Preventing students from falling through the cracks
Students studying independently in Building 5
In his project, Dr Stephen Woodcock is thoroughly analysing past exam performances for Mathematical Science subjects so as to identify students who are at greater risk of failing subjects later down the prerequisite path.
What the project is about
Acting as an early intervention scheme to minimise preventable future subject failures, Dr Woodcock’s project is identifying the gaps in individual students’ learning. Being able to recognise students’ limited knowledge in some areas, he can then offer tailored support in the form of online resources so that students can overcome these learning deficits before they worsen and become barriers to future progress.
Why the project is being introduced
Previous years’ data suggest that a student who obtains a pass in a given prerequisite subject is twice as likely to fail a subsequent subject than a student who gets a credit or higher.
How the project is being implemented
In carrying out his project, Dr Woodcock is:
Sourcing data from completed subject listing sheets, analysing exam data from 2010-2012, then tracing students’ progression and calculating pass rates for each subject.
Preparing and acquiring targeted, relevant and highly specialised online resources, then releasing them on UTSOnline. This enables students who scored only a pass and are enrolling in the later subject to refresh and improve skills regarded as crucial for succeeding in the subsequent subject.
Analysing exam data from Spring 2013 and monitoring the effectiveness of the project. This is going to be followed with a final report and recommendations for any future expansions of the program.
Stevenson, K. & Zweier, L. (2011). Creating a learning flow: A hybrid course model for high-failure-rate math classes.