Tweet this Page
Keyword Search This Web Site

My Latest Book:

Access at Crossroads: Learning Assistance in Higher Ed., D. Arendale   Click this web link to learn about my recent book

Send Email Message to David Arendale
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    Best Education Practice Twitter Messages
    Navigation

     Access at the Crossroads Blog

    These blog entires identify best practices to increase success for historically-underrepresented college students including excerpts from my book, Access at the CrossroadsClick here to subscribe to this blog.

    Thursday
    Jan222015

    Facebook Addiction and GPA

    Chronicle of Higher Education, January 21, 2015 by

    Facebook is a tempting distraction. I have it open as a tab in my browser as I write this. And look, it’s showing that I have a new notification! I must see it, immediately. Facebook designed the site to make me feel that way.  This doesn’t bode well for college students. If professionals, and even some professors, have a hard time resisting the lure of Facebook, then what chance do 18-year-olds have?

    New research suggests that the kids may be all right. A study of Facebook activity and grade-point averages suggests that students may learn to regulate their use of Facebook, both as a distraction from coursework and in their free time, as they move through college.  Reynol Junco, an associate professor of education at Iowa State University, collected data from about 1,800 students at a four-year college. He found that students who spent a lot of time on Facebook while also trying to complete assignments tended to get worse grades.

    The correlation, however, held true only for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Seniors tended to use Facebook less in general. For them, time spent on the site did not correlate negatively with GPA.  “Seniors were less likely to post status updates than freshmen and sophomores, comment on content less than the other class ranks, use Facebook chat less than freshmen and sophomores, post photos less than juniors, tag photos less than freshmen and juniors, and view videos less than all the other class ranks,” Mr. Junco wrote in a paper published this month in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.  It could be that freshmen are simply not as good at resisting the urge to use Facebook when they should be working, and that they get better at it as they get older.

    Mr. Junco also pointed out that freshmen are scrambling to find their social footing in a strange new place while clinging to the relationships they’ve recently left behind. “Freshmen must not only adapt to a new academic environment, but also a social one in order to be successful,” he wrote.  The self-regulation skills of individual students no doubt play a role at any age. Mr. Junco’s snapshot is of four groups of students, not a single group evolving over time.  But he hopes the study will at least help higher-education professionals move past their own antipathy to Facebook use. An “abstinence only” approach, Mr. Junco said, is more likely to “alienate students and not allow for the leveraging of the important social affordances of Facebook in support of the first-year transition process.”

    Tuesday
    Dec302014

    Updated Postsecondary Peer Cooperative Learning Groups Annotated Bibliography(Updated 1/1/2015)

    Postsecondary Peer Cooperative Learning Programs: Annotated Bibliography by David R. Arendale is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  Based on a work at http://z.umn.edu/peerbib

    Background on the Bibliography

    For many years I have maintained an annotated bibliography of publications about peer learning programs at the postsecondary level. I wanted to share it more widely with others so it is provided in several forms:  PDF, Word, and EndNote database.  Please observe the license under which it is made available for your use.  Links to versions of the bibliography are at the bottom of this page.

    This annotated bibliography does not attempt to be inclusive of this broad field of literature concerning peer collaborative learning.  Instead, it is focused intentionally on a subset of the educational practice that shares a common focus with increasing student persistence towards graduation.  At the end of this overview, several suggestions are made for differentiating the models from each other and the level of institutional resources and resolve with implementing them.

    The six student peer learning programs included in this bibliography meet the following characteristics: (a) the program must have been implemented at the postsecondary or tertiary level; (b) the program has a clear set of systematic procedures for its implementation that could be replicated by another institution; (c) program evaluation studies have been conducted and are available for review; (d) the program intentionally embeds learning strategy practice along with review of the academic content material; (e) the program outcomes include increased content knowledge, higher final course grades, higher pass rates, and higher college persistence rates; and (f) the program has been replicated at another institution with similar positive student outcomes. From a review of the professional literature, six programs emerged: (a) Accelerated Learning Groups (ALGs), (b) Emerging Scholars Program (ESP), (c) Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL), (d) Structured Learning Assistance (SLA), (e) Supplemental Instruction (SI), and (f) Video-based Supplemental Instruction (VSI).  As will be described in the following narrative, some of the programs share common history and seek to improve upon previous practices.Other programs were developed independently.

    Versions of the Bibliography for Downloading

    Click on this link to download the bibliography as a PDF format document (Updated 1/1/2015). This version will always be months behind the current database.  If you want the most recent database, download the EndNote database file below and you can create your own custom print version of the latest citations.

    Click on this link to download the bibliography as a Word document which you can easily edit (Updated 1/1/2015).  Using Microsoft Word software makes it easy to edit the bibliography as you like and use the search engine to find key words of your own choice.

    Click on this link to download the actual database file of the bibliography in the EndNote format (Updated 1/1/2015). This file has been "compressed" and will require "unzipping" to open and use it with EndNote.  Click on the above web link and "save" the file to your computer (I recommend saving it to the desktop to make it easy to find.)  If you are unsure how to import into your own copy of EndNote, talk with someone who knows or search for the answer through Google and YouTube.  Use of this database requires purchase of the EndNote software or importing into another citation reference manager.  There are other free citation management systems such as Zotario.  It is possible to import this database into these other software systems.  However, I can not provide technical information how to do so.

    Click on one of the two links below to download the Directory of Keywords I created to code the database entries and make it easier to search through EndNote: [Word document version]  [PDF format version]  (Updated 5/8/14) While you can search the bibliography by keywords within the titles or abstract, many of my additional keywords added to the database entry will not appear within the text.  Using EndNote's search function along with this list of the keywords I used to index it will allow more productive searchers.  It would be easy to create custom bibliographies as needed.  For example, "SI" plus "science" plus "academic achievement" would create a custom bibliography of every SI research document that included data for improved academic achievement of participating students.

    Saturday
    Dec272014

    Important New Book on Developmental Education Policy and Practice

    The State of Developmental Education captures the current condition of state developmental education policy as it is implemented in higher education institutions. Few studies have examined the role that policy plays in the implementation and execution of developmental education on campuses, particularly at four-year institutions. Parker, Bustillos, and Barrett examine state developmental education policies of five states by exploring the impact these policies have on institutions and documenting how institutional actors respond to these policies. If states and indeed the nation are to meet the educational attainment goals, particularly bachelor's degree attainment, it is important that both four- and two-year colleges and universities share in the responsibility of educating students.

    I found the book through Amazon and Barnes&Noble online for $85.  I had a chance to review the original manuscript and found it really informative.  Just so you know, I didn't get paid to do an endorsement.  In fact, I need to order my own copy.  But I think it is worth it.

     

     

    Saturday
    Dec272014

    Colleges Reinvent Classes to Keep More Students in Science By Richard Perez-Pena, December 26, 2014

    To read the entire article from the NY Times, click on this link http://nyti.ms/1wr3l7C

    “We have not done a good job of teaching the intro courses or gateway courses in science and math,” said Hunter R. Rawlings III, president of the Association of American Universities and a former president of Cornell University and the University of Iowa. “Teaching freshman- and sophomore-level classes has not had a high enough priority, and that has to change.”  Multiple studies have shown that students fare better with a more active approach to learning, using some of the tools being adopted here at Davis, while in traditional classes, students often learn less than their teachers think.

    The University of Colorado, a national leader in the overhaul of teaching science, tested thousands of students over several years, before and after they each took an introductory physics class, and reported in 2008 that students in transformed classes had improved their scores by about 50 percent more than those in traditional classes.  At the University of North Carolina, researchers reported recently that an overhaul of introductory biology classes had increased student performance over all and yielded a particularly beneficial effect for black students and those whose parents did not go to college.

    Given the strength of the research findings, it seems that universities would be desperately trying to get into the act. They are not. The norm in college classes — especially big introductory science and math classes, which have high failure rates — remains a lecture by a faculty member, often duplicating what is in the assigned reading.

    Monday
    Dec082014

    Wish all airline safety videos were this informative, and fun. Maybe people would pay better attention.

    Wednesday
    Nov192014

    Impact of Linked Learning Communities with Higher Student Outcomes

    Effectiveness

    Overall, the effects of linked learning communities on academic achievement, degree attainment, postsecondary enrollment, credit accumulation, and progress in developmental education for postsecondary students were neither statistically significant nor large enough to be considered to be substantively important. Therefore, the WWC considers linked learning communities to have no discernible effects on these outcomes for community college students in developmental education.

    Program Description

    Linked learning communities in postsecondary education are programs defined by having social and curricular linkages that provide undergraduate students with intentional integration of the themes and concepts that they are learning. Linked learning communities are based on the theory that active learning in a community-based setting can improve academic outcomes by increasing social as well as academic integration. To that end, linked learning communities tend to incorporate two characteristics: a shared intellectual theme with a linked or integrated curriculum and a community or common cohort of learners.

    Research

    The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) identified six studies of linked learning communities in postsecondary education that both fall within the scope of the Developmental Students in Postsecondary Education topic area and meet WWC group design standards. All six studies meet WWC standards without reservations. Together, these studies included about 7,400 undergraduate students across six community colleges.

    The WWC considers the extent of evidence for linked learning communities to be medium to large for four outcome domains—academic achievement, postsecondary enrollment, credit accumulation, and progress in developmental education. These outcomes were assessed in all six of the studies that met WWC group design standards. The WWC considers the extent of evidence for linked learning communities to be small for one outcome domain—degree attainment.

    This intervention report was prepared for the WWC by Development Services Group, Inc. under contract ED–IES–12–C–0084.  To download the complete report, click on this link.
    Wednesday
    Aug272014

    Integrated Learning Course for Entering TRIO College Students: Outcomes of Higher Grades and Persistence Rates

    Integrated Learning Course for Entering SSS College Students.  University of Minnesota (approved Validated Practice 8/10/14)  Taken from the abstract:  In 1972, the TRIO program leaders at the University of Minnesota developed the Integrated Learning (IL) course to meet academic and transition needs of their Upward Bound (UB) students.  These courses were offered during the UB summer bridge program for its students who were concurrently enrolled in academically-challenging college courses following graduation from high school.  Later, use of IL courses shifted from the UB program to the college-level TRIO Student Support Services program.  Long before the widespread use of learning communities within higher education, the IL course is an example of a linked-course learning community.  A historically-challenging course like an introductory psychology is linked with an IL course.  The IL course is customized to use content of its companion class as context for mastering learning strategies and orienting students to the rigor of the college learning environment.  For the past four decades, the IL course approach has assisted TRIO students improve their academic success in the rigorous academic environment as well as acclimate to the social climate of the University of Minnesota (UMN), one of the largest universities in the United States.  UMN is a Research I Intensive public university with highly selective admissions and high expectations for students by the course professors.  Two quasi-experimental studies examined the possible benefits of the IL course.  One was in connection with a General Psychology course. The IL course students earned statistically significantly higher final course grades than nonparticipants.  Another study with a General Biology course replicated the results of higher final course grades for the IL course students.  The IL courses fostered not only higher final course grades, but also expanded positive study behaviors and their metacognitive skills necessary for academic success.  [Click on this link to download this best education practice.]