Univ Design Lear (UDL)

Tactics That Engage Community-College Students Get Few Takers, Study Finds

"Most community colleges have begun using a suite of expert-approved strategies to get more students to graduation. But those programs are often just window dressing, as relatively few students participate in them.  Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/10/17/community-college-completion-strategies-lack-scale-report-finds#ixzz2hzE3Mnqe  at Inside Higher Ed

That’s the central finding of a new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement. And Kay McClenney, the center’s director, places blame for the shallow adoption of “high impact” completion practices squarely on colleges and their leaders, rather than on students.  “Requiring students to take part in activities likely to enhance their success is a step community colleges can readily take,” McClenney said in a written statement. “They just need to decide to do it.”  The study draws from three national surveys that seek to measure student engagement at community colleges that collectively account for 80 percent of the sector’s enrollment. One is the center’s flagship survey -- the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE)....The 13 strategies include the use of academic goal-setting, student orientation, tutoring, accelerated remedial education tracks and student success courses (see box for full list). While experts and faculty members might not agree on whether all of the practices work well, there is an emerging body of evidence that they help boost completion rates.

For example, 84 percent of two-year colleges offer student success courses, which are designed to help new students navigate college and get off to a good start. The courses are particularly helpful to large numbers of lower-income, first-generation college students who attend community college, and who rarely get the support of family members who know the skinny on how college works.  Yet only 20 percent of surveyed students took a success courses during their first term, according to the report.  The other 12 practices showed similar gaps between being offered and being used. Take tutoring, which has obvious benefits to struggling students. Fully 99 percent of the surveyed colleges offer some form of tutoring, but the report found that only 27 percent of students had taken advantage of it during the current academic year."

Asking students to volunteer for service will not work.  They don[t want to face stigma for doing so, they don[t have time for activities that conflict with their two or three part time jobs they have to pay for tuition, and for all the others commitments in their life.  The solution is Universal Design for Learning where essential services and support are built directly into classes and required for all students. 

Disruptive Innovation: Embedding Learning Technology into the Classroom (Kellogg Institute Workshop)

On July  15 and 16 I presented a workshop at the Kellogg Institute on embeding learning technology within the classroom and campus learning center.  Click on this link to connect with a special web page that contains all the handouts, PP slides, and web links to other resources.  Most of the technologies shared are those I actually use with my gobal history course at the University of Minnesota.  Others are ones that I plan to pilot text over the upcoming years.

One basic principle to remember when contemplating use of a new learning technology is a basic one, why?  How will the technology help achieve student outocmes better than what is currently used?  How difficult will it be for the instructor and the students to use the technology?  Students have told me repeatedly that they like learning technology in the classroom as long as it is meaningful.  Never make the assumtion that it is easy for students to use without tutorials and support.  It is a learning curve for both the instructor and the students.

I am geeky by nature, but make a point to conduct focus groups with students before I introduce new technologies into the classroom.  These focus groups often give me insights into new emerging technologies that they are using that could be adapated for use within the classroom.  It has taken me a decade to add the learning technolgoies into my class, generally no more than one new thing during an academi semester.  I hope you find one or two ideas to experiment with from all the materials provided through this web site.  Best wishes with your work.

Embedding Universal Learning Design in the Classroom Workshop, Maricopa Community College System, June 4, 2013

On June 4th I conducted a workshop with a group of educators from the Maricopa Community College System in Arizona on how to embed Universal Learning Design in the Classroom and within Student Services.  Below are links to some of the resources shared during the workshop that help explore this topic.

Click on this web link for a separate web page of all the resources shared during the conference.

Additional resources are available through a blog page maintained on this topic.  The web site contains audio interviews with some peer study group leaders, links to online resources, and links to training programs from nationally-known organizations.  Click on the following web link, PALgroups.

Intentional Teaching Conference, 05/22/13, Eau Claire, WI

On Wednesday May 22, 2013 th I provided an online presentation for a 2nd annual gathering of Wisconsin college developmental educators and others involved with college student success.  The host institution was Chippewa Valley Technical College. The following items were referenced through the keynote and concurrent presentations and may be helpful as the reader explores this topic. Click on the web link to download.

Click on this link to open a web page of links to resources shared during the keynote and concurrent conference sessions.

Additional resources are available through a blog page maintained on this topic.  The web site contains audio interviews with some peer study group leaders, links to online resources, and links to training programs from nationally-known organizations.  Click on the following web link, PALgroups.

2012 OADE Conference Keynote Talk Resources


I have taught history courses for over three decades. It has been a long journey to provide a better learning environment for my students. Universal Learning Design allows me to embed best practices of learning assistance and developmental education inside my classroom. I am responsible for doing my part to support student success rather than just sending students down the hall and across the campus to locate tutoring or study group programs.

It is a delight to share some resources related to my online keynote talk I shared Friday morning. The following items are available to download.

Click on this link for PowerPoint slide handout of the presentation.

Click on this link to download ULD book edited by Higbee and Goff

Click on this link to download Pedagogy and student services for institutional transformation: Implementation guidebook for student development programs and services.

Click on this like to download Pedagogy and student services for institutional transformation: Implemenation guidebook for faculty members.

Take care,