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THE PROMISE OF CONTEXTUALIZING READING & STUDY SKILLS Juliet Scherer, Professor of English DWSST August 31, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "THE PROMISE OF CONTEXTUALIZING READING & STUDY SKILLS Juliet Scherer, Professor of English DWSST August 31, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE PROMISE OF CONTEXTUALIZING READING & STUDY SKILLS Juliet Scherer, Professor of English DWSST August 31, 2011

2 The Model Student  Top highest-enrolled, highest-failed courses at Meramec.  Provides a one-chapter model of active reading and separate notes to instructors/students on the actual text used in the content class, contextualizing basic skills.  Encourages creative/personal variation on the models.  Includes “Student Success Tips” throughout that serve the function of metacognitive coaching.

3 The Making of The Model Student 1) Identified faculty leaders/chairs told about desire to create the models. Permission granted. 2) High-use sections identified & texts obtained from bookstore. 3) Focus identified, materials scanned & manipulated. 4) Chapter read & digitally highlighted/annotated. 5) Separate notes created. 6) PDF’d with instructions/suggestions for use. 7) Electronically sent to all faculty utilizing the text.





8 AtD Catalysts for Proposing TMS  Distance: Transferability of dev. ed. RDG skills to content courses impinged under “dev. ed, then 100+” structure.  Demand: (pace, juggling multiple 100+-level courses, & environment) between dev ed RDG instruction & 100+ application are great (but can be successfully bridged).  1-semester, post-dev ed. RDG “incubator effect” lost. “I thought they already took reading!”  Modeling and contextualizing basic skills are two proven methods for increasing student success, supporting students who don’t naturally intuit the “how to” of reading & learning, and developing life-long learners.

9 Assumptions  Most college students were not encouraged to actively read in their high school texts.  Many students arrive at STLCC unaware of/unpracticed in active reading, separate note-taking, multiple source management, and effective study techniques.  Many content faculty do not have the time/inclination to prepare active reading/SS models like TMS specific to their content and/or may not consider it their responsibility to provide reading/SS instruction.

10 Hypotheses  If provided, faculty will provide TMS to their students and encourage students to employ TMS techniques.  Students exposed to TMS models will experience increased success by both enhancing their text management and study skills and by performing better academically.

11 Method & Participants  F 2010 end-of-semester survey of students in 5 sections of a Gen Ed course (N=117)  non-intervention, baseline academic literacy behaviors &  test assumption that K-12 does not generally encourage active reading.  SP 2011 pre/post survey of academic literacy behaviors students w/ TMS (N=197) and without (N=24) in sections of a Gen Ed course.

12 Methods & Participants, cont.  13 TMS faculty participated in a survey.  Descriptive statistics on historical (F 07 – F 10) & current (SP 11) grade distributions for TMS sections and non-TMS sections of a Gen Ed course. SP 2011 TMS (n=374), SP 2011non-TMS (n=340); Hist. TMS profs’ sections (n= 3029) v. Hist. Non-TMS (n= 2797)

13 Data Analysis  F 2010 survey: descriptive statistics & within- question constant comparison. Results helped shape TMS and pertinent data shared with TMS faculty.  SP 2011 pre/post: descriptive statistics & within- question constant comparison.

14 Data Analysis, cont.  Faculty surveys: descriptive statistics & within- question constant comparison.  Historical v. SP 2011 grade distributions: descriptive statistics.

15 Limitations of the Study  Only short-term data currently available to measure what is designed to be a campus culture-changing and life-long student development strategy.  Comparatively small control group on some measures. (An adequate control group will be measured this fall.)

16 Notable Results: Fall 2010 Post-Survey n = 117, 5 sections of the Gen Ed Course  Were you encouraged in HS to Highlight? Y = 30 (25.6%)N = 87 (74.3%) Property rights 52/87 (59.7%) Sacred 8/87 (9%)  Did you highlight your text? Y = 25 (21.3%)N = 92 (78.6%) Sell Back 31/87 (35.6%)  Did you take separate notes? Y = 93 (79.4%)N = 24 (20.5%)

17 Notable Results: Spring 2011 Pre/Post Survey N=197, 5 sections of Gen Ed Course  Were you encouraged in HS to Highlight? Y = 40 (20.3%)N = 157 (79.6%) Property rights? 150/197 (76.1%) Sacred? 24/197 (12%)  Did you highlight your text? Y = 86 (43.6%)N = 111 (56.3%) Sell Back? 39/197 (19.7%)  Did you take separate notes? Y = 151/197 (76.6%)N = 46 (23.3%)

18 Notable Results, F ’10 v. SP ‘11 Students in sections that received TMS models reported active reading rates greater than TWICE those in sections that did not.

