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Sam Giordanengo, Hawai’i Community College

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1 Accomplishing Reform Through Course Redesign: How Faculty Driven Processes Improve Student Success
Sam Giordanengo, Hawai’i Community College Terri Manning, ATD Data Coach Darlene Pabis, Westmoreland County Community College Trish Schade, Northern Essex Community College

2 Course Reform …..Viewpoint
Students are there to learn the content. They should be “college-ready.” Students should adapt to me. I should not have to adjust my course or methods for them. Not a lot of energy is given to: Retention strategies First year experiences Developing “good student skills”

3 When a New Student Arrives
It’s their first semester. They complete their admissions form. Attend orientation (if required), go through placement testing (if required) and see a counselor/advisor (if required)…. and then they register. What do they want to take? Their general education requirements Their developmental courses - many are advised into developmental, but don’t take them Maybe a freshman experience course Maybe one major course if allowed

4 They arrive in your course ….
What is their expectation of these courses? We make them take a set of general education courses. Why? Why don’t we let them go straight to the major courses and graduate sooner? What do we expect them to accomplish? What skills should they exit these courses with?

5 Connections How do we take their current skills, attitudes and behaviors and move them toward the threshold of where we want them to be? How can you connect “college skills or good student skills” to the content of your course? Are there differences between activities or content geared toward retention and those geared toward improving academic skills?

6 Course Reform - Some Examples
Support activities Offer supplemental instruction, service learning opportunities, tutoring, and study groups. Create a series of success workshops (offered through the tutoring center, library or student success center) and require students attend a set number of them as part of their grade Create learning communities or linked classes. Implement an Early Alert System to ensure that struggling students get help.

7 Others, cont. Curriculum and pedagogy
Make instruction in gatekeeper courses more related to real life experiences.  Use techniques such as active/collaborative learning, mini learning communities in the class, and computer-assisted labs. Establish learning competencies and share them with students. Allow retesting in courses with sequential content so students can master it.

8 Others, cont. Institute “class conferencing” in classes – instructors meet with students individually on a regular basis. Used grading rubrics for all assignments and give students a copy beforehand. Faculty development Offer professional development for faculty who teach gatekeeper courses. Let the faculty with great success teach these workshops. Focus on retention techniques, improving academic skills and student engagement

9 Others, cont. Next Steps Work with faculty across disciplines to increase the basic skills. How do the paralegal faculty teach students to become better writers? How do the culinary faculty improve computational skills? How do the Nursing faculty improve critical thinking skills in students? Why do they think this is your job and not theirs?

10 What Do We Need to Know? Are students mastering the content – meeting the learning outcomes? (by this, I mean “how many students meet each learning outcome?) If yes, then we must address support services, the institutional culture and environment, the delivery method. If no, then we need to rethink our pedagogy – how we are teaching these courses. Maybe we should break down the curriculum differently.

11 As Gatekeeper Faculty…
How do we address their lack of skills? How do we make them better students and teach content? How can we address content in other ways than the faculty lecturing or teaching it? Today, all content is on the internet. How can we use that to our advantage (they don’t have to get it from you)?

12 Gatekeeper Faculty Have more power to influence students than any other group of faculty on the campus (but they don’t often recognize it.) Are some of the most dedicated and conscientious faculty on the campus. Typically know what is going on everywhere. But they all live quite nicely in separate ivory towers (never see themselves as one faculty with one purpose.) When a student exits my course, I never see them again.

13 Course Reform from Three Colleges
Three different colleges Hawai’i Community College, Hilo Hawaii Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood, Pennsylvania Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, Massachusetts Three different types of courses A gatekeeper – history course A developmental – reading course A student success course – college skills

14 The Process in Hawaii Hawai’i Community College, Hilo, Hawaii
Our course had been placed on the gatekeeper list (high enrolled, low success) The two full time history faculty members were new to the Island of Hawai‘i (one was from eastern Washington state the other from New York City) The part-time instructors had, in some cases, served the college for over 20 years We knew we had cultural issues to address We wanted to include the Hawai‘i Life Styles faculty and counselors as well as our academic dean We also knew that we needed to incorporate the Hawaiian culture into how we taught our classes Through an instate innovation grant we were able to pay the lecturers for their time, provide some makana (gifts) for the guests, and have a retreat off campus (hotel on the other side of the island)

15 Process in Hawaii, cont. Once we were all in the same room we talked about what each of us did in the classroom, pedagogy, theory of history, and what we saw as weaknesses and strength of our teaching We also invited a national expert on how the Millennial Generation behaved in the college as compared to our generations (Boomers and Xʻers) At the end of the weekend we pledged to change how we approached our students and how we conducted our classes. One year later we met to report on our progress. Later that year we were told that history was off the gatekeeper list

