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Impact of Course Policy Changes on Calculus I DFW Rates ARTICLE

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Journal of STEM Education Volume 19, Number 1, ISSN 1557-5284 Publisher: Laboratory for Innovative Technology in Engineering Education (LITEE)


This paper examines the impact of departmental policy changes on the trend in DFW proportions for introductory calculus at a large research university. We defined three distinct policy periods: Traditional (2002-2005), Active Learning (SCALE-UP) (2006-2013), and Return to Traditional (2014-2015). Regression analysis showed DFW proportions were increasing during the Traditional period, significantly decreased after the switch to SCALE-UP, remained fairly consistent during the SCALE-UP period, and then significantly increased during Return to Traditional. Individual trends for D, F, and W proportions were also analyzed. The two policy changes had the greatest influence on the trend in F and W proportions. Potential factors that could influence a student to withdraw from the course were examined. Students who withdrew had midterm averages similar to students who failed the course during the SCALE-UP period, but their averages were significantly lower than the F students during the Return to Traditional period.


Norton, P., Bridges, W. & High, K. (2018). Impact of Course Policy Changes on Calculus I DFW Rates. Journal of STEM Education, 19(1),. Laboratory for Innovative Technology in Engineering Education (LITEE). Retrieved September 22, 2018 from .


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