Case Study: Golden West College


Golden West College

This case study is a subset of a larger-scale efficacy report commissioned by Wiley that included use of WileyPLUS with ORION at U.S. colleges and universities which were among the early adopters of ORION. A separate report is available that aggregates findings from these case studies into an overall assessment of efficacy across participating sites in the Spring 2014 term.

Professor DeAnna Kirchen teaches in the Accounting Department at Golden West College. In the Spring 2014 semester, she incorporated ORION into her ACCT 101: Financial Accounting course. The course had two sections, an in-person section with 32 students and an online section with 16 students. The course qualifies for transfer credit to the California State University and the University of California systems.

Using WileyPLUS with ORION

Professor Kirchen required students to use ORION, and included the score in the course grade. Students had the opportunity to engage with up to 11 chapters of content. Two-thirds of the students attempted all of the chapters, while the typical student attempted 10.3 chapters. None of the students engaged with fewer than five of the chapters in ORION. Students spent an average of 200 minutes using ORION, with one-third using it for more than four hours.


Professor Kirchen also included homework conducted in WileyPLUS as part of the final grade. Students average 81.7% across the 11 assignments. Nearly one-quarter of the students averaged an A across their WileyPLUS assignments, with over half earning a B. Students from the online section scored higher in WileyPLUS (88% vs. 79% for in-person).


Many students earned a C in the course, with an overall average of 2.19 on a 0.00-4.00 scale. Over one-third of the students earned an A or B in the course, with nearly half earning a C. Students from the online section earned nearly a whole grade higher overall (2.81 vs. 1.88). Those who engaged with both ORION and WileyPLUS performed well on the overall grade. Those who engaged for at least four hours averaged a B-, compared to a C for moderate engagement and a C- for the lowest engagement. The differences are more dramatic in WileyPLUS, as students who averaged an A in WileyPLUS earned an A overall, while those who averaged a B in WileyPLUS averaged a C+ overall. Those who averaged less than a B in WileyPLUS earned a D-, with many failing the course.


Performance on WileyPLUS homework is largely reflective of the overall performance in the course.

The students who put in the extra work in ORION earned an average of a B- in the course, while those who did not earned a C-