3 Strategies for Decreasing Drop/Fail/Withdraw Rates


A DFW rate is the rate at which college students receive D-grades, F-grades, or Withdraws from courses. Some colleges and universities are now using this data in regards to budget and performance reviews. Now, more than ever before, these rates are being looked at, and unfortunately, these rates are also on the rise.

Although there are many reasons why students withdraw from courses, faculty members can really only control their side of the story. For those looking to make a positive shift, here are three strategies for decreasing DFW rates and increasing student retention:
 

  1. Assessing
    Try assessing students’ knowledge of the required information at the beginning of the semester or start of a course. This allows aculty members to get a feel for which students may need more dedicated attention, and which students will probably be fine on their own. This pre-test can also help gauge which portions of the curriculum instructors might need to spend more time on.

    While there is no perfect solution, taking the time to measure and understand students' level of knowledge can make learning easier for everyone.

    Assessing students doesn’t need to be time consuming. With Atomic Learning’s skills assessments, faculty members can easily assign an assessment to a particular groups of individuals.

     
  2. Preparing
    Make it as easy as possible for students to know the basics. Not all students come into a course with the same knowledge or skill set, and changing your curriculum to go over basics for a smaller segment of students isn’t always an option. Not only would that slow down the course, but also hinder those students who would otherwise excel. By providing students that are struggling with tailored coursework, those students can more easily advance to the same level as their peers.

    Give students access to the specific resources they need, including items like MLA Research Paper Basics, Avoiding Plagiarism, Effective Note Taking, and more. Such resources can also help keep class time focused on the core content you are trying to teach. 


Tips to Help Lower DFW Rates - Part 3

A DFW rate is the rate at with students receive D-grades, F-grades, or Withdrawals in courses. Some Colleges and Universities are now using this data in regards to budget and performance reviews. More now than ever are these rates something to be looked at, and unfortunately, these rates are on the rise.

Although there are many reasons students withdraw from courses, faculty members can really only control their side of the story. One way faculty members can help lower their course DFW rates is by providing supplemental instruction. Not every student has the courage to ask questions during class or the time to stop by during office hours, to get the instruction they need. Maybe they are feeling embarrassed that they don’t know certain software applications or are feeling less tech savvy then their classmates. Regardless, by providing a way for students to gather the information they need, on their own time, can help improve the likelihood of them completing the course. On the flip side of this, there are also students that want to go above and beyond the intended course content, and are always looking for opportunities to dive deeper and learn more. Supplemental instruction can also help those students exceed.

Tips to Help Lower DFW Rates - Part 2

A DFW rate is the rate at with students receive D-grades, F-grades, or Withdrawals in courses. Some Colleges and Universities are now using this data in regards to budget and performance reviews. More now than ever are these rates something to be looked at, and unfortunately, these rates are on the rise.

Although there are many reasons students withdraw from courses, faculty members can really only control their side of the story. One way faculty members can help reach ALL of their students, is to make it as easy as possible for students to know the basics.  Not all students come into a course with the same knowledge or skills set, and changing your curriculum to go over basics for a smaller segment of students isn’t always an option.  Not only would that slow down the course, but it also hinders those students who would otherwise excel. By providing students that are struggling with tailored coursework, it allows those students to more easily advance along at the same level of other students. 

Tips to Help Lower DFW Rates - Part 1

A DFW rate is the rate at which students receive D-grades, F-grades, or Withdrawals in courses. Some Colleges and Universities are now using this data in regards to budget and performance reviews. More now than ever are these rates something to be looked at, and unfortunately, these rates are on the rise.

Although there are many reasons students withdraw from courses, faculty members can really only control their side of the story. One way to help students is to assess their knowledge of the required information at the very beginning of the semester or start of a course. This allows for the faculty member to get a feel for which students may need more dedicated attention and which students will be fine on their own. This pre-test of sorts can also help gauge which portions of the curriculum they need to spend more time on and which they can just touch lightly on.

While there is no perfect solution, taking the time to understand the knowledge level of students in a particular class, can make learning easier for everyone.