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     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. Previously, I posted the new podcast episodes to this blog. I have now moved them to their own blog. Click on "my podcasts" tab above.

    Friday
    May132016

    Monitoring and evaluation of peer academic support programs in South African higher education institutions

    Tangwe, M. N., & Rembe, S. (2015). Monitoring and evaluation of peer academic support programs in South African higher education institutions. International Journal of Education Science, 8(7), 249-260. Retrieved from http://www.krepublishers.com/02-Journals/IJES/IJES-08-0-000-15-Web/IJES-08-2-000-15-Abst-PDF/IJES-8-2-249-15-507-Tangwe-N-N/IJES-8-2-249-15-507-Tangwe-N-N-Tx%5B1%5D.pdf

    The high failure and retention rates at universities despite peer academic support programs has necessitated the need for the present study to investigate how monitoring and evaluation is carried out to support the facilitators of these programs. The study adopted a qualitative approach, collecting data from a sample of 12 participants made up of program coordinators and peer academic facilitators. The results indicate that there is monitoring and evaluation of these programs by program coordinators and peer facilitators. This is achieved through observation during sessions, unannounced visits and support to facilitators. However, the structures and mechanisms of monitoring and evaluation are not strong enough to enhance effective implementation of the programs. It is concluded that although there are good peer academic support programs at this university under study, there is need for rigorous monitoring and evaluation as well as support by more qualified person.

    To download the complete annotated bibliographny of more than 1,100 citations of postsecondary peer cooperative learning programs, click on the following link, http://z.umn.edu/peerbib

    Wednesday
    May112016

    Research on group learning and cognitive science: A study of motivation, knowledge, and self-regulation in a larger lecture college Algebra class

    Miller, D., & Schraeder, M. (2015). Research on group learning and cognitive science: A study of motivation, knowledge, and self-regulation in a larger lecture college Algebra class. The Mathematics Educator, 24(2), 27-55. Retrieved from http://tme.journals.libs.uga.edu/index.php/tme/article/view/309

    At a research University near the east coast, researchers restructured a College Algebra course by formatting the course into two large lectures a week, an active recitation size laboratory class once a week, and an extra day devoted to active group work called Supplemental Practice (SP). SP was added as an extra day of class where the SP leader has students work in groups on a worksheet of examples and problems, based off of worked-example research, that were covered in the previous week’s class material. Two sections of the course were randomly chosen to be the experimental group and the other section was the control group. The experimental group was given the SP worksheets and the control group was given a questionand-answer session. The experimental group's performance was statistically significant compared to the control on a variety of components in the course, particularly when prior knowledge was factored into the data.

    To download the complete annotated bibliography of more than 1,100 citations of postsecondary peer cooperative learning programs, click on the following link, http://z.umn.edu/peerbib

    Tuesday
    May102016

    Exploring the emotional intelligence of student leaders in the SI context

    James, C., & Templeman, E. (2015). Exploring the emotional intelligence of student leaders in the SI context. Journal of the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 27(2), 67-81. Retrieved from http://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/fyesit/fyesit/2015/00000027/00000002/art00004?crawler=true

    An exploratory study of the emotional intelligence (EI) of student leaders participating in a Supplemental Instruction (SI) program was conducted to determine whether a significant relationship exists between leadership effectiveness and EI as measured by the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) and to assess the impact of the leadership experience on EI scores through pre- and post-testing. The results revealed a statistically significant difference in the Total EQ-i of the more effective leaders as compared to the others. The more effective leaders also scored higher on all the EQ-i subscales, with the differences on Social Responsibility, Impulse Control, and Reality Testing being statistically significant. As for changes in EI, only the scores on the EQ-i Problem Solving subscale increased significantly between the pre- to post-testing sessions. Implications for practice and future research are addressed.

    To download the complete annotated bibliography of more than 1,100 citations of postsecondary peer cooperative learning programs, click on the following link, http://z.umn.edu/peerbib

    Friday
    May062016

    Peer-assisted learning program: A creative and effective learning approach at higher education

    Ghazali, R., & Ali, M. C. (2015). Peer-assisted learning program: A creative and effective learning approach at higher education. Journal of Applied Environmental Biological Science, 4(10), 39-44. Retrieved from http://textroad.com/Old%20Version/pdf/JAEBS/J.%20Appl.%20Environ.%20Biol.%20Sci.,%204%2810S%2939-44,%202015.pdf

    The primary purpose of this article is to review the effect of Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) program on higher education.  Thus, this paper tries to explain the educational theories and concepts which support the effectiveness of the program. It also to identify the benefits and shortcomings of the program to the students who participated in the program based on the existing researches and experiences of some universities which had undertaken the schemes. The review is expected to highlight the best practices of PAL program adopted by universities. Lastly, recommendations from previous researches for a successful implementation of PAL were taken that to be used in the implementation of the program in the university, particularly for the accounting faculty.

    To download the complete annotated bibliography of more than 1,100 references with postsecondary peer cooperative learning programs, click on the following link, http://z.umn.edu/peerbib

    Wednesday
    May042016

    Students helping students: Evaluating a pilot program of peer teaching for an undergraduate course in human anatomy.

