AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: PER Innovations for Reducing DFW Rates and Improving Retention in Introductory Physics Sequences
  Paper Type: Invited
  Title: Parachute Courses: Reducing DFW Rates in Introductory Calculus-based Physics?
  Meeting: 2017 Summer Meeting: Cincinnati, Ohio
  Location: N/A
  Time: 2:30PM
  Author: Jeff Saul,, Tiliadal STEM Education,
954-665-5373, jsaul@tiliadal.com
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Often calculus-based physics courses have relatively high failure to pass rates (DFW rates), particularly the first course in the sequence (EP1). Often EP1 courses can inadvertently act as a filter preventing students from entering STEM degree programs of their choice. To reduce this high DFW rate and improve retention, physics faculty at a southwestern HSI developed a parachute course. Students not doing well in EP1 can switch into this course mid-semester when it begins and the original course is dropped from their records.┬áThe course has two goals: help students maintain their GPA to keep their scholarships and help them learn skills and knowledge needed to be successful on their next attempt at EPI. Although the course was successful in helping students maintain their GPA; students retaking EP1 after the parachute course did no better than students retaking EP1 who did not take it. Reasons for this will be discussed.
  Footnotes: None
  Presentation: Parachute Courses.pdf

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