The Ohio State University

Impact on Students

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

Improved Learning

The students in the spring 2002 quarter had greater success on the common exams than the daytime students in the traditional course and about the same scores as students in the evening class. In previous quarters the evening class, which has smaller class sizes and generally older students, has outperformed the daytime class.

Grades on common exams in spring 2002 traditional and pilot formats:

Class # of students* Midterm Exam Final Exam

Mean Median %<70 Mean Median %<70
Pilot 297 82.3 84 11.9 78.3 81 23.6
Traditional Daytime 121 76.8 81 22.9 70.0 76 32.8
Evening 93 81.7 83 13.7 78.1 79.5 26.9
Self-paced 121 Not taken 69.9 70 49.2

*Under IRB-approved procedures, 20 students opted to remove their grades from the data base.

Since one goal of the redesign was to reduce the percentage of students who needed to retake the course, it was encouraging to see a reduced fraction of pilot students scoring under 70% on exams. These results were not associated with student learning styles or study skills as measured at the start of the quarter.

Improved Retention

The buffet model was implemented in all sections during the fall 2002 quarter. When compared to the last four quarters before the buffet model was implemented:

  • the percentage of students who withdraw from the course before the end of the quarter has been reduced from 11% to 8%;
  • the percentage failing the course (or receiving a passing grade that does not satisfy a requirement of their major) has been reduced from 7% to 3%;
  • the percentage of students who receive a grade of incomplete has been reduced from 2% to 1%.

N Withdrawals Failures Incompletes

% N % N % N
Traditional 3100 11% 341 7% 217 2% 62
Redesign 3100 8% 248 3% 93 1% 31
Difference 0 3% 93 4% 124 1% 31



Program in Course Redesign Quick Links:

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