Averil Cook, School of Economics, The University of Queensland, 4072, QLD, Australia Discussion Paper No. 415, November 2010, School of Economics, The University of Queensland. Australia.


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First year statistics is one of the 'problem' subjects in many institutions. At the University of Queensland in the School of Economics it is a compulsory course with a large enrolment, offered in both first and second semesters, and also across two campuses in semester one. Even though the course content, lecturing staff, mode of delivery, tutorials, PASS and online assessment are essentially the same in the two semesters, the outcomes to 2007 have been different. At the St Lucia campus the failure rate in semester 2 was over 10% higher than in semester 1. This paper explores some possible explanations for the difference as well as assessing the success of some of the changes that were implemented from 2007 to 2009.