16 The Process in Pennsylvania Westmoreland County Community College
Westmoreland did not have true common courses. Faculty teaching any given course, taught different subject matter and with different methodologies. Decided this wasn’t working. First, we evaluated our Accuplacer ‘cut-off’ scores (used the Nelson Denny to correlate the change). We developed new cut scores for reading. The fulltime faculty reviewed the syllabi of all adjunct faculty to begin to provide consistency within all sections of reading courses. Changed delivery of reading courses: data suggested that 3 and ½ hour block classes were not providing the retention and persistence. Collaborated with adjunct faculty on “best practices” and some came in a taught the fulltime faculty how they taught certain concepts Developed a “common exit exam’ that measured the course objectives. Developed a ‘common mid-term exam’ to assist in remediation before the final/exit exam was given. We created common technology with pre diagnostics

17 The Process in Massachusetts, Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, MA
The ATD First Year Experience strategy team (faculty, staff and administrators) determined the overall goals for a student success course An approved 3-credit College Success Seminar was already being offered; however, the course did not have an administrative support structure, and was taught by only a few faculty and staff. Students were free to take the course regardless of where they were in their program. The team decided two things; to re-work the existing College Success Seminar using the same course description but with updated goals and outcomes. A small cohort of first-year students with two developmental course placements was selected for the pilot.

18 Process in Massachusetts, cont.
A curriculum committee was formed representing the science, academic preparation, and English departments who had worked with college success strategies in their courses, and had experience with the target population of students with developmental placements The group met monthly and identified key processes already at work at the college to bring shape and meaning to the course. Some of the key pieces of the framework included: Appreciative Inquiry Strengths-based teaching Process Management techniques, and The principles of NCBI (National Coalition Building Institute). The goal was to design a course and instructional system that would allow a cross section of faculty and staff to teach it.

19 Process in Massachusetts, cont.
A common curriculum was established so that we could measure outcomes more easily. The content of the course was designed, textbooks identified, a companion was written, and a website was developed for the course. All course sections used the same curriculum and materials. A evaluation plan (formative and summative) with outcome measures was developed to assess the success of the course and the impact it had on students and instructors.

20 Process in Massachusetts, cont.
A curriculum coordinator was selected for the course for the two-year CSS pilot. Her role was to: recruit new instructors and students, generate awareness of CSS college-wide, manage the data collection and analysis, conduct research of other FYE programs, and to work with the curriculum committee to make informed recommendations for scaling up the CSS course in the future. At the end of the two-year pilot, the committee made some major revisions to the course to improve student engagement, faculty buy-in, and course outcomes.

21 What Was Learned Through the Process
Lessons…… What Was Learned Through the Process

22 Lessons Learned – Hawai’i
We needed to let go of our egos and ask ourselves why we taught the way we did. For example: Why did we have timed tests? Why did we only have a certain number of exams in the year (why not more or less?). Why did we take roll or why did it count towards the grade? Why didn’t we allow students to record a lecture? Why were we so strict on testing make up policy?

23 Lessons…… We needed to let go of the notion that we did things for “job training.” For example: If we counted off points for being late or missing a class we claimed that we were preparing the student for the “real world” so when they got a job they would know to be on time. We came to the conclusion after some debate that it is not our job to teach students about job skills, it is our job to teach them history. The fact was most of our students did live in the real world with a job already, and kids, and elderly relatives that depended on them. They were all full up on “real world” and us having hard line classroom policies that did nothing to further their knowledge of history it just added to their burden.

24 Lessons….. Bringing in local culture was not hard and all that it required was that the teacher be sincere in how they included local culture in the classroom. We needed to listen to our students more and figure out what they were expecting to learn in a history class and for them to be honest about what they saw as the value of history (we eventually had a pre and post class survey that asked 5 questions on the student’s view of what history meant to them).

25 Lesson, Pennsylvania Data suggested that long blocks of time did not provide students with increased persistence and retention – so we followed the data. ‘New cut –off’ scores improved persistence to at least one semester beyond the developmental course. Adjunct faculty wanted to participate and their participation improved by approx.. 65% (based on meetings, data collection, etc.) Common midterms helped students learn - has helped improve the retention of students by identifying weakness by the 8th to 10 week of the semester. Then we address those weaknesses.

26 Lessons, Massachusetts
Small, nimble, thoughtful teams can move a project swiftly along when the right people are at the table. Find those who are really invested in student success and give them the freedom to be creative. (From the coordinator): We learned a lot from our two year pilot: the Strengths Quest focus and Reading Apprenticeship skills and strategies were very impactful and useful for students and faculty. the set curriculum did not work well for all instructors and students. we needed more clearly defined Goals and Outcomes for the course to give instructors the academic freedom to design a course that allowed them to teach to their strengths.

27 Lessons, cont. (From the coordinator): We learned a lot from our two year pilot: we needed to create rubrics by which to measure these goals and outcomes; the rubrics would need to be teaching tools for the teachers and learning tools for the students. a theme, based upon a book like The Other Wes Moore, was essential in making the course more meaningful and effective for teachers and students. a common textbook that includes chapters that directly support each of the goals and outcomes and pertinent information for student success at our specific college was important. This common textbook adds credibility to the course and offers students and instructors a solid base from which to proceed. it is essential to recruit instructors from across disciplines to have broad-based advocacy for the course annual instructor trainings are key to maintaining the integrity of the course and for maintaining a community of teachers that support and encourage each other. The spirit of instructor collaboration is crucial to our program’s success. learning communities linking CSS with another content area course provide a context and the opportunity for immediate application of the skills taught in the CSS course.