    Bruno, P. A., Love Green, J. K., Illerbrun, S. L., Holness, D. A., Illerbrun, S. J., Haus, K. A., & Sveinson, K. L. (2015). Students helping students: Evaluating a pilot program of peer teaching for an undergraduate course in human anatomy. Anatomical Sciences Education. doi: doi:10.1002/ase.1543. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ase.1543/epdf

    The educational literature generally suggests that Supplemental Instruction (SI) is effective in improving academic performance in traditionally difficult courses. A pilot program of peer teaching based on the SI model was implemented for an undergraduate course in human anatomy. Students in the course were stratified into three groups based on the number of peer teaching sessions they attended: nonattendees (0 sessions), infrequently attended (1-3 sessions), and frequently attended (_ 4 sessions). After controlling for academic preparedness [i.e., admission grade point average (AGPA)] using an analysis of covariance, the final grades of frequent attendees were significantly higher than those of nonattendees (P50.025) and infrequent attendees (P50.015). A multiple regression analysis was performed to estimate the relative independent contribution of several variables in predicting the final grade. The results suggest that frequent attendance (b50.245,P50.007) and AGPA (b50.555, P<0.001) were significant positive predictors, while being a first-year student (b520.217, P50.006) was a significant negative predictor. Collectively, these results suggest that attending a certain number of sessions may be required to gain a noticeable benefit from the program, and that first-year students (particularly those with a lower level of academic preparedness) would likely stand to benefit from maximally using the program. End-of-semester surveys and reports indicate that the program had several additional benefits, both to the students taking the course and to the students who served as program leaders.

    To download the complete annotated bibliography of more than 1,100 citations of postsecondary peer cooperative learning programs, click on the following link, http://z.umn.edu/peerbib

    Friday
    Apr292016

    The impact of Supplemental Instruction on the performance of male and female engineers in a freshmen chemistry course.

    Wisniewski, E. O., Shapiro, R. L., Kaeli, E., Coletti, K. B., DiMilla, P. A., & Reisberg, R. (2015). The impact of Supplemental Instruction on the performance of male and female engineers in a freshmen chemistry course. Paper presented at the American Society for Engineering Education Annual 122nd Conference, Seattle, WA. Retrieved from http://scholar.google.com/scholar_url?url=http://www.asee.org/file_server/papers/attachment/file/0005/7218/2015ASEEPaperFinal2BSubmitted__1_.pdf&hl=en&sa=X&scisig=AAGBfm2RUFrbH8ykmIPHWOz8V_XntzKToQ&nossl=1&oi=scholaralrt

    This study used statistical analysis to examine correlations between first year engineering students’ use of SI and their performance in a required general chemistry course at Northeastern University. Overall we found that students who used SI were more motivated in General Chemistry than their counterparts. We also draw the following specific conclusions from our data: Students who were more confident that they would receive a high grade in General Chemistry at the beginning of the course had a higher average grade threshold for seeking SI. Students who sought SI exhibited a positive correlation between grade threshold for seeking help outside the classroom and final grade received. Females who used SI had significantly higher grades than females who did not.  SI in the form of Chem Central, the Connections Chemistry Review, and the COE Tutoring Office were all found to have the potential to have a significant positive impact on students’ grades. Students who did not use SI were significantly more likely to skip lecture than students who do attend SI. Increased absenteeism in lecture was associated with lower final grades in both fall 2013 and fall 2014. Females were more likely to attend lecture regularly than males. When extra credit incentives were offered to attend lecture, both genders skipped significantly fewer lectures and received significantly higher grades.  We believe the results we have found regarding relationships between students’ use of SI and their success in General Chemistry for Engineers can be applied to improve SI across the freshman engineering curriculum. For example, as Chem Central, the Connections Chemistry Review, and the COE tutoring office were all found to have a positive impact on students’ grades, resources like these could be created to help freshman students in their other courses. Further study of possible interaction effects among these and other variables for which we have data are ongoing. Our results also show that the students who often skip lecture are the students who do not take advantage of resources for SI and receive lower course grades. These may be students who need additional advising and mentoring during their freshman year in order to succeed. The issues raised are important topics of focus for future work in order to gain a further understanding of the impact of SI on freshman engineering students.

    To download the annotated bibliography of more than 1,100 citations of postsecondary peer cooperative learning programs, click the following link, http://z.umn.edu/peerbib

    Wednesday
    Apr272016

    Online Peer Assisted Learning: Reporting on practice

    Watts, H., Makis, M., & Billingham, O. (2015). Online Peer Assisted Learning: Reporting on practice. Journal of Peer Learning, 8(1), 85-104. Retrieved from http://ro.uow.edu.au/ajpl/vol8/iss1/8/

    Peer Assisted learning (PAL) in-class is well-established and flourishing in higher education across the globe; nevertheless, interest is growing in online versions and is reflected by a number of pilot schemes. These programs have responded to perceived and actual needs of students and institutions; they have explored the available software packages and have begun to create a bank of learning through academic publications, institutional reports, evaluations, and SINET listserv discussions. This paper examines existing online PAL practice from Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA, and focuses on synchronous modes. We discuss (a) the context, mode, and scope of online PAL, and (b) implementation considerations. Despite some “teething problems” of these pilots we are convinced by the early and so far limited explorations highlighted here that online PAL can make a significant contribution to learners in higher education by improving engagement through the flexibility afforded by the online space.

    To download the complete annotated bibliography of more than 1,100 citations of postsecondary peer cooperative learning programs, click on the following link, http://z.umn.edu/peerbib