Comparative data on Student Performance using Math OER (Scottsdale C.C.)

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: Student impact | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

Hilton III, J. Gaudet, D. Clarke, P. Robinson, J. & Wiley, D. (2013) report on the impact on using  a range of math OER with more than 2000 students during the Fall semester 2012. Although positive evidence regarding cost savings and satisfaction was noted, the piloting of math OER at Scottsdale Community College saw no change in student performance or retention when comparing data from Fall 2012 with data from Fall 2010 and Fall 2011.

“Our second research question asked if there were any changes in student success patterns or completion rates in the fall of 2012, the semester in which open educational resources were used. Student success patterns were measured by the rate at which students passed the math class with a C grade or better. The results for the fall semesters during years 2010 to 2012 are shown in Table 1 (we only compared fall numbers given that the student population in the courses shifts substantially between fall and spring semesters).

Table 1

In order to examine whether the distribution of student success differed significantly from 2011 to 2012, we conducted a z-test for comparing proportions for each course. The results of these z-tests revealed no significant change in student success rates from 2011 to 2012, with one notable exception: The percentage of student success in Math 09X declined significantly to 51% in 2012 compared to percentages of 67% and 62% in the prior two years. This result was significant at the a= .05 level, z = -5.97, p < .001. Possible reasons for this change are included in the discussion section. Otherwise, it does not appear that student success rates significantly varied from the same rate in 2011.

A similar pattern was observed when examining the data for course completion rates in 2012 compared to previous years. The 2012 completion rate in Math 09X was significantly lower than the completion rate in the previous year, z = -6.11, p < .001. Again, possible explanations for this change will be subsequently discussed. There did not appear to be a drop in completion rate in other courses in the year that OER were adopted. Table 2 summarizes completion rates for the classes that were the focus of this study.”

Table 2


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