Revel Kirkwood CC

EDUCATOR STUDY

Revel educator study examines impact on student performance at Kirkwood Community College

Key Findings

  • Instructor Brucher Moore implemented Revel in her course with the goal of assigning quizzes to improve student reading, engagement, and preparedness for class sessions. She reports that following the implementation of Revel in the course, students are arriving to class having read the text and are prepared for discussion.
  • Students who earned a Revel grade of A, B, or C were also more likely to pass the course.
  • 90% of student survey respondents agreed that completing Revel quizzes made them more prepared for class, and 81% agreed that experiencing the text through Revel helped them to feel more engaged with the course content than a traditional textbook.

School name
Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA

Course name
Fundamentals of Oral Communication

Course format
Face to face

Course materials
Revel for Communication: Making Connections by Seiler and Beall

Timeframe
Fall 2017

Educator
Jacki Brucher Moore, Instructor

Results reported by
Stephanie Fritson, Pearson Customer Outcomes Analytics Manager

Setting

  • Locale: Kirkwood Community College is a two-year, comprehensive community college serving seven counties in Iowa
  • Enrollment: approximately 19,000
  • Average undergraduate age: 23
  • Student-faculty ratio: 21 to 1
  • Full-time retention rate: 60%
  • Students who receive financial aid: 60%
  • Ethnicity/race: 27% minority
  • Graduation rate in 150% of time to normal completion: 27%
  • Transfer rate in 150% of time to normal completion: 18%

About the Course

Fundamentals of Oral Communication (SPC 101) is an introductory survey course that studies basic communication theory and practice, including; communication process, interpersonal relationships, small group interaction, and public speaking. The course meets the Kirkwood Community College general education requirements and transfer requirements for the University of Iowa. It is also required for a number of degree programs at Kirkwood Community College. Students who successfully complete the course are able to:

  • Analyze the communication process and its principles;
  • Adapt their communication skills to various contexts including but not limited to interpersonal, group, public, and mediated communication;
  • Internalize the connections between self concept and perception relative to the communication process;
  • Analyze verbal messages and adapt their language skills appropriately in various contexts;
  • Develop appropriate techniques for adapting to various listening barriers and contexts;
  • Analyze nonverbal messages and adapt those skills appropriately in various contexts;
  • Identify interpersonal communication theories and apply them to their interpersonal relationships; and
  • Identify group communication theories and apply them to their various group contexts.

Challenges and Goals

Instructor Brucher Moore found that students were coming to class not having read the material, and she was spending the majority of class time covering the material in the book. As a result, she has been working to continuously increase reading in her course. She initially incentivized students to read by awarding points for guided notes and annotations, but found this was time consuming and slowed down the pace of the course. She then implemented MyCommLab™, assigning quizzes to ensure students read the material. When Revel™ first became available, she elected to use it, as the readings in Revel were tied even more directly to the quizzes, and it met ADA compliance requirements.

Brucher Moore implemented Revel in her course with the goal of assigning quizzes to improve student reading, engagement, and preparedness for class sessions. She also hoped that by assigning assessments outside of class, she could spend the majority of class time on instruction.

Implementation

Brucher Moore taught four sections of Fundamentals of Oral Communication in Fall 2017 and implemented Revel in all sections. Three of the classes were taught in a face-to-face format and the fourth was offered online. Because of format differences, only the face to face sections are included in this study. Grades for the course were comprised of speeches, written assignments, community activities and assignments, Revel quizzes, and extra credit opportunities. Some course assignments were graded as pass/fail (A or F). For these assignments, the learning typically occurred simply through the act of completing the assignment or activity.

Other assignments were evaluated based on the level of quality demonstrated through the assignment or activity. These assignments were graded on a detailed rubric or other explanation of how grades were awarded for that assignment. The guiding standards for graded assignments were as follows:

A Exceeds the assignment expectations and fulfills the base expectations for the assignment in an exceptional manner.
B Goes above the assignment expectations or fulfills them in an above average way.
C Simply doing the base requirements of each assignment. You have done acceptable work.
D Some part of the assignment does not fulfill the basic requirements of the assignment.
F More than one part of the assignment fails to fulfill the basic requirements of the assignment.

