Revel Harper College

EDUCATOR STUDY

Revel educator study examines impact on student performance in online and face-to-face formats of Art History course

Key Findings

  • Average scores for final grades, Revel assignments, and final papers were higher in the online course section than the face-to-face section.
  • A higher percentage of students passed the course in the online section than in the face-to-face section.
  • Results suggest students in the online section are more likely to use Revel due to the format of the course.

School name
Harper College, Palantine, IL

Course name
Introduction to Art History

Course formats
Face to face and online

Course materials
Revel for Art History by Stockstad and Cothren

Timeframe
Fall 2015–Fall 2017

Educator
Stephany Rimland

Results reported by
Stephanie Fritson, Pearson Customer Outcomes Analytics Manager

Setting

  • Locale: One of the nation’s largest community colleges, serving students in the suburbs of northwest Chicago
  • Enrollment: approximately 40,000
  • Full-time students: 64%
  • In-state students: 99%
  • Graduation rate: 24%
  • Gender: 54% female
  • Ethnicity/race: 46% minority

About the Course

Professor Stephany Rimland has been teaching Art 131, Gothic through Romantic Art, for the past several years, while also serving as the Art Department Chair. Art 131 covers the history of art from the medieval age to the end of the eighteenth century. Focusing on major artistic styles and works of art and monuments, the course follows the historical development of visual arts produced by western civilizations. A wide range of students take this course, including both traditional and nontraditional-aged students, art majors and non-majors.

Challenges and Goals

Prior to implementing Revel, Rimland was using Pearson’s MyArtsLab, which included a number of interactive resources. Although she saw improvements in exam and research paper scores when using MyArtsLab in addition to the print textbook, she believed students were still not fully reading and understanding the assigned material. Rimland implemented Revel™ in Fall 2015 with the goal of further improving outcomes on exams and the final research paper by ensuring students read the assigned material and completed sufficient writing practice. Results of her Fall 2015 Revel implementation indicated students who performed better on Revel assignments also performed better on exams, and students who completed more practice essays performed better on the final research paper. However, average exam scores and research paper scores were slightly lower than when MyArtsLab was in use.

In order to continue to improve student reading (as measured by course preparedness and exam performance) and writing (as measured by performance on the required paper) during Spring 2016, Rimland made further adjustments to her Revel implementation. Results of Rimland’s Spring 2016 study indicated average exam and final research paper scores had improved with the changes she had made to the course.

To learn more about the impact of Revel on student success, this study focuses on evaluating differences in Revel implementation and results between Rimland’s face-to-face course and her online course during the Fall 2017 semester.

Implementation

In Fall 2017, Rimland increased the percentage Revel contributed to the final course grade in her online section of Art 131 from 10% to 17%. Revel already accounted for 20% of the overall course grade in her face-to-face section of the course. Both face-to-face and online sections of the course were required to complete Revel module and chapter quizzes for each assigned chapter, along with select auto-graded essays.

To ensure students had read the material before class, all Revel reading and quiz assignments were due the day the class met, before students came to class in the face-to-face section and prior to discussion board posts in the online section. On Revel quizzes, students were allowed two attempts per question in order to eliminate the possibility of guessing until the correct answer was reached. Revel auto-graded essay assignments were due after the topic was covered in class or on the discussion board, and Rimland provided targeted feedback to students on their essays.

Revel points were recorded in the gradebook as the percentage of points earned out of total available Revel points. Both sections of the course were required to complete a final paper. The face-to-face section of the course included three exams, while the online section included two exams. Other assignments in the online section included weekly discussion board posts and a syllabus quiz.

Assessments

Face-to-face Section

  • 60% Exams (3 exams)
  • 20% Revel assignments
  • 20% Final paper
Online Section

  • 35% Exams (2)
  • 28% Discussion board (16 topics)
  • 17% Revel assignments
  • 17% Final paper
  • 3% Syllabus quiz

Results and Data

Average scores for final grades, Revel assignments, and final papers were higher in the online course section than the face-to-face section, while exam scores were identical in both formats (figure 1). Rimland suspects this is because students in the online section rely more on Revel due to the format of the course and also gain additional practice writing through the discussion assignments.

