In collaboration with faculty members from the Department of Chemistry and Administrative Information Systems, we created Elements of Success to provide feedback to chemistry and biology students about their performance in introductory courses. The goal of the system is to combine predictive modeling and analytics from the online homework systems to help students have access to current information about their outcomes and help them make decisions about how to improve their performance.


Elements of Success is a collaboration among several different units who are interested in supporting student learning: 

  • Russell Larsen, senior lecturer of chemistry
  • Renée Cole, associate professor of chemistry
  • Bryant McAllister, associate professor of biology
  • Brenda Leicht, lecturer of biology 
  • Sam Van Horne, assessment director of the Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology
  • The project is also a collaboration with staff in Academic Support & Retention who facilitate supplemental instruction and other instructional resources for students.


Sam Van Horne and Russell Larsen (Department of Chemistry) received an Innovations in Teaching with Technology Award to study the effectiveness of Elements of Success in Summer 2015 and revise the system for implementation in Fall 2015. 

Courses Using Elements of Success

Fall 2016

  • Principles of Chemistry II
  • General Chemistry I
  • Foundations of Biology
Photo of a student reading a notebook at a computer.