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ERIC Number: EJ1038055
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Using Decision Tree Analysis to Understand Foundation Science Student Performance. Insight Gained at One South African University
Kirby, Nicola Frances; Dempster, Edith Roslyn
International Journal of Science Education, v36 n17 p2825-2847 2014
The Foundation Programme of the Centre for Science Access at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa provides access to tertiary science studies to educationally disadvantaged students who do not meet formal faculty entrance requirements. The low number of students proceeding from the programme into mainstream is of concern, particularly given the national imperative to increase participation and levels of performance in tertiary-level science. An attempt was made to understand foundation student performance in a campus of this university, with the view to identifying challenges and opportunities for remediation in the curriculum and processes of selection into the programme. A classification and regression tree analysis was used to identify which variables best described student performance. The explanatory variables included biographical and school-history data, performance in selection tests, and socio-economic data pertaining to their year in the programme. The results illustrate the prognostic reliability of the model used to select students, raise concerns about the inefficiency of school performance indicators as a measure of students' academic potential in the Foundation Programme, and highlight the importance of accommodation arrangements and financial support for student success in their access year.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa