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ProjOpenDSA - OpenDSA Log Support
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The OpenDSA project is an online eTextbook project that includes not only literature but other dynamic content to be used in Data Structures and Algorithms courses. OpenDSA contains exercises of various types to go along with the literature in order to provide automated self-assessment for students. What the research team seeks to do is to collect and log data regarding student interactions with these exercises, logging both the students’ performance, such as scores, as well as their interaction with the system, such as timestamps for button clicks. What we did to extend the current OpenDSA project is provide visualizations of the log data in meaningful ways as to be helpful to all users of the system. The OpenDSA Log Support Project, as we have called it, is designed to analyze the log data and provide views for the instructors who teach the course, the students who take the course, as well as for the developers who designed and are continually working on improving the system. Taking the various forms of log data collected from the students in the DSA course of the Fall 2012 semester, we developed three views: the teacher view, student view, and developer view. Each view displays information that is most useful to its user; for example, a comprehensive table of all students, their scores, and their status in each exercise is the most important data that a teacher will be interested in seeing. We developed our views using the Django web framework that the OpenDSA research team is currently using, pulling our data from the database that all of the data gets logged to. Using this data, we then created online views accessible to those with accounts, namely the instructor, students, and developers. Some challenges we ran into include the display of and performance of displaying the data in our views. This came up because of the amount of data logged, proving difficult to find efficient and readable ways to analyze and display the data. Though some solutions have been found, because this project is ongoing, future work include optimizing each view, improving the display of each view, as well as adding additional views for each user.