Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física
Print version ISSN 1806-1117
LIMA JUNIOR, Paulo; SILVEIRA, Fernando Lang da and OSTERMANN, Fernanda. Survival analysis applied to student flow in undergraduate Physics courses: an example from a Brazilian university. Rev. Bras. Ensino Fís. [online]. 2012, vol.34, n.1, pp.1-10. ISSN 1806-1117. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1806-11172012000100014.
Survival analysis is a statistical method widely used in health sciences with applications in other fields. Its object of study is the time between events, usually called "survival time". This paper investigates the possibility of applying survival analysis to study students' retention, dropout and degree in an undergraduate Physics course. As a result, it is possible to notice that survival analysis is a suitable method, enabling one to describe when dropouts and degrees are more likely to occur and what factors are related to retention in this course. The goal of this work is to make a brief introduction to survival analysis, illustrating its application to the study of students flow from a Physics course in a Brazilian university. We believe this paper is an actual methodological contribution to researchers interested in the topic of dropout and retention in science education since survival analysis is an efficient tool for describing and understanding student flow.
Keywords : survival analysis; student flow; dropout; retention.