Piedmont College

Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia.

Course: Rhetoric and Composition (ENGL 1101)

Course Type: Supplement to Lecture

Quick Stats:

The average final grade for the class was 89.35%.

Student performance on the grammar diagnostic test (taken at both the start and end of the semester) improved by an average of 24.7%.


In fall 2018, students in Dr. Stephen Whited’s Rhetoric and Composition course began using Hawkes Learning’s Foundations of English software. The instructor chose this title for its clean format and ease of use. He wanted to ensure students received an organized review of grammar and mechanics to become more prepared for class.

At the beginning of the semester, students were assigned Hawkes’ precreated grammar diagnostic to identify specific areas of weakness and receive a customized set of homework lessons based on individual results.

During the 16-week course, students completed two to three Hawkes assignments per week. Assignments ranged from five to 15 questions, depending on the complexity of each section. This self-directed homework accounted for 30% of students’ overall grades. Students then completed the grammar diagnostic at the end of the semester to assess how much their grammar skills improved.

After Hawkes was implemented, students had more time to discuss concepts and ideas in class, as well as participate in more group writing experiences, rather than asking the instructor for help on remedial topics. Additionally, the instructor observed fewer basic errors on student papers. The writing practice and topics learned throughout the course had a lasting positive effect on students outside of the English classroom.

Bar graph of Average Grade on Grammar Diagnostic. The pre-test average was 55.97%, while the post-test was 80.67%.
Bar graph of Course Letter Grade Distribution. 60% of students received an A; 33.33% received a B; 0% a C; 6.67% a D; and 0% an F.

Contact:
Dr. Stephen Whited
swhited@piedmont.edu