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Friday, June 20 • 9:30am - 10:00am
CON10.08– Is the Second Time the Charm for Students Repeating Introductory Finance? (Room A317)

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Many undergraduate students fail one or more of their courses and consequently need to repeat them. Moreover, students sometimes repeat courses that were barely passed the first time, in order to improve their mark and maintain their major or honors status. This means that university classes often contain a mixture of students: most are brand new to the course, but some have previous experience with it. Introductory courses are especially likely to have such mixtures.

This mixing raises an interesting question: does the difference in prior experience lead to a corresponding difference in course outcomes? In other words, are the repeating students generally more successful than the first time students because of their previous experience? Or are they less successful given their unsatisfactory outcomes the first time through?

Although a large body of educational literature examines various factors related to student performance in introductory courses, the practice of repeating a course has largely been ignored. The main objective of this research paper presentation is to share the results of the empirical study that examines the relation between prior course experience and subsequent performance in the introductory finance course.

The study’s sample consists of students who entered an undergraduate business program at Brock University in 2005. All the course marks and demographic data used in this study came from the university registration system, not from student surveys; this avoids the tendency of the latter to overstate actual performance.

The results of this study show that students who completed the course in the past with a failing or passing grade demonstrate a considerable grade improvement on their subsequent attempt. Moreover, after taking into account student GPA, students who previously passed the course significantly outperform new students. Students who failed the course in the past show only a marginally higher grade compared to new students. In contrast, the performance of students who dropped or withdrew from the course is not significantly different from the performance of new students.

The session will start with a brief review of the literature on student performance in the introductory finance courses. It will then describe the data set used, descriptive statistics, and correlation analysis results. The main part of the session will discuss the regression analysis of the relationship between various explanatory factors and student performance in repeated courses. The session will conclude with questions from the audience.



Friday June 20, 2014 9:30am - 10:00am
A317 McArthur Hall

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