19 F ‘10 non-TMS v. SP ‘11 TMS

20  Active reading behavioral commitment higher pre/post in TMS receivers.  Conversion rate slightly higher among TMS receivers. Notable Results: SP 2011 Pre/Post

21 What pre/post changes in active reading were observed? 58

22  Separate note-taking behavioral commitment higher pre/post in TMS receivers.  Conversion rate higher among TMS receivers. Notable Results: SP 2011 Pre/Post

23 What pre/post changes in separate note-taking were observed? n = 197, 5 sections with TMS n = 24, 1 section without TMS

24 F ‘10 non-TMS v. SP ‘11 TMS v. SP ‘11 non-TMS

25 Notable Results, SP ’11 Pre/Post  Those encouraged in HS registered higher rates of a) planning to actively read and b) following through.  Higher behavioral commitment maintained by those encouraged.

26 Notable Results: SP 2011 Pre/Post Suggested connection between encouragement and behavior.

27 Notable Results: SP ‘11 v. F ‘10 With no access to TMS models, F ‘10 active reading rate at 37% if you were encouraged in HS to actively read and only 16% if you were not.

28 Notable Results: SP ’11 v. F ‘10 Suggested connection between encouragement and behavior.

29 Notable Results: SP 2011 Pre/Post N sizes ranged from on these measures, depending upon how many students replied.

30 Notable Results: SP 2011 Pre/Post Of the 41/186 (22%) who said they did not want more TMS:  43% expressed already possessing well-established study skills and/or learning enough from one TMS that more was not needed.  19% still reported being encouraged by TMS to actively read in the Gen Ed course.  14% reported being encouraged to actively read elsewhere by TMS.  2 converted to actively reading after saying they wouldn’t.

31  Planning to sell your book back appears to be correlated with a lower active reading rate.  But it appears that receiving TMS models and the pro-active reading bookstore policy mediates and enhances rates for sellers & non-sellers. Notable Results: F ‘10 v. SP ‘11

32 Suggested connection between selling back and not actively reading.

33 Notable Results: SP 2011 Pre/Post 11/39

34 Qualitative Findings  Pervasive attitudinal barriers/misinformation about text ownership to overcome: HS v. college text usage, buying v. renting ($$), sacredness v. willingness to actively reading. The good news: those who owned it, owned it.  Rental policies and students’ misperceptions of rental policies negatively affects active reading rates.  “Force of habit.” Positive relationship observed between active readers and past positive experience. Likewise with inactivity and little to no prior experience.  Time comments split between “Didn’t have time” to “Helps me study more efficiently.” College enrollees v. genuine learners.

35 Qualitative Findings, cont.  “That’s not how I learn.” The confident and developed are distinguishing and willing to reject TMS.  Some faculty may be providing access to such comprehensive notes/PPTs/study guides, etc., that some students believe/find it is unnecessary to read their texts.  “I would if I knew I could.” Spring 2009 Meramec Bookstore policy that encourages students to highlight/annotate without losing sell-back value on rentals & non-rentals is valuable.  Widespread recognition by students of writing-to-learn benefits, yet many likely lack the skills to accurately summarize and paraphrase college text without the intermediary active reading aid.

36 Faculty Survey Responses

37 Highlights of What Faculty liked about TMS:  “Comprehensive.”  “Students need to be taught how to best prepare for this class. A guide is helpful.”  “I liked the examples of dissecting reading material for better student comprehension.”  “It was just what I have been encouraging students to do for years, but now I had a visual demonstration of it. And it was ‘approachable’ -- it looked like regular handwriting by a regular person, just reading the book, and making notes and circling things and making connections -- not too intimidating. Good stuff! I also loved being able to tell the students, in no uncertain terms, that using the books well won't kill their buyback value!

38 Highlights of What Faculty liked about TMS:  “I liked that the materials were applied directly to the ______ course (as opposed to a generic model).”  “In general, I thought they were good. I had talked to my students about how they need to read BEFORE the lecture, then take notes on the ‘notes’ pages I post on BB from the slides, then go back and reread the chapter focusing on what I discussed in lecture.”  “Oh, I am sure I could think of some tiny way to improve it all if I really thought about it for a long, long time, but why would I want to torture myself? It was good stuff, and I loved it.”  “Several ways to use the Model Student. My SI liked using it in his sessions.”

39 What Faculty Disliked about TMS in Totality:  “I would suggest that these types of files be available at the beginning of the semester.”  “I just hope I remember to post them, use them, refer to them, and keep reminding students again and again during the term for many terms to come. I do wish I had reminded the students about them a couple of times during the term, in case students forgot about them or hadn't been annotating themselves. So, perhaps a little reminder during the semester to connect back to them, so I would remember to tell the students? And then could you also come organize my desk for me too?”  “I am worried that the student will not absorbed (sic) the material in a way to utilize critical thinking.”  “In general I think that it needs to have an additional document that details the process of studying. You show two important pieces, but my students for the most part did not pick up on the fact that they need to deal with the information several times to get proficient with the material.”

40 Translation of Negative Faculty Feedback “TMS is so valuable that I would like to have it up on Bb before the semester starts, and I would like you to remind me to use the models because I am very busy. I appreciate you assisting the students in accessing my content. However, I don’t believe this one set of models goes far enough in cultivating critical thinking. Could you please provide even more accession/study assistance to my students? Juliet, you’re the greatest.”

41 Historical v. SP 2011 Gen Ed Course Grade Distributions Data Set Population Sizes

42 Comparing Grade Distributions  7 grade distribution data pts (A, B, C, C or better, D, F, W - all by % of seats taken)  3 SP 2011 TMS professors x 7 data pts = 21  5 SP 2011 non-TMS professors x 7 data pts = 35  Looking for any increase above the F’07-F’10 avg on data pts C or better and any decrease in D, F, W.

43 SP 2011 better-than-F’07-F’10-average rate of grade distribution change on 7 data points. 14/21 13/35

44 Do you see any remarkable trends?  100% TMS improvement on reducing W %, and increasing C’s & A’s % (v. 20%, 20% & 60%).  66% TMS improvement on C or better% (v. 40%).  Non-TMS did a better job decreasing D’s (60%) & F’s (40%) v. TMS (33% in both cases).

45 The “F” Factor: FACULTY!

46 What did I find particularly promising?  An efficient/effective way to support adjunct faculty. Between 73-82% reached with the models were adjuncts.  Though creating short-term, measurable gains was not the goal of TMS, students provided with TMS outperformed those without the models on nearly every measure of importance.  The Gen Ed course featured in this study wasn’t a top-ten gatekeeper course at Meramec.

47 What did I find particularly promising, cont.?  Faculty seem genuinely pleased to be non-intrusively supported by a skills instructor/learning specialist.  Faculty across the district are engaged in talking about how to contextualize skills & assist their students.  TMS work is a professional development tool as much as it is a student development tool.

48 Conclusions  Students desire to succeed, but many lack basic skills!  Students’ academic engagement behaviors improve when exposed to academic behavior models. Academic achievement appears to increase.  Faculty endorsement/employment of academic behavior models positively influence student behaviors & likely academic performance.

49 Meramec Bookstore Policy “We encourage students to highlight and mark in textbooks to help them succeed in their studies; this will not affect buy back value.”

50 Even for rentals at Meramec… “Yes, marking in the textbook is fine for the rental titles. Please continue to encourage students write and/or highlight in their textbooks to fit their needs.” Thank you, Beth/ MC Bookstore

51 A Typical RDG 100 Student Endorsement “I believe learning how to highlight and annotate was the best skill I learned this semester. Armed with a pen and highlighter, I feel like a warrior and can conquer almost any text. Active reading allows me to interact with the textbook or article until I have digested the material and put it into my own words. Until I took this class, I had never made a mark in a book as I always heard one of my grade school teachers admonishing me about defiling books and school property. I felt almost giddy as I picked up my highlighter and marked that first chapter. I have happily been drawing and marking with abandon ever since. Now I will enter a class with confidence that I can handle the textbook chosen by the professor.”

52 A Common Faculty Response “Thank you, Professor Scherer. This (TMS) is wonderful. I talk my students through utilizing the book toward their advantage, each semester, but if I show them your example, I do believe that they will benefit even further. Thank you again for this information and sharing it with me and my students. It is greatly appreciated.” - a WW professor

53 TMS By the Numbers – Spring 2011  6 full chapters, 5 mini models, & separate notes for all.  4 courses.  118 sections.  3888 students (maximum).

54 TMS Penetration via Meramec – Spring 2011  All 4 campuses reached and both Centers.  86 faculty (15 fulltime - 17%; 71 adjuncts - 82%).  23+ RDG/ENG/MAC Meramec faculty staff. (6 fulltime - 26%; 17 adjuncts - 73%).  8 Supplemental Instructors.  Partnered with 2 FV Academic Center employees to evaluate their support materials and share TMS.

55 TMS Penetration SP ‘11 v. F ‘11


57 TMS Penetration from SP ‘11 v. F ‘11


59 Things We Need Less Of 1) College dropouts/failures with valueless college debt. 2) Unengaged enrollees masquerading as college students. 3) College graduates who cannot think/work/read or write independently/divergently/creatively or critically. 4) One-Trick Ponies: Learn to learn or perish. 5) Unproductive, yet capable, adults who are unable to participate in an advancing global economy.

60 Things STLCC Needs To Do More Of 1) Raise standards and challenge students. 2) Recognize entrance to 100+-level courses is lowered; therefore, more students will need push-in support. 3) Contextualize basic skills in college-level courses & integrate content into basic skills courses to the greatest extent possible. 4) Prepare lifelong learners who can compete for jobs in today’s society and can adapt for jobs in tomorrow’s. 5) Lead the way. Save America. Change the world. No less.

61 TMS is but one answer; Contextualization is the key.  Upper-level RDG 030 students should be co-enrolled in college-level courses, integrating content in RDG 030.  MTH & ENG should also investigate contextualization.  All viable iterations for contextualizing basic skills in content courses and integrating content into dev ed courses should be investigated.  All four campuses should consider employing TMS for their top-twenty highest-enrolled/highest-failed.

62 Contact Information Juliet K. Scherer Professor of English CN

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