I look at DFW rates (including unsatisfactory and incomplete grades= DFWUI) each spring for the last 5 years to identify courses with consistently high DFW rates and enrollments over 55; we call them “historically challenging.” I also look at which classes are foundational or gatekeepers to certain majors.
I prioritize classes with over 17% DFW rates but also look at those between 14-17% to see if there are some that would fall through the cracks. If a class has a 60% DFW rate for one semester, we would monitor for the next couple of semesters but we really look for the trends where we see courses are on the list 7+ times for courses offered every semester or 3+ times for courses offered in either the Fall or Spring.
Coordinator, Center for Student Success
Academic Advising & Student Success
Pronouns l she, her, hers
State University of New York at New Paltz
800 Hawk Drive, New Paltz NY 12561-2442
Hi Glenna and all,
Here’s what I do. About once every two years, I pull grade data for every undergraduate course in the curriculum. I delete certain courses like the first year seminar, transfer seminar, capstones, study abroad, internships, and freshman composition (because there’s a separate writing center on my campus). Then I calculate the DFW rate and DFW count for every course remaining. From there, I calculate the average DFW rate and the average DFW count. Then I look to see which courses are above the average. Any course that is above average in both rate and count is automatically a candidate for tutoring (I say “candidate” because there are certain courses my boss doesn’t feel we should focus on, or which do not lend themselves easily to tutoring). For the rest, I look at them one at a time. How big is the course? A very large course might generate a lot of DFWs even if the rate is low, because the count will be high. A very small course might not be worth covering even if the rate is high, because the count is low. A course that is central to the curriculum deserves more attention than a course that is an elective or required for a very small major. From there, I make my list. Of roughly 600 undergraduate courses in the curriculu, we cover about 60.
Hi! As learning center director and the person supervising tutoring, I have been put in charge of doing “something” about the high D-F-W rate for courses. I am approaching this through providing tutoring for high D-F-W courses. One issue that I am having is identifying the benchmark for what makes a course high D-F-W. Is it 20% D-F-W, 30%??? Do any of you have a benchmark that your schools use to determine what percentage makes a course high D-F-W?
Thanks for your help!
Glenna Heckler-Todt, Ed.D.
Director, Advising & Academic Resources
Student Success Center
Shawnee State University
Text Message: 740.431.4017
[log in to unmask]" alt="cid:[log in to unmask]">
“Helping underprepared students prepare, prepared students advance, and advanced students excel.”
--Motto of the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To access the LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your subscription options (including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your web browser to http://www.lists.ufl.edu/archives/lrnasst-l.html To contact the LRNASST-L owner, email [log in to unmask]