Reducing Freshman "Flunk-Outs" in Purdue Engineering Classes

The Purdue Mechanics Freeform Classroom, introduced by Charles Krousgrill, implements a set of changes in the early Mechanical Engineering classes to reduce "freshman flunk-outs". Especially in Purdue Engineering programs, there are many classes with large numbers of students (80+) in their freshman and sophomore year. Because of these class sizes, getting the personal attention many freshmen (and some sophomores) need is difficult -- adding the interactive textbook (a "lecturebook"), comment-enabled course blog, and instructional videos as the Purdue Mechanics Freeform Classroom has done reduces the D-F-W (withdraw) rate to 5% from 20%, thereby turning the C-D-F-W students into B students.. (Alas, the number of A students stays the same-- but the C-D-F-W rate is now 1 in 20 rather than 1 in 5.)

This is a substantial improvement to early Engineering education, well worth taking a look at.

Leave a comment

About Mark Leighton Fisher

user-pic Perl/CPAN user since 1992.