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Impact on Students

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona)

In the redesign, did students learn more, less or the same compared to the traditional format?

Improved Learning

Comparisons were made between students enrolled in one traditional section and two redesigned sections during the spring and fall 2002 quarters. Data were also collected during winter 2003 for the redesigned course, which was the only format offered during this quarter. Performance indicators included exam scores, pretest and posttest psychology test scores, and total points earned for the course (i.e., accumulated points earned for exams, written assignments, CD points earned, and completion of pretests and posttests).

While specific comparisons varied, results suggested consistently that students in the redesigned course learned about the same as students in the traditional course. These analyses made certain that students in the traditional and redesigned course sections were comparable and also controlled for student background characteristics such as prior knowledge of psychology and gender.

A significant and large positive correlation was found between performance on the CD assignments and overall course performance, r = 0.60, p < .001, even omitting CD performance from course total points. Students in the redesign course who scored higher on the CD assignments also scored higher in the course overall.

Other Impacts on Students

Cal Poly also evaluated whether knowledge of technology before the redesign course began would differentially influence performance in this class. Correlations between a measure of technology knowledge and course performance showed that there was no significant association between technology and exam scores. Experience and/or comfort with technology, in effect, played no significant role in course performance.

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