Revel Cascadia College

EDUCATOR STUDY

Revel educator study examines impact on student performance in online General Psychology course at Cascadia College

Key Findings

  • When Revel was implemented in the course, average student exam scores improved.
  • Students who earned higher average Revel quiz scores also earned higher average final exam scores.
  • Average final course grades improved when Revel was required in the course.

School name
Cascadia College, Bothell, WA

Course name
General Psychology

Course format
Online

Course materials
Revel for Psychology by Hudson and Whisenhunt

Timeframe
Winter 2018, Spring 2018, and Summer 2018

Educator
Instructor Garth Neufeld

Results reported by
Stephanie Fritson, Pearson Results Manager

Setting

  • Locale: located on a shared campus with the University of Washington, Cascadia College is a public, two-year, higher-education institution, offering certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees
  • Enrollment: approximately 5,300 students
  • Full-time students: 53%
  • Full-time retention rate: 62%
  • Part-time retention rate: 43%
  • Full-time graduation or transfer rate: 31%
  • Gender: 51% female
  • Median student age: 19 years

About the Course

General Psychology (Psych 100) is an introduction to the science of psychology, surveying contemporary perspectives, methodologies, and core domains that influence and explain human behavior and mental processes. Students taking the course are expected to develop skills such as scientific thinking, effective communication and collaboration, and the application of psychological knowledge to everyday life and for personal growth and success. Psych 100 is offered in online and face-to-face sections. The course sections included in this study were all in the online format.

Challenges and Goals

Instructor Neufeld has taught Psych 100 online for several years. In Summer 2018 he redesigned the course to address issues with student engagement and reading completion. He hoped that by introducing Revel™ and restructuring the course assignments, students would be more likely to read the course content, complete the assignments, and be more engaged in the course.

Implementation

Revel was first implemented in the online section of Psych 100 in Summer 2018. The course was redesigned with outcomes reflecting the American Psychological Association’s Five Pillars for Content Coverage in General Psychology between Spring 2018 and Summer 2018 to include new course materials (Revel) and updated assignments.

Redesigned course assignments included weekly chapter quizzes in Canvas consisting of short answer and essay questions. Chapter quizzes were due at the beginning of each week and students were allowed to revise their submissions to earn additional points after receiving feedback on their initial submission. Students were also required to initiate an online discussion post each week within Canvas and respond to a post initiated by another student. In addition, students were required to participate in an ongoing, quarter-long discussion board by posting discussion ideas and responding to others. Revel readings and module and chapter quizzes covering 14 chapters were assigned weekly and were due before the chapter was covered in class. The assignments were due following the weekly schedule below with Sunday designated as Day 1:

Day 1 Canvas chapter quiz initial submission due
Day 2 Initial online discussion post due
Begin next week’s module readings and do Revel module and chapter quizzes
Day 3 Continue next week’s module readings and do Revel module and chapter quizzes
Day 4 Online discussion response posts due (estimated time: 1–2 hours)
Continue next week’s module readings and do Revel module and chapter quizzes
Day 5 Submit Canvas chapter quiz revision (estimated revision time: 1–2 hours)
Continue next week’s module readings and do Revel module and chapter quizzes
Day 6 Work on next week’s chapter quiz
Day 7 Work on next week’s chapter quiz

In addition to the weekly assignments outlined above, a getting started assignment was required during week one to familiarize students with the course format, resources, and materials, along with a final exam covering all course content.

Assessments

Spring 2018 (before Revel)

  • 32% Chapter quizzes
  • 28% Peer review assignments
  • 14% Online multiple choice tests
  • 13% Final exam
  • 7% Canvas pre-module assignments
  • 6% Group assignments
Summer 2018 (with Revel)

  • 28% Chapter quiz revised submissions
  • 15% Revel quizzes
  • 14% Initial discussion posts
  • 14% Response discussion posts
  • 14% Chapter quiz initial submissions
  • 7% Quarter-long discussion board
  • 4% Getting started assignments
  • 4% Final exam

Results and Data

Student performance data from Spring 2018 and Winter 2018 were used to compare results after implementing Revel. Data indicate students earned higher average final exam scores (final exam scores of zero were removed from analysis) when the course was redesigned and Revel was implemented (figure 1).

Average final exam scores

Figure 1. Average Final Exam Score in General Psychology, Winter 2018 (n=12), Spring 2018 (n=18), Summer 2018 (n=15)

Students scoring at or above the median Revel score earned higher average final course scores than students who scored below the median Revel score (figure 2). It should be noted that Revel assignments made up 15% of the final course score, thereby influencing this relationship.

Average final course score based on Revel score

Figure 2. Average Final Course Score Earned by Students Scoring at or Above and Below the Median Revel Score, Summer 2018 (n=23)

Neufeld aimed to utilize Revel quizzes to improve student engagement and understanding of the course material. The comprehensive course final exam measured student understanding of all material covered in the course. The correlation between the percentage of total Revel quiz points earned and average final exam score was very strong (r(23)=.89, p<.001). Students who scored at or above the median Revel score also earned higher average final exam scores (final exam scores of zero removed from analysis) than students who scored below the median Revel score (figure 3).

Final exam score based on Revel score

Figure 3. Average Final Exam Score Earned by Students Scoring at or Above and Below the Median Revel Score, Summer 2018 (n=15)

Students earned higher average final course GPAs when the course was redesigned and Revel was used than during the two course terms prior to redesign (figure 4).

Average final course GPA

Figure 4. Average Final Course GPA in General Psychology, Winter 2018 (n=17), Spring 2018 (n=22), Summer 2018 (n=23)

The Student Experience

In Fall 2017, 612 students using Revel in a variety of courses at several U.S. colleges completed a voluntary, end-of-semester survey (58% response rate), providing valuable insight on their experience. Students’ survey comments regarding their Revel experience included:

  • “Being able to have [Revel] on my phone made access easy and convenient.”
  • “All the information needed to view and study is very accessible. This includes textbook information, grades, and announcements. It’s very organized.”
  • “I really appreciate the option to listen to the textbook being read, I am dyslexic and this really helps me focus and retain the information better. I used to prefer physical textbooks, because I am a bit old fashioned; however once I discovered the audio feature I was hooked on Pearson.”

[Revel] is a great way to learn — easy and effective with videos and mini quizzes.

—Anonymous student

Conclusion

Instructor Neufeld implemented Revel in General Psychology with the goal of getting students to read the text, complete course assignments, and be more engaged in the course. Results indicate students earned higher average final exam scores when the course was redesigned and Revel was implemented. Students who scored at or above the median Revel score earned higher average final course scores and higher average final exam scores than students who scored below the median. However, despite a modest increase in average final course grades, the percentage of students earning a D or F in the course did not improve. Neufeld will continue to track student performance across the Fall term and make modifications to improve the course success rate. He plans on implementing early interventions with struggling students by utilizing the Performance Dashboard within Revel. He will continue teaching online, making adjustments as necessary.