic. Algorithmic generation allows the student to test their comprehension by requesting and solving several different questions on the same topic. Each question and its solution are generated when the question is requested. Thus, the program provides immediate feedback to the student regarding the correctness of the answer provided. Students are not penalized for incorrect answers but are encouraged to reconsider the question and re-answer it.

CALM is distinguished from existing approaches of computer based instruction by its utilization of a directed learning approach. Inherent with its Socratic pedagogy, CALM can present a student who incorrectly answers a question with a leading question. A student is thus not simply shown an answer, but is constantly challenged to seek the correct answer. The program also provides instantaneous feedback to faculty/instructors via the Web about the comprehension of a particular topic either by a particular student or group of students.

CALM incorporates several types of questions:

  • Numerical
  • Multiple choice
  • Multiple selection
  • Graphical, with test understanding of spatial relationships
  • Dynamic, multi-part, multi-stage questions
  • Essays