DFW Toxic Course Combo Report


You can access the DFW – Toxic Course Combo report from the DFW folder in the Report App. The report displays information on toxic course combinations, defined as two courses, when taken in the same term, shows an increased likelihood of failure. This report uses the last three years of student academic history data (without transfer courses) and returns course combinations taken by at least 40 students. It then highlights the difference in DFW rates between what is average for the course, and what the average DFW rate is for the course when taken in the same term as the “combo” course. DFW grades are identified as  "non-applicable" grade codes that are set up in the Astra application.

Looking at the variance in DFW rates for the same course in this matter may help provide insight into pathway design, and guide institutions in making decisions around which courses should potentially not be taken in the same term.

Additional drill-in details will provide insight into which students are successful/unsuccessful in the course combinations and what pathways they are associated with. A second drill-in report will help identify students that are currently registered for a toxic course combination in an upcoming term.



Filters default to ‘Include all’ unless otherwise noted.

  • Course
  • Division
  • College
  • Department
  • DFW increase rate (allows you to filter the courses to show course combinations that increase DFW rate by a certain threshold)


Toxic Course Combination Over Last Three Years

The Toxic Course Combination Over the Last Three Years pivot table shows the difference in average DFW rates of specific courses when they are taken with other courses. The columns allow you to identify the course being measured, see the overall average DFW rate of that course over the last three years, and compare the average DFW rate of that course when taken with different course combinations. The change in DFW rate is highlighted, as well as the number of students that have taken and been unsuccessful with the initial course in the combination.

Courses Most Likely to be in a Toxic Combination

The Courses Most Likely to be in a “Toxic Combination” chart shows the number of times a specific course is listed in the table above…meaning it has an increased DFW rate when taken with different courses that meet the specified DFW increase threshold set in the filter panel. 


Attempts and Unsuccessful Student Details widget

The Attempts and Unsuccessful Student Details widget lists the toxic course combinations as well as the number of total attempts and total unsuccessful students (the list can be filtered down using the filters on the right). Left-clicking on the Total Attempts or Total Unsuccessful students link will open a drill-in report.blobid0.png

The Attempts and Unsuccessful Student Details drill-in report will display graphs that show successful and unsuccessful attempts by student pathway and term. An additional table at the bottom will list the unsuccessful students.blobid1.png


Students Registered/No Grade widget

The Students Registered/No Grade widget will list the toxic course combination along with the count of students that have registered in that combination and have not received a grade. Left-clicking on the student count will jump to a drill-in report.blobid2.png


The Students Registered/No Grade drill-in report will display a graph that shows the students that registered for the toxic combination and have not received a grade by pathway and term. The intent of this graph is to allow a user to proactively identify students that are registered for a potentially toxic combination in a future term and allow for advising intervention if necessary.



Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful



Please sign in to leave a comment.