As part of a $100,000 three year grant from the Lumina foundation I addressed the problem of student retention in a large lecture style class on world mythology.
First year student success in our large lecture class, meeting one night a week, improved dramatically after “interventions” were put in place. These strategies were matched to the predicted student needs and amounted to an additional hour of instructor’s time per week.
First year student A’s more than doubled from 13% to 29% and students’ F’s dropped from 23% to 6%. In addition the overall first year student’s average moved from 1.9 (1999-2002) to 2.4 (2003-2005) for the participating students. The study involved analysis of the behaviors and performances of roughly 250 students (150 for ’99-’02 and 105 for ’03-’05.)
First year students in 2006, without interventions, scored as follows: 38 completed the course with 1.97 average. 18% A, 26% B, 13% C, 18% D, 24% F. In short, student scores reverted to the ‘99-02 pattern.
|Keywords:||First Year Student, Retention, Large Lecture Format|
Professor of Classics, Department of Modern Languages and Classics, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA
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