This approach has been run for several years at Villanova, and has been evaluated using pre- and post-test as well as student perception surveys. The tests were designed by faculty from the business school, social science departments, and the math department, with the assistance of evaluation professionals and non-academics. The test focused on those topics that were judged most essential for students in order to prepare for concurrent and subsequent academic courses, for their careers, and for their personal lives. Improvement from pre-test to post-test was significantly better in the experimental group (p=0.01). The results are summarized in the following chart:
The student perception survey asked students to rate the effectiveness of their math course in preparation for other Villanova courses, as well as the relevance of the course to other courses, their future careers, and their personal lives. In all categories, ratings were significantly higher in the experimental group (p<0.04).
A = Math Preparation B = Curriculum Relevance C = Career Relevance D = Life Relevance
(A full report is available on request.)