General Chemistry I historically had one of the highest failure and withdrawal rates at Penn State Berks, a four-year college within the Penn State system. The course was completely redesigned to incorporate more group work, the use of classroom response systems, peer mentors, and a stronger online presence via the learning management system (ANGEL). Five years of data about the redesigned course were compared with the previous five years. The redesigned course significantly improved student success as measured by the average GPA and lower withdrawal rates. Student achievement in the subsequent course, General Chemistry II, has also improved, suggesting that not only are more students completing the first course, but they are also completing the course with better preparation for the next course. Student ratings have improved for the course, showing increased satisfaction with both the course and the instructor. The findings from 10 years of data suggest significant improvements in student success are possible for General Chemistry I.
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