Franklin University is midway through a five-year federal grant to increase undergraduate retention and graduation by implementing a learning analytics tool and revising gateway courses, among other activities. Initial analysis of grade trends in gateway courses for more than 8,000 undergraduates during a five-year period showed an increase in withdrawal and failure rates by an average of 4 percent and resulted in context and focus for a smaller study. Student outcomes were then assessed in 11 gateway courses over three terms, and results suggest that course redesign alone is insufficient to result in major gains in student success. Instructors were shown to increase the probability of passing a gateway course by up to 37% or decrease the probability of passing a gateway course by up to 57%. Follow-up focus group interviews with instructors yielded themes around engaging and motivating learners, engaging the affective domain, and improving minority self-efficacy. Therefore, a holistic approach that accounts for course delivery, faculty readiness, and student readiness may play a larger role in ensuring student retention and graduation than gateway course revisions.
International Institute for Innovative Instruction
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Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning
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Wanstreet, C., Raehll, M. B., & Sweetland, Y. (2020). Learning Analytics and Gateway Courses: Keys to Student Success. Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning Retrieved from https://fuse.franklin.edu/facstaff-pub/56