Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System

Video Lessons vs. Journal Entries

Saturday, January 11, 2020 to Friday, May 8, 2020
What is the Need/Assessment?: 

The goal is to explore whether Video Lessons (VLs) or Journal Entries (JEs) have a greater impact on student withdrawal rates and exam scores.

Describe the necessity for this change: 

MAT151 is a building block for students on the STEM path and having a stronger foundation should lead to better outcomes in higher level courses.

Describe what will be (or was) implemented to affect change: 

VLs, but no JEs, were completed by three sections of MAT151 in Fall 2019.  JEs, but no VLs, are being completed by three sections of MAT151 in Spring 2020.  There are similarities and differences across semesters, so a comparison of withdrawal rates and exam scores will be done on an exploratory basis.  The objective is to determine any changes in withdrawal rates and exam scores that could potentially be due to VLs or JEs.

Interpret, compare and describe the results of the change: 

Withdrawal rates will be explored using Kaplan Meier Curves and Log Rank Tests.  Exam scores will be explored using Histograms and Wilcoxon Rank Sum Tests.  The results are forthingcoming, as the current semester is in progress.  This space will be updated.

After analyzing the information, what are the next steps?: 

Based on the results of this exploratory study, and in conjunction with student feedback, my plan is to implement either VLs or JEs in future courses depending on which type of assessment appears to lead to greater student course retention and improved learning.


The purpose of this CATS is to explore student withdrawal rates and exam scores from six MAT151 courses across two semesters to determine whether Video Lessons or Journal Entries appear to lead to greater student course retention and improved learning.

Completed Full Cycle: 
Course Number: 


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Purpose of this Additional Comment Box

As the results of the aforedescribed exploratory analysis are currently forthcoming, I'd like to document MAT151 feedback and observations regarding VLs and JEs.  Between now and when the exploratory analysis is completed, I'll update/edit the below list with more information as it becomes available throughout the semester.

MAT151 VL Feedback and Observations

A student from last semester who earned an 'A" told me this semester that she liked the VLs.  She is in MAT182 now and prefers the course design of MAT151 with the VLs.

A student from last semester who earned a 'B' told me this semester that he liked the VLs because they covered what he needed to know and he could rewatch the VLs.

A student from last semester who is retaking MAT151 with another instructor this semster asked to switch into one of my sections because she liked the well-planned design of my MAT151 course last semester (not sure if this is VL specific).  At the time of her request, she would have been too far behind so was declined and instead directed to communicate her concerns with her current instructor. 

MAT151 JE Feedback and Observations

The level of listening and engagement appear to be higher (not sure if this is JE specific).  The MAT151 course design needed to change to accomodate JEs so, while there is still a mini-lecture, there are now you-try-its on paper rather than on a computer.  I also need to be sure to convey material succinctly, sometimes information that would have been shared via VLs but not in a past mini-lecture.

Another thing I've noticed is that the students seem to be working better together.  Students would work together last semester while doing problems on the computer, but as we are not using computers in class this semester, students need to work out problems on paper.  It is hard to quantify, but I have a sense that students are more immersed in their learning.  I'm interested to see if this holds.