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Mathematics, Science and Technology

Document Type



Data for 295 college online introductory statistics students were examined to determine if removing four module (weekly) quizzes impacted student performance on a cumulative exam. In this research, student performance was not significantly impacted by the removal of the quizzes. The difference in the exam mean score earned by the group of students who did not take quizzes was less than 0.8 of a point lower than the exam average for students who took the quizzes prior to the exam. Withdraw rates significantly declined from 5 percent to 1 percent. Results of this study support the idea that course designers can explore reducing the amount of work in online courses to decrease extraneous cognitive load on students as long as learning outcomes are met. STEM courses are often seen as barriers for students in completing coursework toward degree accomplishments. Effectively designed coursework that does not unnecessarily duplicate evidence of achieving course objectives may also aid in student persistence and retention. Future researchers can examine methods used in this study to evaluate courses in more traditional 16-week term lengths in different university settings.

Publication Title

The Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration


University of West Georgia