Centre for eLearning Innovations and
Partnerships in Science and Engineering (eLIPSE)

In discussion forums with a large number of participants, students often struggle with information overload and are more likely to post short answers and minimise involvement.  Additionally, questions asked by students are often duplicated, making answers difficult to find as they dilute the available information on a particular topic.  As more and more university courses transition to a flipped classroom model, with diverse cohorts that do not have ready access to face-to-face assistance, this problem will be exacerbated. 

How does it work?

Casper is a question and answer tool where anyone in an online course can ask questions and anyone can respond.  Participants can vote questions and answers up or down; course staff can endorse correct answers.  Upon visiting Casper, students are presented with the list of questions that have currently been posted, a list of popular/recent tags and a navigation bar that gives them the opportunity to ask a question or search for a question/answer by text.  The tool facilitates student-student and student-teacher interaction within a course.  Functionality includes reputation scores and 'badges' awarded based on student engagement (optional).

Project team/Contacts
Title First Name Last Name Affiliation Role in the project Contact

A/Professor

Carl

Reidsema

Faculty of EAIT/School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering

Lead CI

c.reidsema@uq.edu.au
​+61 7 3365 3596

 

Jeremy

Herbert

School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

 

 
 

Elliot

Smith

School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

 

Project Status

Stage 5 - the prototype is being refined.

The Casper question and answer tool was developed at the University of Queensland in 2013.  It was modelled after the popular online discussion system ‘StackExchange’ and was designed to seamlessly integrate with the legacy Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) as a drop-in replacement for the built-in threaded discussion tool. 

Technologies Used

Python, Django, PostgreSQL, LTI

Acknowledgements

Casper was initially developed by Jeremy Herbert and Elliot Smith. eLIPSE assisted with the development of an LTI integration and is now maintating the tool.

Publications
  • Herbert, Jeremy, Smith, Elliot, Reidsema, Carl and Lydia Kavanagh (2013). Helping students find answers: algorithmic interpretation of student questions. In: Charles Lemckert, Graham Jenkins and Susan Lang-Lemckert, Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education: AAEE2013 Proceedings. AAEE 2013: 24th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, (1-6). 8-11 December, 2013.

  • Smith, Elliot, Herbert, Jeremy, Kavanagh, Lydia and Reidsema, Carl (2013). The effects of gamification on student learning through the use of reputation and rewards within community moderated discussion boards. In: Charles Lemckert, Graham Jenkins and Susan Lang-Lemckert, Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education: AAEE2013 Proceedings. AAEE 2013: 24th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, (1-9). 8-11 December, 2013.