Impact on Students
The University of Alabama
In the redesign, did students learn more, less or the same compared to the traditional format?
Tests in the redesigned course were derived from those used in the traditional course and similar criteria were used for the assignment of grades, therefore, changes in grade distribution in the course reflect changes in student learning. The table below lists the distribution of grades for those students who were successful in the course (earned a grade of C- or better) over the past six semesters.
The sum of A and B grades was significantly higher for the redesigned course than for the traditional course in the fall semesters. Grades for the spring 2002 semester showed no significant difference. Grades in the spring 2001 semester were appreciably lower. Mandatory attendance was not required in the MTLC during the spring 2001 semester and there was a measurable decrease in the amount of time students spent on the course. This decrease was accompanied by a decrease in both student success and student performance.
Students completing Intermediate Algebra in the redesign and traditional course formats were also tracked into subsequent courses in mathematics to determine any differences in grade performance. In Pre-Calculus Algebra, which is the first course in a two-course pre-calculus sequence, students who previously took Intermediate Algebra in the redesigned format significantly out-performed students who took it in the traditional format. In Finite Math, which is a terminal course for students enrolled in non-quantitative majors, students who previously experienced redesign and traditional formats in Intermediate Algebra performed at about the same levels.
The average success rate (grade of C- or better) for the redesigned format is 49.1% compared to an average of 46.4% for the traditional format. In general, success rates are higher for fall semester cohorts that are comprised primarily of first-semester freshman than for spring semester cohorts that include students that have been previously unsuccessful in the course or are moving to the course from a lower-level, remedial course. With the exception of the spring 2001 semester, when mandatory attendance was not required, the success rate was generally higher for the redesigned cohorts than for the traditional cohorts. There has also been a steady increase in success rates in the redesigned course through time.
Some groups of students did appreciably better in the redesigned course than others:
Other Impacts on Students
Program in Course Redesign Quick Links: