In seminars, students always have discussions based on assigned papers. Many factors, such as students' understanding of materials and participation, may affect the efficiency of discussion. In regular seminar class, some possible problems would be (1) students are not aware of the other's concern about the materials; (2) it's difficult to balance the participation of talkative and non-talkative students; (3) discussions might be off-topic.
We designed a tool, DiscuSyllabus, to help with these problems. The tool aims to improve discussion efficiency and balance participation of students by sharing anchored annotation in shared document. In the interface, users could annotate their questions/topics in the shared material and use it as a syllabus for discussion.
In the tool, users could:
(a) annotate questions/topics in the document;
(b) mark their questions/topics as solved or unsolved;
(c) remind the other users of the status of their annotations.
We are doing user study in seminars this semester and a paper is in preparation.