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1 Making College Readiness Real David T. Conley, Ph.D. Director, Center for Educational Policy Research Professor University of Oregon.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Making College Readiness Real David T. Conley, Ph.D. Director, Center for Educational Policy Research Professor University of Oregon."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Making College Readiness Real David T. Conley, Ph.D. Director, Center for Educational Policy Research Professor University of Oregon

2 2 Overview of This Session  This session is organized around three tasks that can help schools organize in ways that support student success in college  Each group is to select one of the tasks to focus upon during the two hours available to work  The goal is for each group to produce an actionable plan that seeks to implement one or more of the three suggested tasks  The session begins with a brief overview of the three tasks and related issues.  Groups work for 2 hours on a task they select  Session concludes with a summary of the key issues considered and results generated from each group

3 3 The Three Task Options  Improving Student Transitions  Can exit-level high school courses be designed to connect better with the best of entry-level college courses?  More Challenging Senior-Year Courses  Can senior-year high school courses be more engaging and challenging to prepare students better for college?  Developing Placement Data  Could joint assignments and grading criteria be developed and used in exit-level high school and entry-level college courses?  Could the data from such assignments be used for placement purposes?

4 4 Improving Student Transitions: Overview  Think about pedagogy in “best practices” entry- level college courses and how that matches with exit-level high school classes  Examine Ch. 7 and Ch. 8 in College Knowledge, which reviews some exemplary undergraduate general education programs  Share your own experiences regarding exemplary college programs for undergraduates  Discuss commonalities between best practices college and high school courses

5 5 Improving Student Transitions: Task  How can the best of college curriculum and instructional methods and practices be connected with the best of high school curriculum and instructional practices?  What is there to be learned from the examples of college general education programs?  How can those lessons be used to suggest changes in exit-level high school and entry-level college programs?  Specifically, how can the last semester of high school and the first quarter or semester experience in college be designed to support students’ successful transition?  How can the high school program then be aligned better with the best of the college general education program?

6 6 More Challenging Senior-Year Courses: Overview  Think about designing senior courses that are more challenging  Review pages in Ch. 5, Ch. 17, and Appendix A in College Knowledge  “Senior Seminar” concept in which the exit-level high school course begins to approximate the challenge level, pace, and expectations of a college course (without mimicking AP courses that attempt to be college-level courses taught in high school)

7 7 More Challenging Senior-Year Courses (Senior Seminars): Task  What are the critical attributes for college readiness that can be built into a senior-level course that is still teaching high school-level material?  How can the challenge level in senior-year courses be set at a level that is appropriate to prepare the student for a successful transition to entry-level college courses?  What should the pace be?  What should the grading criteria be?  Which key “habits of mind” should be developed?

8 8 Developing Placement Data: Overview  Think about placement data that could help inform exit and entry- level expectations  Identify a series of tasks, assignments, etc., that could be given in high school courses that would yield key placement data  Consult Appendix A and Part Three in College Knowledge for examples of possible knowledge and skill areas  Develop a list of no more than ten items that would yield information key to placement  Devise assignments that would yield that information in high school and that could be used by college faculty for placement purposes  Ideally, the information that would be transmitted from high school to college and be used by both high school students and college instructors to gain awareness of student college readiness

9 9 Developing Placement Data: Task 1.Identify an assignment that could be given in high school but will yield info useful for placement into entry-level college course 2.Develop the grading criteria jointly  Think about what criteria would be useful to signal to students their readiness for college and also provide information to college instructor when student gets to college 3.Determine how the information can be transmitted from high school to college and used by instructors in entry-level courses

10 10 Methods for ECHS to Analyze Challenge Level Overall and in Individual Courses  Techniques that high schools can use in partnership with higher education to analyze course content against college readiness standards  Techniques that high schools can use by themselves to analyze course content against college readiness standards and to diagnose areas in need of change  Techniques that involve an external consultant or facilitator

11 11 Techniques That High Schools Can Use in Partnership With Higher Education  Common scoring sessions  A common assignment is given in both the high school and college course  Papers are then blind-scored by high school and college faculty using the same scoring guide  Results are compared and papers are arrayed to see how many high school students are doing college-level work and vice versa  This is primarily a way to calibrate expectations among teachers rather than score papers

12 12 Techniques That High Schools Can Use by Themselves or With External Facilitator  Self-reported behaviors in relation to college readiness standards  Using the Alignment and Challenge Audit (ACA) tool, teachers simply report what they are doing relative to college readiness standards  This generates a profile of self-reported behaviors  Use ACA tool with external reviewers determining alignment of hs courses with college readiness standards  Provides a more objective view of alignment

