2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 1619, 2005)
Paper No. 183-10
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM-4:15 PM


DUNAGAN, Stan P., Geology, Geography, and Physics; Online and University Studies, University of Tennessee at Martin, 215 EPS Building, Martin, TN 38238, sdunagan@utm.edu, LOVELACE, Ann Marie, Department of Educational Studies; Online and University Studies, University of Tennessee at Martin, 227 Administration Building, Martin, TN 38238, and CATES, Tommy, Department of Management, Marketing, and Political Science; Online and University Studies, University of Tennessee at Martin, 227 Administration Building, Martin, TN 38238

Student performance and attrition rates were examined for over 1200 students who enrolled in introductory-level physical geology courses over the last five years at the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM). During the study period, introductory-level physical geology courses were taught in both a traditional face-to-face (F2F) format and an online format. Face-to face offerings include traditional on-campus courses, off-campus evening courses at satellite campuses, and dual-credit courses offered at local high schools; online courses were delivered using Blackboard courseware.

Student performance was measured using two metrics: 1) composite student grades (on a 4.00 scale) for each physical geology section, and 2) the percentage of students that attained a grade of C or above. The attrition (drop) rate was calculated using the permanent enrollment (a 14-day census at UTM) and the number of students who dropped or withdrew from each physical geology section. The high school students (n = 20) taking dual credit physical geology courses exhibited the highest performance (mean GPA of 3.69 and 100% of the students attaining a C or higher) and the lowest attrition rates (0 %). Traditional on-campus students (n = 1091) performed the lowest with a mean GPA of 2.13 and with only 71 % of students attaining a C or higher grade. The drop rate for on-campus students was 5 %. Off-campus students (n = 40) taking physical geology had a mean GPA of 2.62 with 81 % earning a C or higher grade and 4 % attrition rate. Online students (n = 80) had a mean GPA of 2.38 with 78 % earning a C or higher grade, which was better than the traditional on-campus students; however, the attrition rate among online students was 26 %.

Variations in student performance and attrition are attributed the different modes of delivery (online vs. face-to-face) and the differences in student demographics (traditional on-campus vs. high school vs. non-traditional students). Intervention strategies for reducing student attrition will be discussed.

2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 1619, 2005)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 183
Efficient and Effective Practices in Using Web Sites and Technologies to Support and Manage Information, Student Learning and Recruitment, and Public Education
Salt Palace Convention Center: 251 E
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Tuesday, 18 October 2005

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 37, No. 7, p. 408

© Copyright 2005 The Geological Society of America (GSA), all rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to the author(s) of this abstract to reproduce and distribute it freely, for noncommercial purposes. Permission is hereby granted to any individual scientist to download a single copy of this electronic file and reproduce up to 20 paper copies for noncommercial purposes advancing science and education, including classroom use, providing all reproductions include the complete content shown here, including the author information. All other forms of reproduction and/or transmittal are prohibited without written permission from GSA Copyright Permissions.