Charles Atwood leads CSME Exchange on Oct 20

The Center for Science and Mathematics Education (CSME) is pleased to present the CSME Exchange, an interactive brown bag discussion for faculty, students, and staff. The next CSME Exchange is:

Improving the Bottom Quartile’s Performance:
The Key to Higher Success Rates



Charles Atwood, University of Utah (Chemistry)

Thursday, October 20, 2016
INSCC room 345
Lunch will be provided!


Abstract: Six-year graduation rates at the University of Utah (~60%) are among the lowest in the PAC 12 Conference.  The University has decided that our success rates must improve. Unsurprisingly, CHEM 1210 and 1220 (general chemistry) were identified as major areas of concern.  Clearly, one method to improve success rates is to make the course easier.  We decided on a different route, make the course more challenging while improving the success rate.  Over the last five years we made a concerted effort to identify what our problem areas were then to address each of them.  After three years of effort, it became apparent that the bottom quartile of students was the determining factor to our overall success rate.  Until those students improved we were doomed to fail.  In this presentation I will show statistical methods and classroom solutions we have employed to raise our success rate from 62% to 86% in four years.  Importantly, our bottom quartile of students now scores on average 50th percentile or slightly higher on nationally normed ACS exams.


Join us for an informal discussion and exchange of ideas!

Vist our CSME Exchange page for future meeting times and topics.