Retention and Reform: An Evaluation of Peer-Led Team Learning

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This study describes an evaluation of the Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) reform model in first-semester general chemistry. PLTL was implemented in place of one-third of the available lecture time, maintaining the same amount of structured class time under the reform. The evaluation demonstrates that classes implementing the PLTL reform at the setting featured a statistically significant improvement of 15% in the pass rate for the classes, compared to conventional, lecture-only classes at the same setting. Additionally, the PLTL classes maintained a comparable score on a comprehensive American Chemical Society final exam to that of the conventional classes. Combined, these findings suggest that the improvement in pass rates occurs while maintaining the same level of rigor in the PLTL classes. Examining student groups shows that students in underrepresented minority groups demonstrated the largest improvement in pass rates with the PLTL reform.