Using survival analysis to investigate the persistence of students in an introductory information technology course at METU

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Graduate School of Informatics, Information Systems, Turkey

Approval Date: 2015




The purpose of the study is investigating students’ persistence in the IS100 Introduction to Information Technologies and Applications course at the Middle East Technical University (METU). While this course is mandatory for all undergraduate students, its noncredit status allows the students to delay passing the course to upper classes. Hence, they cannot utilize the competencies the course would provide during their studies at METU. In the study, the attendance records of IS100 students are extracted for the fall and spring semesters between the years 2011 to 2013. Survival analysis is used to investigate students’ persistence in the course based on different factors including their year, department, and semester information. Their weekly attendance records are used to evaluate their persistence. As a result of the study, it has been found that the survival rates of students do not depend on their year information, except for fourth year students who have a higher survival rate. In addition to this, the survival rate of students does not differ according to students’ department information. Except for Spring 2013, the students’ survival is similar to each other based on their semester information. In Spring 2013 semester, the students have the lowest survival rates among the terms from Fall 2011 to Spring 2013. We also see that the midterm exams have a negative effect on students’ survival. These findings are discussed and suggestions are made.