Which course would you take to satisfy Upper-Division Writing Skills Requirement?

Dmitri Rogulkin
Senior Research Analyst
Office of Institutional Effectiveness
California State University, Fresno
  
The purpose of this visual display is to show variability in students’ outcomes across upper-division writing courses. Overall, course pass rates varied from 75% to 98%, while students enrolled in courses appeared to be equally prepared (based on their cumulative GPAs as of beginning of term). Thus, it looks easier for equally prepared students to pass some courses than other. In a few courses, female students were likely to do slightly better than male students (AFRS 104W, ENGL 160W, ANTH 116W). For some courses, comparison of pass rates becomes less meaningful because of small class sizes.
 
I’m using horizontal bars to display percentages of students passing courses. This makes it easier to read labels and compare data across courses.  The width of a bar is based on number of students enrolled in classes, which helps easily identify courses with just few students enrolled. I chose box-plots to show students GPA range and distribution, which allows for more information than averages or medians would give.
 
I decided to display only values for the pass rate variable to keep the image clean and make comparison between genders easier.  Sorting courses by overall pass rate makes it easier to see courses with the highest and lowest rates. Adding shades of blue color to the bars makes it easier to identify groups of courses with low/high pass rates, particularly in gender columns.
 


 
 

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