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Impact on Students

Drexel University

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

Improved Learning

There was a statistically significant improvement in learning under the redesign, as measured by the students' final grades (p = 0.0130). The results show that students in the combined pilot and redesigned versions of the course had considerably more A and fewer F grades when compared to the traditional course.

The traditional course and the redesign pilot, taught in winter 2001-02, and the fully redesigned course taught in winter 2002-03, used the same midterm exams. Midterm scores for the redesigned course were significantly higher than the midterm scores for the traditional version (using t-tests), indicating improved learning in the redesigned course. As a result, the instructors created a more difficult final examination to appropriately challenge and assess the students in subsequent offerings of the redesigned course.

Midterm 1 Midterm 2 Final

Average (%) 67.9 66.2 79.6
Standard Deviation (%) 13.7 19.2 18.7
Standard Error (%) 1.0 1.5 1.4
Number 186 171 167


Average (%) 73.5 71.8 83.7
Standard Deviation (%) 14.6 17.7 15.0
Standard Error (%) 2.5 3.1 2.7
Number 34 32 31


Average (%) 73.3 75.0 80.5
Standard Deviation (%) 15.9 19.4 13.5
Standard Error (%) 1.2 1.6 1.1
Number 184 156 151

Improved Retention

DWF (drop-failure-withdrawal) rates were consistently reduced 10-12% through the redesign. Student numbers were sufficient to compute the statistical significance of these differences in only one set of comparisons (p=0.035), but all were in the same positive direction.




Program in Course Redesign Quick Links:

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

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