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Factors contributing to difference in performance between small and large sections

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2 Author(s)
Maris, J.-M.B. ; Comput. Inf. Syst., Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ, USA ; Jacobs, E.L.

Using large sections is a common option for extending scarce faculty resources. However, the students in small sections of an introductory course in computer information systems scored higher on average than students in large sections. This study seeks to identify what factors contribute to the difference in student performance of small and large sections. The analysis uses common exam scores for ten small sections (about 50 students each) and nine large sections (more than 100 students each) to measure the performance difference. The analysis started with sixteen factors. Eight factors were found to contribute significantly to explaining the variation in performance. The significant factors are: individual ability, number of years work experience, previous experience with databases, class category, repeat status, level of math completed, and the instructor. Section size was not a significant factor

Published in:

Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Nov 1995

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