Impact on Students
In the redesign, did students learn more, less or the same compared to the traditional format?
Students in the redesigned course performed significantly better on benchmark exam questions. The questions on the new exams were designed to test higher order thinking and allow students to synthesize material from the basic concepts.
In addition, specific exam questions incorporated in the second year genetics course (required of all biology majors) were used to measure the retention of key concepts and compare the performance of traditional students and redesign students. Students from the redesigned course performed significantly better on this set of questions than did students from the traditional course (88% correct vs. 79% correct, respectively).
After the first semester of full-scale implementation, the DFW rate dropped. Only 3% of the students in the redesign decided to drop the course compared to an average of close to 8% in previous years. There was no significant change in the failure or withdrawal rates.
Furthermore, the number of students who decided to enroll in the second semester of the course approached 85% compared to less than 75% in previous years. There was a 4% increase in the number of declared majors between freshman and sophomore years after implementing the redesigned course.
Other Impacts on Students
Program in Course Redesign Quick Links: