New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Success using the Supplemental Instruction model has previously been reported in the College of Engineering at XX. Supplemental Instruction has been offered for numerous engineering courses over the last 3 years, with sessions being held each week throughout the semester (defined as normal sessions) as well as the within a few days before a class exam (defined as exam review sessions). Many SI Leaders consistently report difficulties during exam review sessions due to several factors: student attendance in these sessions is much larger, many of the attending students are unfamiliar with active learning methods and so are not as willing to participate (because they do not attend SI sessions on a regular basis), and there is a perception that some students are depending on the exam review as their major source of preparation for a test. This led XX to question if the exam review sessions were equally as helpful as regular SI sessions, or are they possibly hurting the success of the SI program as a whole. Previous research at XX created three groups to analyze general success of the SI program–students with no session attendance, little attendance (1-3 sessions), and regular attendance (4 or more sessions). The low attendance category at the time was, in part, defined by the expectation that some students would only go to exam reviews; since there are generally1-3 exam reviews offered for each course, that particular cutoff was chosen for this group. For this research, attendance data were categorized as either exam review sessions or normal sessions. These attendance records were then placed into bins of percent attendance to compare with passing rates and course grades. Both normal sessions and exam review sessions showed positive, linear correlations with passing rate; however, the percent attendance for normal sessions had a statistically greater impact on overall course success than the percent attendance for exam reviews. Upon first examination of these results the findings appeared to show that exam review sessions are not as helpful as normal sessions, but with further reflection, it was decided that this comparison was not illustrating the full picture. While there are only 1-3 exam reviews held each semester, there can be up to 24 normal sessions held during the same time period for the same course; this is a difference between approximately six hours of session time for exam reviews compared to as much as thirty six possible hours of session time for normal sessions. By multiplying percent attendance of each group by the amount of time in which sessions were held, we were able to see the big picture of how the number of hours spent in these types of sessions affects passing rates. Results showed that exam reviews were had a larger impact on passing rates than normal sessions. In other words, students who only spent a couple of hours in SI sessions over the semester were better off if their time was spent in an exam review session. This finding was unexpected and has raised further questions regarding the impact of exam review sessions on student success.
Wilson, C. A., & Steele, A., & Waggenspack, W. N., & Gegenheimer, J. B. (2016, June), Curiosities Regarding Exam Review Sessions at LSU's College of Engineering Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26619
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