Who are our repeating students? Profiling students persisting after failure

Harper, Wendy E. & Creagh, Tracy A. (2015) Who are our repeating students? Profiling students persisting after failure. In Students,Transitions, Achievement, Retention & Success (STARS) Conference, 1-4 July 2015, Crown Convention Centre, Melbourne, Vic.

View at publisher (open access)


Research on attrition has focused on the economic significance of low graduation rates in terms of costs to students (fees that do not culminate in a credential) and impact on future income. For a student who fails a unit and repeats the unit multiple times, the financial impact is significant and lasting (Bexley, Daroesman, Arkoudis & James 2013). There are obvious advantages for the timely completion of a degree, both for the student and the institution. Advantages to students include fee minimisation, enhanced engagement opportunities, effectual pathway to employment and a sense of worth, morale and cohort-identity benefits.

Work undertaken by the QUT Analytics Project in 2013 and 2014 explored student engagement patterns capturing a variety of data sources and specifically, the use of LMS amongst students in 804 undergraduate units in one semester. Units with high failure rates were given further attention and it was found that students who were repeating a unit were less likely to pass the unit than students attempting it for the first time. In this repeating cohort, academic and behavioural variables were consistently more significant in the modelling than were any demographic variables, indicating that a student’s performance at university is far more impacted by what they do once they arrive than it is by where they come from. The aim of this poster session is to examine the findings and commonalities of a number of case studies that articulated the engagement activities of repeating students (which included collating data from Individual Unit Reports, academic and peer advising programs and engagement with virtual learning resources). Understanding the profile of the repeating student cohort is therefore as important as considering the characteristics of successful students so that the institution might be better placed to target the repeating students and make proactive interventions as early as possible.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

47 since deposited on 06 Jul 2015
19 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 84789
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: student engagement, repeating students, early interventions, higher education, Learning Analytics, HERN
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Education Systems not elsewhere classified (130199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Technology and Computing (130306)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Chancellery
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Authors
Deposited On: 06 Jul 2015 23:17
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2016 00:05

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page