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

     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.


    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.




    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

    “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.


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


    Impact of Linked Learning Communities with Higher Student Outcomes


    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.


    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.

    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.]


    Advocating for Buildup of American Airpower, 1943, Disney

    Following is a description from another YouTuber who shared the video, "This is a unique film in Disney Production's history. This film is essentially a propaganda film selling Major Alexander de Seversky's theories about the practical uses of long range strategic bombing. Using a combination of animation humorously telling about the development of air warfare, the film switches to the Major illustrating his ideas could win the war for the allies." I found the 1943 insightful more for future innovations with airpower than its immediate goals. It forecasts the use of weapons of mass destruction which was demonstrated by dropping the A Bomb, fighter bombers based in the U.S. with capacity to hit military targets throughout the world. Some of the B1 and B2 bombers in the Iraq War were based in Missouri. This video starts a little slow so hold on for the second half. It is remarkable.

    Robin Williams and the American Flag

    There are lots of media remembrances of Robin Williams who left us all much too soon. A friend shared a like to this YouTube video. Mr. Williams had the ability to mix humor and pathos at the same time for a meaningful and enjoyable message.