Comparison of average scores between face-to-face and online course formats

Figure 1. Comparison of Average Scores in Face-to-face Section (n=24) and Online Section (n=22), Fall 2017

A correlation measures the strength of a relationship between two variables, where r is the correlation coefficient. The closer a positive r-value is to 1.0, the stronger the correlation. The corresponding p-value measures the statistical significance or strength of the correlation, where a p-value <0.05 shows the existence of a positive correlation between these two variables. Note that correlation does not imply causation; it is simply a measure of the strength of the relationship. An analysis of average Revel assignment scores and exam scores in the face-to-face and online course sections (figure 2) shows a moderate correlation between the two measures in the face-to-face format (r=0.40, p<0.05) and a strong correlation between the measures the online format (r=0.66, p<0.05), indicating the correlation was stronger between Revel assignment scores in the online format of the course than the face-to-face format.

Correlation between average Revel assignment score and average exam score based on course format

Figure 2. Correlation between Average Revel Assignment Scores and Average Exam Scores in Face-to-face Section (n=24) and Online Section (n=22)

A higher percentage of students earned an A or B in the online section than in the face-to-face section. A higher percentage of students also passed the course (earned an A, B, or C) in the online section than the face-to-face section (figure 3).

Comparison of course pass rates in face-to-face and online sections

Figure 3. Comparison of Fall 2017 Course Pass Rates between Face-to-face (n=24) and Online Sections (n=22)

The Student Experience

In Fall 2017, students using Revel in Introductory Art courses at several U.S. colleges completed a voluntary, end-of-semester survey (212 participants), providing valuable insight on their experience.

  • 97% of respondents described their experience learning to use Revel as very easy or easy.
  • 97% of respondents agreed completing Revel readings and quizzes better prepared them for class.
  • 95% of respondents agreed completing Revel readings and quizzes increased their understanding of the course material.
  • 91% of respondents agreed that experiencing the text through Revel helped them feel more engaged with the course content than a traditional textbook.
  • 83% of respondents agreed that they preferred using Revel over a traditional text.

Students’ survey comments regarding their Revel experience included the following:

  • “I got a lot of knowledge from the readings, and I actually enjoyed the quizzes. They were prompt and very helpful.
  • “[Revel is] better than a textbook. The material corresponds with what the professor is teaching, therefore it’s easier to follow and [you] feel like you’re on the same page as what the professor is lecturing about.
  • The audiobook is a huge benefit of Revel!
  • The readings were descriptive and easy to understand. The quizzes also helped better understand the material.

Revel provides a learning platform much more mobile than textbooks, allowing busy students to learn and review on the go without having to worry about cumbersome and expensive textbooks.

—Anonymous Student, Revel National Survey, Fall 2017

Conclusion

After using Revel in her course for two years, Rimland saw improvements in overall student performance and on the final paper and exams. She has included Revel as 20% of the total course grade in her face-to-face section for several semesters and in Fall 2017 decided to increase it to 17% of the total course grade in her online section. Rimland was curious to learn about differences in student performance based on course format. Fall 2017 results indicate that average final course grades, Revel assignment scores, and final paper scores were higher in the online section than in the face-to-face section. There was a stronger correlation between the average Revel assignment score and the average exam score in the online course section than the face-to-face section. Also, a higher percentage of students earned an A or B in the online section than in the face-to-face section and a higher percentage of students passed the course (earned a final grade of A, B, or C) in the online section. Rimland hypothesizes that online students are more likely to use Revel for studying than students in the face-to-face section because of the course format. She plans to continue to use Revel, exploring ways to encourage her face-to-face students to use Revel more frequently as a study tool in order to increase student success.