ERIC Number: ED433782
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jun-1
Reference Count: N/A
The Impact of Class Size on Student Performance in Introductory Courses. AIR 1999 Annual Forum Paper.
Borden, Victor M. H.; Burton, Kathy L.
This study evaluated the impact of class size on student performance in two introductory courses at Indiana University-Purdue University (Indianapolis) from 1992-1997. Analyses employed archival records of student enrollment and grade performance. In the first stage of the analysis, class size cutoff points were defined for small, medium, and large sections. These cutoff points were then used to identify courses offered in varying sized formats. Two dependent variables (course grade and successful completion or withdrawal) measured student performance across different section sizes in two courses, Finite Mathematics and Introduction to Sociology. A final analysis compared students in large and small sections as to the likelihood of their enrolling in a subsequent course in the same discipline, as well as their performance in that course. Results showed a small, overall negative impact of increasing class size on student grades and course completion rates, but this impact was not consistent across courses. Interaction was also found between students' prior level of preparation and section size. The negative impact of section size was greater among lower ability students. The study's results are being used by faculty to improve teaching and learning in large lecture sections. (Contains 23 references, 9 tables, and 3 figures.) (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A