Charles Atwood from the University of Utah will give a presentation Friday, Oct. 14 at Boise State University in Education Building #112 at 1:30 PM. The title of his presentation is "Improving the Bottom Quartile's Performance: The Key to Higher Success Rates".
Abstract: Six-year graduation rates at the University of Utah (~60%) are among the lowest in the PAC 12 Conference. The University has decided that our success rates must improve. Unsurprisingly, CHEM 1210 and 1220 (general chemistry) were identified as major areas of concern. Clearly, one method to improve success rates is to make the course easier. We decided on a different route, make the course more challenging while improving the success rate. Over the last five years we made a concerted effort to identify what our problem areas were then to address each of them. After three years of effort, it became apparent that the bottom quartile of students was the determining factor to our overall success rate. Until those students improved we were doomed to fail. In this presentation I will show statistical methods and classroom solutions we have employed to raise our success rate from 62% to 86% in four years. Importantly, our bottom quartile of students now scores on average 50th percentile or slightly higher on nationally normed ACS exams.