Impact on Students
Brigham Young University
In the redesign, did students learn more, less or the same compared to the traditional format?
To evaluate student learning, BYU conducted a comparison study between traditional and redesigned courses that focused primarily on student performance on the major assignments for the course. Performance was initially measured through two separate evaluations of four essays from each student in three redesigned sections (57 students) and three traditional sections (58 students) in winter 2002. The first round of evaluation found that, within a 90% confidence interval, students in the redesigned course received higher total scores than those in the traditional course. The study indicated, however, that there was a strong possibility that these score differences could be a result of inconsistencies among the raters rather than individual differences among the students.
Because of the statistically low confidence interval associated with the first result, these same essays were read again during a second round of readings. This second round indicated statistically significant differences between the two courses in some aspects of student writing. Specifically, students in the redesign sections received statistically higher scores in focusing their research papers, choosing appropriate sentence structure and word choices in their research papers, organizing their textual analysis papers, and developing and detailing ideas in their textual analysis papers. Students in the traditional sections performed better in focusing their narrative papers, choosing appropriate sentence structure and word choices in their narrative papers, developing and detailing ideas in their research papers, and adhering to conventions in their textual analysis papers. Findings were similarly mixed in a comparison between a more mature implementation of the redesign (winter 2003) with the traditional course (winter 2002). A longitudinal study of successive implementations of the redesigned course suggested that student performance improved in some aspects of writing in the more mature implementation but not in others.
Program in Course Redesign Quick Links: