Evaluating the Effect of Course-specific Library Instruction on Student Success
Andrew Asher (Anthropology and IU Libraries)
Using records of course-specific instruction provided by the IUB Libraries, this study will evaluate the impact of library instruction sessions on measures of students’ academic success and educational development. In particular, this study will seek to understand the types of library instruction that are most effective, the times during a student’s course of study that this instruction is most impactful, and what groups of students may especially benefit from additional instructional interventions. Additionally, this study will evaluate the potential cumulative and long-term effects of library instruction on students’ success and will create a model that will facilitate the assessment of the Libraries instructional programs that will assist the allocation of instructional resources and development of course-level and curriculum-level instructional interventions that are most effective, impactful, and sustainable.
S&H Fulfillment Patterns and Their Effect on Student Retention
Kalani Craig (History)
Higher ed institutions must balance the need for undergraduate students to complete their degrees in a timely manner while simultaneously ensuring they graduate with the skills to make them effective in the workforce. To encourage that balance, our goal is to study patterns in student fulfillment of IUB GenEd S&H (Social & Historical Studies) requirements and attempt to understand how the variety of options available for S&H transfer credits affects student engagement, retention, and performance. Specifically, we will measure whether and how retention rates and academic performance differ for students who fulfill GenEd S&H requirements through dual-enrollment courses in history. We will compare these students to students who fulfilled S&H requirements via AP, transfers from 2-year institutions, and from IU-system institutions, with an eye to documenting and understanding the effect of dual-enrollment credit on student performance, retention and engagement. The data that results from this project will help inform ongoing changes to Indiana’s ACP curriculum in history, IUB history department curriculum, and to the literature on how dual-enrollment courses should and can function in disciplines where learning outcomes are primarily made in less easily measurable skills like critical thinking, argumentation and writing.
Inflection Points of Economics Majors: A closer look at enrollments in Intermediate Microeconomics (E321)
Paul Graf (Economics)
In my previous SLAF study of Economics majors (see 2015 SLAF Grants), I was unable to determine more specific inflection points on when and possibly why students opted in or out of an Economics major. In this follow-up study, I plan to see if instructor selection, class pedagogy, and student preferences and expectations in Intermediate Microeconomics (E321) caused some of these changes. I will use the grade penalty measurement for E321 to see if this had any effect. In addition, I will examine transfer students who took equivalent economics courses at other institutions and compare them to the rest of the program’s students across several courses.
The Impact of the “Becoming the Best Student” and “You@IU” Courses
Anthony Guest-Scott (Student Academic Center)
This study will analyze the impact of two of IUB’s “metaclasses”—classes about college classes, college academics, and college life more generally. These metaclasses support a broad range of students, including first-generation, transfer, international, students on probation, and students who are motivated to improve their college learning. The study will examine the impact of two metaclasses (EDUC-X150: “Becoming the Best Student”; EDUC-X159: “You@IU”), covering a twelve year period from 2004–2016 and nearly 7,500 students. For our analysis, we plan to use both quantitative institutional data (e.g., course grade, CGPA, Major CGPA, GPA rates of change, and retention and graduation rates) and qualitative data (student evaluations).
Using Analytics to Compare Student Demographics For Different Delivery Methods (Face to Face, Hybrid, Online) of AMST-A 100 What is America?
Vivian Nun Halloran (English and American Studies)
The American Studies department is reconfiguring one of its introductory courses (AMST-A 100 What is America?). As a large lecture course, the department is considering both various methods of delivery (face to face, hybrid, and online) and enrollment size. New versions of the course are already underway, and student analytics data will allow an analysis of student success in current courses compared to past years’ courses.
Analyzing the Transition from Developmental to Supplemental Education
Daniel Hickey (Education – Counseling & Educational Psychology)
Efforts to broaden access to higher education have drawn new attention to remedial education. Traditionally, schools assign under-prepared students to non-credit "developmental" courses, most commonly in reading and math. While such courses fit neatly into schools, they usually deliver paltry rates of completion, future enrollment, and graduation for students placed in them. As an alternative, many now argue for increased focus on more major-specific developmental courses and "supplemental" approaches that are embedded directly in introductory courses or offered alongside them. These include peer-assisted study sessions, centralized drop-in services like writing centers, and a range of other options. The proposed project will explore all manner of accessible IUB evidence regarding undergraduate developmental and supplemental instruction. The project will then search for ways to use this data to study and enhance the precision with which students are placed in or offered these services and the success of these services. Given the large investment by students, programs, and schools in remedial education, the proposed project has the potential to dramatically impact success among struggling undergraduates at Indiana University.
Determinants of Students’ Choices of Undergraduate Majors and the Program Strategies
Michael Kaganovich (Economics)
The project focuses on (i) quantifying the factors that contribute to IU students' choices of majors as well as to the changes in those student decisions in the course of their studies, and (ii) inferring the actions and policies of major programs in effecting those student decisions, such as revealing the moves in curricular and grading standards aimed at attracting and retaining appropriately prepared students. We will also explore (iii) the statistical relationship between mid-career salaries associated with IU majors and curricular requirements and grading standards in them, after controlling for effects of student and class characteristics that influence students’ decision to major in a particular discipline and performance in particular classes. Finally, we will examine (iv) the patterns of students' "switching" between the programs, in the process of students' exploration of the best fit between their interests and preparation on the one hand, and the content and requirements of the major programs on the other.
Role of Peer Networks in Student Choice of Academic Major at IUB
Adam Maltese (Education – Curriculum & Instruction)
Research on academic persistence and major choice for university students is most often based on secondary analysis of institutional or national datasets, which limits the conclusions one can draw. This study will combine secondary analysis of a large corpus of longitudinal data with conducting our own primary data collection to study student decision-making processes at a much more fine-grained level and as it occurs rather than in post-hoc analysis. More specifically, we are going to focus on trying to evaluate the role of peer networks on major choice and persistence. We will come at this from two angles: 1) we will analyze existing institutional data on course enrollments to discover networks based on co-enrollment; and 2) we will analyze data from our ongoing study on major choice to understand how peer networks develop and evolve, and what roles these networks may play in major choice and persistence.
The HumAn Learning Project Phase II
Jennifer Robinson (Anthropology)
Phase I of the HumAn Learning Project (see 2015 SLAF Grants) uncovered important demographic trends in success among the 800-1000 students and 9-10 AIs in a multi-section, general education course. Phase II (1) refines our understanding of these trends with multivariate modeling and by comparing them to student success in other IU general education courses, (2) assesses variability of student success across sections of course, (3) analyzes student performance over time, and (4) begins to implement interventions based on Phase I findings. As with all big courses, the stakes are high in A122. The course represents significant investments by the sponsoring departments, their schools, the graduate student section leaders, and the undergraduate students who hope to lay a foundation for successful college and professional careers. This study has broad implications for teaching and learning at IU because it locates campus-wide trends in a single course where they can be actively disrupted for greater student learning and overall success.
Ethical Innovations: Exploring How Moral Reflection Benefits Learning Analytics Development
James Willis III, Joshua Quick (Education – Counseling & Educational Psychology)
Using student data for the purposes of learning analytics incurs various ethical problems in the processes of curation, analysis, implementation, and modeling. In the use of learning analytics, ethics often remain an “after-the-fact” consideration in innovation (spurred by legal or financial concerns), and ethical theories brought to bear on innovative technology practices are done so at a theoretical level, which results in a persistent disconnect between two fields that may well symbiotically benefit. An answer to these critical problems is to place moral reflection and ethical practice in direct alignment with the development of learning analytics. This study will develop ethical approaches to using student data that is both timely and applicable for users of learning analytics.
Proposal and Completion Report