Incorporating Student Contracts …, part 2 – The Data
February 17, 2009 at 9:23 pm Leave a comment
Here’s some data from the first semester I used student contracts.
Retention
I began with 54 students enrolled, and 49 of them were still enrolled on the last day of class. The retention rate was 90.7%. For all other sections of Intermediate Algebra offered that semester on campus, the retention rate was 82.1%, so my retention rate was 8.6% above the campus wide rate that semester. (As another reference point, my retention rate for the same course during the previous semester was 85.9%.)
Success
30 students of the original 54 students, or 55.6% of the class, satisfied the contract and passed the class. Think about that! More than half of the students scored 100% on every homework assignment that semester, averaged at least 80% on all of their quizzes, averaged at least 70% on all of their exams, and missed no more than 2 days of class. If someone told me on day 1 that I would have results like those, then I would consider that semester a success.
Another 7 students passed the class without meeting the contract’s requirements, bringing the total number of successful students to 37 out of 54 or 68.5%. This was roughly 20% higher than the campus wide success rate for this course that semester. There were 12 students (22.2%) that failed the class, and another 5 (9.3%) that dropped the course. The following table compares these results to my intermediate algebra classes taught the previous semester as well as the campus wide results for intermediate algebra that semester.

My Class With Contract 
My Classes No Contract 
Campus Wide 
Pass 
68.5% 
49.4% 
48.3% 
Fail 
22.2% 
36.5% 
33.8% 
Drop 
9.3% 
14.1% 
17.9% 
Retention 
90.7% 
85.9% 
82.1% 
Test Grades
The test scores seem to have been positively affected by the use of a student contract. 35% of the students had an A test average, 74% had a test average that was a B or higher, and 86% had a test average that was a C or higher. (The cut off for an A is 90%, 80% for a B, and 70% for a C.) The following table compares these results to my intermediate algebra courses that were taught the previous semester.
Average 
With Contract 
No Contract 
A 
35% 
12% 
B 
39% 
21% 
C 
12% 
36% 
D 
8% 
9% 
F 
6% 
22% 
I also noticed that a greater percentage of the students were passing each exam. The following table lists the success rate (C or higher) for each exam, and compares it to the results of my Intermediate Algebra classes from the previous semester.
Success Rate On Each Exam 

With Contract 
No Contract 

Test 1 – Transition 
83% 
74% 
Test 2 – Radicals 
79% 
55% 
Test 3 – Quadratic 
80% 
62% 
Test 4 – Functions 
76% 
61% 
Test 5 – Exp./Logs 
71% 
36% 
Test 6 – Conics 
94% 
92% 
Finally, here are the mean scores for each exam. Again, notice the amount of increase. The increase was highest on test 2 (Radicals) and test 5 (Exponential & Logarithmic Functions). Students traditionally struggle with these topics, but my students did very well.
Mean Score On Each Exam 

With Contract 
No Contract 

Test 1 – Transition 
83.0 
77.6 
Test 2 – Radicals 
79.6 
67.6 
Test 3 – Quadratic 
79.7 
73.8 
Test 4 – Functions 
81.0 
71.8 
Test 5 – Exp./Logs 
75.0 
58.3 
Test 6 – Conics 
93.1 
88.5 
Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: amatyc, developmental math, education, george woodbury, Math, student contracts, teaching.
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