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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Special Topics

A retrospective look at students enrolled in an upper-level horse science class: Factors that affect classroom performance12


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 91 No. 6, p. 2976-2984
    Received: Oct 3, 2012
    Accepted: Feb 17, 2013
    Published: November 25, 2014

    3 Corresponding author(s):

  1. T. L. Douthit 3,
  2. J. M. Bormann and
  3. J. M. Kouba
  1. Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506


The objective of this study was to retrospectively analyze demographic variables and academic preparation of students to determine how these factors relate to student performance in ASI 521 Horse Science, an upper-level course offered in the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry (ASI) at Kansas State University (KSU). Data were collected for 264 students enrolled in the course from 2008 to 2010. Students who took the course in 2008 received greater final percentages than those who took the course in subsequent years (P = 0.0016). Females tended to receive greater percentages than males (P = 0.096). Location of origin of students did not affect percentages earned (P > 0.26). Although class standing (P = 0.35) did not affect the final percentages that students earned, transfer students received lesser final percentages in the course (P = 0.020). If students were majoring in ASI, they fared better than those in other majors (P = 0.0097), but pre-veterinary medicine students performed similarly to non-pre-veterinary students (P = 0.49). Enrollment in the equine certificate program (which requires students to complete 20 credit hours of equine coursework) did not affect percentages earned (P = 0.89) nor did completion of any individual equine class before enrolling in ASI 521 (P > 0.19). Test scores earned on the American College Testing Program standardized test during high school were not reflective of classroom performance (P = 0.51), but KSU grade point average (GPA) was highly predictive (P < 0.0001), regardless of the term for which GPA was calculated. Students in the course took an identical comprehensive test at the beginning and end of the semester, and those test scores were also predictive of final percentage earned in ASI 521 (P ≤ 0.0002). In general, students with greater GPA performed better in ASI 521, so strategies aimed at improving classroom performance may best be targeted toward students with histories of poor academic performance.

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