Monitoring The Level Of Students GPA's Over Time

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Saad T. Bakir
Bob McNeal


Non parametric chart, Signed rank, control chart, student performance, continuous improvement, Shewhart, non normal distribution, probability distribution


A nonparametric (or distribution-free) statistical quality control chart is used to monitor the cumulative grade point averages (GPAs) of students over time. The chart is designed to detect any statistically significant positive or negative shifts in student GPAs from a desired target level. This nonparametric control chart is based on the signed-ranks of the GPAs of the sampled students. The exact false alarm rate and the in-control average run length of the proposed chart can be computed exactly and are independent of the underlying probability distribution of GPAs. The traditional Shewhart X-bar control chart for monitoring the mean of a process is based on the assumption that data follows a normal distribution. However, student GPAs may differ significantly from the normal distribution. As a result, using a traditional control chart to monitor the GPAs of students may lead to incorrectly specifying the control limits and the average run length and/or the false alarm rate of the chart. A test study was conducted at the College of Business Administration at Alabama State University. The study monitored the median cumulative GPAs of management majors during the period Spring 2005 through Spring 2009. The study revealed that the GPAs of students were stable at a median level of 2.6 over the period of the study.


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