Speeches
Students were required to present a total of three speeches in the course. Each speech was scored based on a specific set of grading criteria. In order to successfully pass the course, students were required to complete a minimum of two speaking assignments. Students who did not successfully complete two speech assignments automatically failed the course. Speech grades were recorded in the gradebook as letter grades.

Written assignments
Written assignments included essays, reflection papers, formal outlines, and references/works-cited sheets. A set of guidelines was provided for each written assignment, and all grades were recorded in the gradebook as letter grades.

Community activities/assignments
Community activities/assignments included a variety of homework activities such as discussion forums on the school LMS, inventories, peer reviews, and other miscellaneous homework and/or in-class activities. Many of these activities were graded as pass/fail. Community and activity grades were recorded as letter grades in the course gradebook.

Revel quizzes
Students were required to complete assigned textbook readings within Revel by the due date listed on the class schedule (before the topic was covered in class). As students read each assigned chapter section, they were also required to complete the associated Revel module quiz to assess comprehension. Each module quiz question was worth three points. Points were deducted for each incorrect attempt up to a maximum of three tries per question. The percentage of correct answers students earned was applied to their Revel module quiz total at the end of the semester which was then converted to a letter grade A, B, C, D, or F.

Extra credit
Two or three extra credit opportunities were offered to each course section. Students who attempted the assignments were awarded a pass/fail (A or F) grade, which was calculated into the final course grade.

Assessments

  • 30%     Speeches
  • 30%     Written assignments
  • 20%     Community activities/assignments
  • 20%     Revel quizzes

Results and Data

A chi-square test of independence was performed to examine the relation between Revel grade and final course grade. The relationship between these variables was significant, χ² (4, N = 57) = 14.25, p<.05. Students who earned a Revel grade of A, B, or C were more likely to also pass the course, while students who earned a D or F in Revel were more likely to fail the course (figure 1).

Number of students who passed and failed the course by Revel grade

Figure 1. Number of Students who Passed and Failed the Course by Revel Grade, Fall 2017 (n=57)

Students who failed the course also had the highest average number of failed Revel assignments, while those earning As in the course had the lowest number of failed Revel assignments (figure 2).

Average number of failed Revel assignments by final course grade

Figure 2. Average Number of Failed Revel Assignments by Final Course Grade, Fall 2017 (n=57)

In Fall 2017, students completed a voluntary, end-of-semester survey (55% response rate) regarding their experience using Revel. A summary of student responses is shown in figure 3.

Responses on end-of-semester survey regarding Revel use in the course

Figure 3. Responses on End-of-semester Student Survey Regarding Revel Use in the Course, Fall 2017 (n=32)

The Student Experience

As mentioned earlier, in Fall 2017 students in Instructor Brucher Moore’s Fundamentals of Oral Communication course completed a voluntary, end-of-semester survey (32 participants), providing valuable insight on their experience using Revel in the course.

  • 97% of respondents were able to log in to Revel the first week of class.
  • 97% of respondents found completing the readings and assignments in Revel very easy or easy.
  • 88% of respondents rated their overall experience with Revel as excellent or good.

Students’ survey comments regarding their Revel experience included:

  • “You can do assignments on the go.”
  • “Listening to the audio was more informational for me then just reading.”
  • Being able to learn from your mistakes easily from the quizzes, helps you learn better.”

I find Revel offered a better way to learn. For one, it weighed less, meaning we didn’t have to carry a book. It also was extremely engaging and went through the materials well.

—Student, Kirkwood Community College

Conclusion

Instructor Brucher Moore implemented Revel in Fundamentals of Oral Communication with the goal of assigning quizzes to improve student reading, engagement, and preparedness for class sessions. She also hoped that by assigning assessments outside of class, she could spend the majority of class time on instruction. On a voluntary end-of-semester survey, 90% of respondents agreed that completing Revel quizzes made them more prepared for class, and 81% agreed that experiencing the text through Revel helped them to feel more engaged with the course content than a traditional textbook. Performance results indicate students who earned a higher Revel grade also earned a higher overall grade in the course. Students who earned a grade of A, B, or C in the course also earned significantly higher average Revel grades than students who earned a D or F in the course. Brucher Moore reports that following the implementation of Revel in the course, students are arriving to class having read the text and are prepared for discussion. She is now able to spend more class time on instruction and expanding on concepts covered in the text. She plans to continue to use Revel in future terms.