5.12. Example of Personalized Messages

An instructor in a Biology class has an indicator about the level of persistence of the students while interacting with the course material. Each student has one of the values VLP, LP, MP, VHP, UNK for respectively very low, low, moderate, very high persistence, or unknown. After the first week of the course, the instructor has written the following texts:

VLP students

“You may want to try to make some headway in this unit. The concepts of specialization and evolution are very important for the course. Charles Darwin’s famous voyage in the HMS Beagle involved a visit to the now famous Galapagos Islands. See if you can piece together some of the clues that inspired Charles Darwin. It’s important for you to get some understanding of these ideas as they are essential concepts in biology. Where do species come from?”

LP students

“Good initial work with this module. You should probably take another look at the units such as ‘The Galapagos Exploration’ and ‘The Birds and the moths’. This unit will help you develop some understanding of evolution through natural selection –which is one of the most important processes (perhaps the most important) in the natural world.”

MP students

“Good work with this module. Would you be able to anticipate the influence of air pollution on Kettlewell’s moths? How important are relationships (such as symbiosis) in the natural world? Lessons such as ‘Peer pressure in nature’ will help us understand how energy flows in food webs and the different types of relationships that provide a cornerstone of the natural world.”

VHP students

“Thorough work with the unit! Would you be able to describe the relationship between clownfish and their sea anemone host as a commensalism or a mutualism? Could you explain why hemophilia seems only to afflict males (such as in the British royal family of the 19th century)? Great work!”