American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/education Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2016, 4(6), 479-483
DOI: 10.12691/education-4-6-6
Open AccessArticle

Understanding Factors Affecting Performance in an Elementary Biostatistics Course at Harare Institute of Technology

Kudakwashe Mutangi1,

1Department of Mathematics, Harare Institute of Technology, Harare, Zimbabwe

Pub. Date: April 27, 2016

Cite this paper:
Kudakwashe Mutangi. Understanding Factors Affecting Performance in an Elementary Biostatistics Course at Harare Institute of Technology. American Journal of Educational Research. 2016; 4(6):479-483. doi: 10.12691/education-4-6-6

Abstract

Different factors affecting academic performance of students in biostatistics at Harare Institute of Technology were considered. A questionnaire was used as an instrument for data collection and was distributed to all students who had done the biostatistics course and were present on campus. Coursework marks were used as a measure of performance. Factors considered in this investigation were age of students, gender, high school achievement, lecture attendance, type of accommodation, time spend studying the course per week, family income, birth order, family size, achievement in ordinary (O’Level) and advanced level (A’Level) maths and the student’s studying method. The students were also asked to rate the knowledge of the lecturer and give suggestions on how the pass rate in biostatistics could be improved. A stepwise regression method was used to select those factors linearly correlated with coursework which significantly affected performance. Chi-squared tests were used to check the association between categorical variables while correlations were used to assess linear relationships between quantitative variables. Results from stepwise regression indicated that high school achievement (number of points at A’Level) affected performance. Age of students and gender were associated with performance.

Keywords:
academic performance biostatistics Harare institute of technology high school achievement age gender

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