To determine how scheduling of due dates for assignments in an 8 week online biology course effects the engagement and success of students in the class.
Does having daily dues dates help promote student success or does allowing them to complete the work on a more flexible schedule lead to better performance in the class?
During the Summer semester due dates for assignments were placed throughout the week to try and keep students from falling behind, but this led to frequent late submissions. Due dates for the Fall semester were changed to the end of the week to give students more flexibility in completing assignments on their schedule, but also affords the possibility for students to complete all weekly assignments at the last minute without adequately preparing.
Missed assignments, final grades, and completion rates for 2 SUM20 sections with daily due dates were compared to 3 F20 BIO202 sections with end of the week due dates to see which method produced more student sucess. The F20 sections were more sucessful, but missed more assignments. Once accounting for a few outlier students who missed a disproportionate number of assignments, the timing of due dates doesn’t effect student’s ability to complete assignments.
The next steps are to implement end of the week due dates for all assignments in the BIO 202 course master along with a recommended schedule to complete assignments so that students do not fall behind. Additonally, we can institute a consistent late penalty policy across all sections on BIO202 at EMCC which will also generate more equality in the grading policy as every student will get the same number of extensions, not just the ones who ask.
Please see the attached file for complete data and summary of interpretations.