In addition to doing embedded systems research, I've always felt honored to have the opportunity to try to help college students achieve the noble goal of achieving a strong college degree. In 2012, I decided to co-found a company (zyBooks.com) dedicated to assisting instructors to help college students learn and achieve their degrees. The company creates low-priced web-native interactive learning material that replaces textbooks and that includes auto-graded homework. Their revenue ensures continually-improved, state-of-the-art, and professional material and delivery/authoring platform (features that free/open resources often overlook).
My group at UCR conducts research to determine what works and what doesn't in interactive web-based learning, especially for STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, math). Below are some of our first papers; more to come.
F. Vahid, D. de Haas, S. Strawn, A. Edgcomb, S. Lysecky, R. Lysecky. A Continual Improvement Paradigm for Modern Online Textbooks. Int. Conf. of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI), Spain, Nov. 2015.
A. Edgcomb, D. De Haas, R. Lysecky, F. Vahid. Student usage and behavioral patterns with online interactive textbook materials. Int. Conf. of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI), Spain, Nov. 2015.
A. Edgcomb, F. Vahid. How Many Points Should Be Awarded for Interactive Textbook Reading Assignments? Proc. of Frontiers in Education conference (FIE), El Paso, Oct. 2015.
A. Edgcomb, F. Vahid, R. Lysecky, Students Learn More with Less Text that Covers the Same Core Topics Proc. of Frontiers in Education conference (FIE), El Paso, Oct. 2015.
A. Edgcomb, F. Vahid, R. Lysecky, A. Knoesen, R. Amirtharajah, and M.L. Dorf. Student Performance Improvement using Interactive Textbooks: A Three-University Cross-Semester Analysis, Proc. of ASEE Annual Conference, Seattle, June 2015. (Best paper award) paper
A. Edgcomb, J. Yuen, F. Vahid. Experiments in Student Crowdsourcing of Practice Question and Animation Creation, Proc. of ASEE Annual Conference, Seattle, June 2015. paper
A. Edgcomb, F. Vahid. Effectiveness of Online Textbooks vs. Interactive Web-Native Content American Society of Engineering Educators Annual Conference, ASEE 2014, Best paper award. pdf
This work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and Google. We are extremely grateful for their support.