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Enhancing The First Year Experience A


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Enhancing The First Year Experience A

  1. 1. ‘ Enhancing the First Year Experience – A Case Study From Biomedical Sciences’ Paul Hagan Stephen M c Clean University of Ulster
  2. 2. Evaluation <ul><li>There are many, many variables to be considered when evaluating student performance. </li></ul><ul><li>What works for one individual may not offer a solution for another. </li></ul><ul><li>How do we assess the efficacy of all the ‘fixes’ we offer and how do they impact on each of the many experience groups which we have to accommodate. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to use some medium-weight statistics to get at the detail of the ‘fixes’ versus student performance with prior educational experience factored in. </li></ul>
  3. 3. EVALUATION <ul><li>This evaluation step is CRUCIAL in the whole exercise and it is actually the detail of the EVALUATION which I am communicating, and what it can offer. </li></ul><ul><li>We all need to justify what we do in terms of committing additional resources to remedial classes. </li></ul><ul><li>These robust analyses give us the ammunition we require to promote and justify these activities. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Normal Distribution fits are for the two groups of students </li></ul><ul><li>Those with previous ‘A’ level experience </li></ul><ul><li>Those without ‘A’ level experience </li></ul>2005-2006 - 62% 82% 2006-2007 – 68% 81% 2007-2008 65% 84%
  5. 5. BOXPLOTS
  6. 6. Good correlation between coursework and examination mark. Three students with low coursework and > pass marks in the examination obviously defied all attempts to improve their coursework submissions. 2005-2006 2006-2007
  7. 7. Possibility of producing a ‘tailor made’ report for individual student. Position in cohort can be highlighted from registration number.
  8. 8. The expected correlation between attendance and examination score, increased absence from lectures, practicals and tutorials leads to depressed examination marks. Outliers suggest that some poor attendees have sufficient prior ‘knowledge’ or alternative access to course materials, to enable a pass. 2005-2006 2006-2007
  9. 9. In all 6 extra ‘voluntary’ tutorials were offered in semester one. All students attending at least one extra tutorial passed the exam. 2005-2006
  10. 10. 2006-2007 A total of two examination revision sessions were offered immediately prior to the examination after the Semester one examinations.
  11. 11. Students with no ‘A’ level chemistry experience (‘A’ or ‘AS’ level) or with no chemistry at Irish Higher or Irish Ordinary level improve their probability of passing by attending at least one extra ‘voluntary tutorial’ It can be shown that the students who failed to achieve at least a pass grade were not sufficiently motivated to attend extra tutorial classes and this lack of motivation would be reflected in their level and quality of examination preparation 2005-2006 2006-2007
  12. 12. Attendance at both pre-examination revision tutorials improved the mean examination mark of students without chemistry ‘A’ levels by 21% on average. None of these students gained lower than a pass grade.
  13. 13. Picture is broadly similar in 2007 - 2008
  14. 14. Students with previous ‘A’ level experience generally do not exhibit a significantly improved examination performance by attending both pre-examination revision tutorials. It is however not detrimental to their performance and may be viewed as a ‘confidence-building’ exercise. 2005-2006 2006-2007
  15. 15. Multivariate analysis 2006-2007
  16. 16. Students with ‘A’, ‘AS’, or equivalent level chemistry, on average, score least 15% higher in the examination. 2005-2006 2006-2007
  17. 17. WIFT WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM? 2005 - 2006 Examination marks for second semester BIOCHEMISTRY module
  18. 18. 2007 - 2008 84 63 2007/8 61 57 2006/7 66 56 2005/6 PRIOR ‘A’ LEVELS % NO ’A’ LEVELS % BIOCHEMISTRY EXAM MARK
  19. 19. Conclusions <ul><li>Attendance is a crucial factor </li></ul><ul><li>Specific groups can be identified as being deficient in chemistry and mathematics </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted tutorials are very effective </li></ul><ul><li>Practice MCQ’s appreciated by students </li></ul><ul><li>Some ‘A’ levels better than others. </li></ul>91 2007/8 96 2006/7 91 2005/6 73 2004/5 64 2003/4 Pass Rate /%