Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
The paper analyses academic performance of freshman students in a rural Indian college affiliated with a regional university. This college introduced tracking in 2013 by clustering lower performing students in a division and allocating the best teachers to them. For each class the same teacher conducts lectures and tutorials, thereby having more contact time with the students and facilitating better academic integration. The teachers prioritize learning over completion of the syllabus and engage students in challenges that are appropriate for their learning abilities, with adequate support.
Many educators do not recommend such clustering due to the fear of alienating poor performers and lack of access to role models and guidance from better performers. However, given the large variation in student learning abilities and relatively few teachers skilled enough to this variation, we hypothesized that such 'tracking' may produce more benefits than drawbacks. This hypothesis was validated.
The ‘tracking’ at this college resulted in a significant increase in the number of students advancing to the second year from 64% in 2013 to 69% in 2014 (p value 0.08) to 75% in 2015 (p-value 0.05). The total numbers of students in those three years were 489, 471, and 435, respectively. The study controlled for the academic preparation of incoming students. Comparison groups at other colleges within the university saw no similar increases during this period.
Waychal, P. K., & Patil, J. B., & Deore, P. J., & Shukla, S. P. (2018, June), Board 110: Improving Freshman Students’ Success Using "Tracking" Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29877
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