The Self-Paced Logic Project

Professor Austen Clark
Department of Philosophy U-54
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269-2054
Email :  austen<dot>clark <at> uconn<dot>edu     
(Spelled out to discourage machine harvesting.)


In January 2000 I received a grant from the Institute for Teaching and Learning at the University of Connecticut to convert a large lecture format course in introductory logic to a "Keller plan" or "self paced" course. The key part of the work done under the grant was to develop a relational database system for managing test items, to ease the task of creating the three dozen new tests needed every semester.  Code for that database is available below, along with supporting documents. But first here are some notes on what the project was about.
Some excerpts from the grant proposal.
Resource requirements for a self paced course in logic.
The current undergraduate syllabus.
The course content as revealed in study guides.
Goals of the course for the graduate assistants.
Preliminary evaluation of results.
Transcript of student comments.

Selfpace.mdb: Code for a relational database of test items

We made the decision to develop the database system in Microsoft Access.  It has the virtue of being widely available.  (It is included in "Office Professional".  The code below will work in versions from Office 97 onwards.)   Once test items are selected, the application dumps results directly into Microsoft Word, which is also widely available.  The test output requires some fine-tuning in a word processor.
A small sample of test items is included, but we are not distributing any of the test items currently used in the course itself. 
Selfpace.mdb is copyright (c) Austen Clark, 2001.  The program is licensed and distributed under the "copyleft" provisions of the GNU General Public License.  Before downloading any code, please read the license. A full discussion of its terms can be found at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft.

Selfdoc.zip: Supporting documents for selfpace.mdb

User manual for the database application; user manual for the data loader; design specs for tables & forms; known problems; sample user scripts; and other useful documentation.

Acknowledgements

Many people have contributed to the development of this course over the years.  Here is a partial list of those who deserve thanks: