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“ … because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are.

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Presentation on theme: "“ … because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are."— Presentation transcript:

1 “ … because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. ” -- Donald Rumsfeld

2 Bill Wischusen Assoc. Chair, Introductory Biology LSU Dept. of Biological Sciences Sheri Wischusen Director of Retention LSU BLC Webinar II: Biology Intensive Orientation for Students (BIOS) 2

3 The “Why”, “How” and “What” of BIOS, a 5-day self-funded content- specific academic boot camp Overview 3

4 Why? Have you ever had a student who failed your first exam say that they ….. ? 4

5 “Why” do freshmen struggle, especially on the first exam? Years of success College is 13 th grade They are 18 and very (overly?) confident 5

6 The result is: they perform poorly on their first exam or two they blame others for their poor performance they drop the course or earn a low grade they change majors

7 BIOS Program Structure 5 days Built around course content and exams Study skills and learning styles support Learning communities formation LSU orientation

8 BIOS was designed to allow students to: Get a preview of the content Make mistakes ---that don’t count Learn and practice new study skills Meet and work with other students Meet and work with university faculty and staff Get a feel for the “Pace of College Life” 8

9 Sunday 12:00 pm Housing Check-in 3:00 pm Program check-in, and Dinner 7:00 pm Orientation (Introduction, Content Lecture 1) Content Exams Study Skills Learning Community-building LSU orientation

10 Monday Morning 7:00 Breakfast 8:00 Content Lecture 2 10:00 Break 10:30 Study Skills Discussion 1, note taking, listening and metacognition Afternoon 12:00 Lunch 1:00 Student Discussion 1, student organizations & BASC 2:00 Group Work 4:00 Content Lecture 3 5:30 Dinner 6:15 Graduate Mentor Research Presentations 7:30 Lab Tours Content Exams Study Skills Learning Community-building LSU orientation, comfort level, help

11 Tuesday Morning 7:00 Breakfast & Review 8:00 Exam 1 9:30 Content Lecture 4 11:00 Learning Strategies Discussion 2 Afternoon 12:00 Lunch 1:00 Discussion of Exam Results 2:00 Study time/group work 4:00 Content Lecture 5 5:30 Dinner 6:15 Graduate Mentor Research Presentations 7:30 Lab Tours Content Exams Study Skills Learning Community-building LSU orientation, comfort level, help

12 Wednesday Morning 7:00 Breakfast 8:30 Content Lecture 6 10:00 Student Discussion 2 11:00 Lunch/Lab Afternoon 3:00 Study Time 4:00 Content Lecture 7 5:30 Dinner (faculty visits) 6:30 Graduate Mentor Research Presentations 7:30 Lab Tours Content Exams Study Skills Learning Community-building LSU orientation, comfort level, help

13 Thursday Morning 7:00 Breakfast and Review 8:00 Exam 2 9:30 Content Lecture 8 11:00 Student Discussion 3, how do I survive? Money Matters, Student Health Center Afternoon 12:00 Lunch 1:00 Discussion of Exam Results 2:00 Study Time/group Work 4:00 Content Lecture 9 5:30 Dinner 6:30 Graduate Mentor Research Presentations 7:30 Lab Tours Content Exams Study Skills Learning Community-building LSU orientation, comfort level, help

14 Friday Morning 7:00 Breakfast & Review 8:00 Exam 3 10:30 How to be a Student Session 4, Undergraduate Research. What comes after you graduate? 11:30 Final Exam Results Afternoon 1:00 Awards Luncheon and Closing Ceremonies 3:00 Checkout of dorm Content Exams Study Skills Learning Community-building LSU orientation, comfort level, help

15 Groups Introductory Biology Course/Section

16 So what are the results from the first 6 years of this program? 16 Before we show our data, what is the basic success rate in your introductory course?

17 Success in Core Courses 17

18 Retention to the 2 nd Year 18

19 Retention in the Major 19

20 4-Year Graduation Rate 20

21 BIOS Keys to Success 1)Focus content material on a specific course directly related to their major. 2) Use real exams. 3) Group the students in small groups. 4) Infuse the program with study skills training. 5) Involve the faculty who teach the introductory course. 21

22 Conclusions BIOS participants performed significantly better than control students in introductory biology. The percentage of BIOS students on-track was significantly higher than the control group. Similarly their retention rate in the major was also greater than that of the control group. The 4-year graduation rate was also significantly higher than the control

23 Conclusions In answers to the qualitative questions in the Exit Evaluation and post-program focus groups BIOS participants indicated that they: learned valuable study habits felt more comfortable about starting college than they had before BIOS. Based on student comments they have formed and sustained study groups, i.e. “learning communities,” through their freshman year.

24 Acknowledgements 24

25 Questions? 25 Wischusen, S. M., E. W. Wischusen, and S. M. Pomarico Impact of a Short Pre-Freshman Program on Retention. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice, 12 (4): Wischusen, S. M. and E. W. Wischusen CBE Life Sciences Education 6:


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