Participant Idea Exchange – 1/3/2018
Education for all? Challenges educators face at open admissions institutions.
Participant Idea Exchange notes -- NITOP 2018
How can we get students to use campus resources (e.g., writing or math centers) available to them?
- Scavenger hunt to find university resources (make it an assignment or extra credit)
- Include info about campus resources in syllabus and online
- Ask previous students to give virtual or in-class testimonials (or do an in class Q&A), to motivate students, promote use of campus resources, and prevent students from falling behind early
How can we make classes more accommodating for students with many outside commitments (e.g., family and work), or students struggling with special needs or second language barriers?
- Be flexible (but consistent) with rescheduling due dates, quizzes and exams
- Avoid making class attendance and in-class activities vital to passing
- Post video recording of lectures online with closed captions
How can we get students to use office hours?
- Reframe them as review sessions to make them more group oriented and less intimidating (recommended to use small conference room rather than office, to accommodate more students at once)
- Exaggerate (or fib) about the norm of attendance to make coming to office hours seem like “the norm”
- Give examples of how you have helped students during office hours, to show them how office hours can be used to benefit them
- Highlight your students’ strengths!! Many students have experiences that they don’t realize will help them in the classroom and their future job. For example…
- Some bilingual students don’t realize that their dual language ability makes them more competitive for jobs or graduate programs after graduation
- Students with work experience often fail to realize their time-management skills developed at their job can be applied to study for classes
- Use a pre-test to establish baseline of skills for the course.
- This serves two purposes. First, it shows you what material you may need to take extra time on in your class. Secondly, it shows the students what material they need to brush up on in order to be successful in the course.
- Provide extra videos or chapter readings early on in the semester that can help students “catch up” if there is foundational material that they seem to be missing. (YouTube has a wide variety of quick grammar videos to help with writing, and basic algebra videos to help with statistics)
- Ask for student feedback on these supplemental materials! This not only helps you curate good resources, but also encourages students to check them out by making them feel like they have an active role in the course.
- Reach out to students who scored poorly on an assignment or miss numerous classes
- Some learning management systems (e.g., Canvas) let you mass contact groups of students that meet certain criteria, such as contacting all students that scored below 60% on a quiz.
- Give examples of struggles or failures in your own life that they can relate to
- Makes you more relatable to the students and can help build rapport.