An Analysis of Grade Distribution at a University in Southern Alabama Across Fields in Human and Health Services
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology
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This study analyzed grade distributions of academic disciplines of Human Services, Social Work, and Nursing at a university in Southern Alabama during the 2019- 2020 academic year. Grade distributions were compared to examine the important aspect of instructional course delivery methods: Is there a significant difference in mean grades for each of six courses (HS 3310, SWK 2250, SWK 3303, SWK 3375, SWK 4471, SWK 4480) instructed online vs. traditional face-to-face courses at a university in Southern Alabama? Several T-tests were used to determine significant differences in the grade distributions. Significant differences were found in the mean grade in traditional classroom course sections and the mean grade of distance education course sections for SWK 3375 with traditional classroom course sections experiencing a higher variation of grade distribution than did distance education course sections. Additional findings from this study indicated that instructional delivery methods does not significantly influence mean grades, and students tend to perform consistently regardless of the instructional delivery setting in HS 3310, SWK 2250, SWK 3303, SWK 4471, and SWK 4480. The practice of high stakes testing was also analyzed in this quantitative study. A crosstabulation and Chi-square analysis was used to examine the difference of grade distributions between Social Work (SWK 4471 and SWK 4472) and Nursing (NSG 2271 and NSG 2282) high stakes testing courses. Findings from this study indicated a significantly difference in grade distributions between Social Work (SWK 4471, SWK 4472) and Nursing (NSG 2271, NSG 2282) high stakes testing courses. Furthermore, a descriptive analysis was used to measure the central tendency of grade distribution in high stakes testing courses in 32 courses high stakes testing in Nursing, Social Work, and Human Services: NSG 2202, NSG 2255, NSG 2256, NSG 2265, NSG 2266, NSG 2271, NSG 2280, NSG 2281, NSG 2282, NSG 3301 (2 sections), NSG 3310 (2 sections), NSG3300 (2 sections); SWK 3340, SWK 4471 (3 sections), SWK 4472, SWK 4482 (3 sections), SWK 4483 (3 sections); HS 3310 (4 sections) and HS 3399 (2 sections). In this quantitative study, data were gathered through a method of secondary analysis by a university in Southern Alabama and distributed to the researcher for compilation and statistical analysis. Findings from this study indicated that SWK had significantly higher distribution of As, 66%, than expected and significantly less Bs, 24%, Cs, 5%, Ds, 3%, and Fs, 1%. The HS program had significantly higher distribution of As (44%) than expected, less Bs (23%) and Cs (25%), and more Fs (6%) and less Ds (2%); however, these findings did not indicate a statistically significant higher mean in nursing grades or an increase in the percentage of grades awarded. No other significant differences were found.