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Activity Number: 79 - Education Topics for Specialized Audiences
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Sunday, July 30, 2017 : 4:00 PM to 5:50 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Education
Abstract #325026 View Presentation
Title: Examining the Effect of a Pedagogical Change in a High Failure Rate College Science Course in the Face of a Shift Demographic Student Body
Author(s): Robin Donatello*
Companies: CSU Chico
Keywords: higher-education ; chemistry ; applied-analysis ; graduation-rates

In effort to improve student success and decrease overall time to graduation, awards were given to California State University faculty willing to redesign their courses in effort to lower rates of repeatable grades (DWF) in selected courses. This analysis examines the impact of these pedagogical changes in a first semester Chemistry class, a class with a nationwide high DWF rate. The results of this redesign were mixed. The Fall cohort showed a moderate improvement in average GPA (1.53 to 1.78) and a reduction in DFW rate (.45 to .36) compared to the same course by the same instructor a year earlier. Only a marginal improvement in GPA and DFW was seen for the following Spring cohort (GPA 1.65, DFW rate .39). Visualization and regression methods are used to compare student performance in and outside of the redesigned course, controlling for other courses, instructor, and student level characteristics. Specific groups (such as those with financial need) are examined to ensure that current achievement gaps are not being exacerbated. We further examine the trends in the demographic makeup of chemistry students in effort to understand the face of a rapidly changing student population.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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