Engagement as predictors of performance in a single cohort of undergraduate chiropractic students
Objective: To investigate the potential association of novel academic and nonacademic factors with chiropractic student academic performance. Methods: Students enrolled into year 1 of a chiropractic master's degree (MChiro) at our college were selected for this study. Data collected included demographics, attendance, virtual learning environment use, additional learning needs, previous degree qualifications, and summative marks. Differences between students who had to take an examination more than once (resit) and nonresit students were explored using t test and χ2 analysis. Relationships between attendance and end-of-year marks were explored using regression analysis. Results: Male students outperformed female students in four of the six units and as the total year average. Students who attended <80% of classes were more likely to have a resit in one or more units (relative risk [RR] = 2.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4–4.9). Students who performed poorly (<70%) in the semester 1 unit of a course on human structure and failed the semester 1 practical assessment of a course on clinical management were significantly more likely to have one or more resit assessments in semester 2 units (RR = 3.5 [95% CI, 2.2–5.7]; RR = 3.2 [95% CI, 2.0–4.9]). Attendance and unit 105 were independent predictors of one or more resits at the end-of-year (R2 = 0.86, p < .001). Conclusion: Attendance and first semester summative marks were associated with end-of-year performance. As such, these markers of performance may be used to flag struggling students in the program.