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Impact on Students

Riverside Community College

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

Improved Learning

The principal process of assessing student learning was to compare traditional and redesigned course outcomes. Three learning areas were assessed: 1) elementary algebra performance by comparing common final exam results, 2) enrollment and performance in subsequent mathematics courses, and 3) gains in knowledge and skills by administering pre- and post-tests. Six objectives were mapped to specific pre-test and post-test questions:

  1. Perform arithmetic operations on real numbers and polynomial, rational, and radical expressions;
  2. Evaluate algebraic expressions;
  3. Solve equations involving linear, quadratic, rational and radical expressions;
  4. Graph linear equations and inequalities given the equation and find equations given the graph;
  5. Factor polynomials; and
  6. Use the symbols and vocabulary of algebra to clearly communicate mathematical concepts.

During the fall 2001 semester, students' learning gain in the redesigned courses as measured by pre- and post-testing (mean = 7.66) was significantly higher than learning gain in the traditional course (mean = 6.38, t = -3.77, d.f. = 618, p<.001). Overall, students in the redesigned courses learned more on four of the six learning objectives. There was no significant difference in the means for the other two learning objectives (#4 and #5).

In spring 2002, redesign students' scores were significantly higher than traditional students' scores for two of the six learning objectives (#1 and #2). There were no significant differences for the other four learning objectives and overall scores.

Improved Retention

51.7% of traditional students completed the course with a "C" grade or better compared to 46.0% in the fall 2001 redesign.

Other Impacts on Students

Students completing the redesigned courses experienced consistently higher, but not statistically significant, rates of enrollment and completion of Intermediate Algebra—the next math course students would be expected to take. Of the traditional students, 39.4% enrolled in Intermediate Algebra in the next term, and 61.5% completed the course with a "C" or better. 41.5% of the fall 2001 redesign students enrolled in Intermediate Algebra in the next term and 63.5% completed the course with a "C" or better. In the spring 2002 semester, again about 2% more redesign students than traditional students went on to Intermediate Algebra in the next semester. Of those, about 2% more redesign students than traditional students were successful in Intermediate Algebra.

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Program in Course Redesign Quick Links:

Program In Course Redesign Main Page...

Lessons Learned:
Round 1...
Round II...
Round III...

Savings:
Round I...
Round II...
Round III...

Project Descriptions:
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Sorted by Success...
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