13 13 Gauging the Overall Development and Progression of Challenge Levels  Some of the things that can be done:  Gradually increase frequency of assignments (not always length of papers)  Gradually increase quality expectations (much higher standards in 12th grade than 9th grade)  Emphasize thinking skills and strategies systematically in greater depth each year from 9th to 12th grade  Argumentation, analysis, interpretation, rules of evidence, precision, written expression (particularly expository writing), informational texts

14 14 Big Picture Components of Aligning Across High School and College  Standards that specify exit-level high school skills and entry-level college expectations  More communication between high school and college faculty regarding grading practices  Awareness by high schools of placement practices at receiving colleges  Emphasis on thinking skills  Content as both ends and means  How experts in the subject area think  Deep mastery of core elements of a subject area

15 15 Elements Frequently Missing From High School Programs of Study  English  Informational texts  Charts, graphs, tables (read, interpret)  Research skills  Evaluate sources (e.g., appropriateness of Internet sources (credibility, bias)  Plagiarism  Argumentation (document claims, assertions)  Math  Multi-step and non-routine problem solving  Proper uses of calculator (systematic trial-and-error problem solving)  Estimation and comparing solutions to what’s reasonable  Inductive and deductive reasoning

16 16 Elements Frequently Missing From High School Programs of Study  Science  Precision in observation, measurement, and reporting of findings  Connecting science and math  Science as a method and process  Social sciences  Interpreting sources  Comparing competing explanations or claims  Understanding historical themes

17 17 Habits of the Mind- Science  The bulleted statements identify the key habits of mind in four science and three history subject areas  Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics:  Values and Attitudes  Communication Skills  Critical-Response Skills  Critical-Response Skills  Systems  Systems  Models  Models  Constancy and Change  Constancy and Change  The Scientific World View  Scientific Inquiry  Scientific Inquiry  Scientific Enterprise

18 18 Habits of the Mind- History  European, US, World History  Use of Evidence to Support Interpretation and Argumentation  Identification and Evaluation of Sources, including Document Analysis  Written and Oral Expression, including Discussion  Multiple Causation  Comparison and Difference  Continuity and Change  Structure, Purpose, and Evolution of History

19 19 General Strategies to Improve Student Readiness for College Coursework  More deliberate monitoring of pacing with gradual increase in pacing from year to year  Clearer identification of what is foundational and truly important in each subject area and attention to ensuring mastery and retention of these elements  Conscious development of key habits of mind through courses throughout a sequence or subject area  Conscious connections and linkages between and across courses and subject areas in ways that build deeper mastery of content and development of habits of mind

20 20 General Strategies to Improve Student Readiness for College Coursework  Assignments requiring deeper levels of thought such as analysis, synthesis, or interpretation  More frank feedback to students on the quality of their work coupled with opportunities for students to act upon the feedback  More demanding grading criteria implemented consistently across the school  Grading systems that provide enough early warning so students can seek help or change behaviors  Common schoolwide grading criteria that define  the conditions under which extended time lines or modifications are allowed  the uses and limits of extra credit  the limits of non-academic components  the conditions under which a grade may be changed

21 21 Creating a Simulation of College Work  For 9 weeks the pace of work (although not necessarily the difficulty) parallels what students will encounter in college  Then 9 weeks back to a high school pace  during which they diagnose how well they handled the more rapid pace and expectations, and learn and practice how to do better next time  Then they go back to 9 weeks “on” again with increased pacing, higher expectations

22 22 Techniques That Involve an External Consultant or Facilitator  Course Analysis Audit  Course syllabi are submitted for all college prep courses  In many cases, however, this requires teachers to develop syllabus more fully  Teachers also self-report in relation to college readiness standards  Syllabi are then rated by external raters who are all college faculty  They compare syllabi to college readiness standards  Results are reported as a profile of alignment and appropriate level of challenge

23 23 Syllabus Generation Tool  Having all courses with high quality, detailed course syllabi that specify desired learning outcomes, habits of mind developed, and means of assessment and grading is critical to improving college readiness and course alignment  The Syllabus Generation Tool is a means to create syllabi that follow a consistent format (with differing content) for all courses in a high school

24 24 Example: Overall Coverage of KSUS Standards: English

25 25 Example: Standard with Redundant Coverage

26 26 Example: Standard with Uneven Coverage

27 27 Example: Standard with Low Coverage


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