28 how would you have done things differently?
If you had known then what you know now…. how would you have done things differently?

29 Comments, Hawai’i I would have had more follow up on pledges that we all said we would implement in the classroom. It was three semesters later that we met again as a department and compared notes as to what we really had done and how it worked out.

30 Comments, Pennsylvania
I believe that understanding ‘data’ was and is crucial to the success of the program We used to make decisions based on “ I feel” or “I believe”, or “I know” (just because I’ve been teaching for x number of years. I think if I would have had more time discussing ‘how to ask the data questions’ I would have saved time. )

31 Comments, Massachusetts
Identify the CSS coordinator from the start and pay her to do the work. At NECC we have wonderful people willing to pitch in- but they should be compensated. This is a very large undertaking and if we want to support faculty they way we want our faculty to support students, then we need to create a structure that demonstrates the institutional commitment to the project. The curriculum committee worked diligently and continues to work together to develop faculty trainings. In most cases, we are still doing this as an add-on to the rest of our work and responsibilities.  (From the coordinator): I am not sure I would do many things differently. I think we had to go through the process we went through to learn what worked for our college and the student population. I can’t imagine how else we would have gathered the wisdom we found in trial and experimentation. We learned a lot about what worked well and what didn’t work well, and we did a lot of careful measuring to be sure our changes were informed and sound.

32 Comments, Massachusetts
My only regret ….at the start of implementing the two year pilot is that I did not have the breadth of knowledge I have now about FYE scholarship. I still have a long way to go in terms of learning from the current scholarship on student success, but I work hard to build my knowledge base on what is current in FYE scholarship. If I had had the opportunity to study this scholarship before I became the CSS coordinator, I think I would have done some things differently, or been less stressed about certain aspects of the course.

33 Putting on your teaching hat……
What two or three things are most critical when working with and motivating faculty to accept and be a catalyst for course redesign?

34 Comments from Hawai’i Getting over the fear of change and the excuse to not change “But we’ve always done it that way!” If something in the classroom is not working then it needs to be changed. Faculty need to know that our students are not us. That is, they might be in our class just to graduate and don’t care about the content exactly. It is not personal they are not going to spend their lives in academia… like us. ;-) Pride and ego can crush students and prevent them from success. Changing a class that you teach in order to reach more students requires really putting the student first.

35 Comments from Pennsylvania
At first, faculty thought that AtD was the latest ‘educational buzz’ word. We had to prove that accountability was critical to success in business and also is critical to retention and persistence in college. Keeping the “idea alive.” We discussed AtD at most faculty meetings, general college meetings and in the college paper. Getting the ‘right people on the bus’!!! The people who were invited to become part of the AtD initiative had to be people who were open minded and non-resistant. If the administration didn’t buy into the initiative and select the people who were willing to look at the project in an objective manner, the program probably wouldn’t have worked. Also, the financial backing of the President and the board to provide stipends for the initiative.

36 Comments from Massachusetts
Invite them, support them, allow them to dig in and do the work, but don’t bog them down with the administrative details. The Dean and chair of the original curriculum committee took care of a lot of the details for the trainings, ordering of books, finding resources, and organization of meetings, materials, etc. Some of what we take for granted in administration can slow progress to a stop. An identified champion for the program is essential. Once we had formalized roles and responsibilities and where the CSS course would be housed, many of these problems solved themselves because they became aligned with college process, but in the infancy stages, clear lines of communication and roles and responsibilities should be defined.

37 Comments ….. From the coordinator:
1. Be transparent and vocal about the pilot and what is learned. We had to show our process and make sure we and the college at large understood the goals of our pilot and the ways by which we measured our success. We worked hard to gather a lot of qualitative and quantitative data to make sure we made sound decisions. We continue this practice as we monitor the newly redesigned CSS course we have in place now at the college. Faculty and Administration are more likely to buy into a program if it is clearly defined and measured. If they can see results, they are more likely to support and even participate in the program.

38 Comments…. Recruit key faculty and staff members. A lot of time was spent working on recruitment. I presented at staff meetings, department meetings, and division meetings, explaining the course and the impact it was having on students. The presentation was designed to inform and also, hopefully, recruit new faculty members. I also listened to my students. I listened for what teachers they talked about, the teachers they said connected with them and made them feel good about learning, and I made a list of names. I also paid attention to the employee recognition awards and newsletters to read about the instructors featured in these ways. Then, I contacted instructors either in person or by and asked them if they’d be interested in teaching the course. Of all the recruitment efforts, this last one was the most effective.

39 Comments….. Provide enough support for faculty and staff who teach the course. We held a comprehensive training event to help our new and experienced faculty understand the Five Goals and Outcomes for the course, we built an instructor resource site, and we strongly encourage collaboration. We often share ideas, and we continually learn from each other. The spirit of collaboration amongst CSS instructors is something I strive for because I think a community of teachers is the most powerful change agent or vehicle for motivating the college.

40 Comments…. Integrate student services administration and staff into the curriculum. Another key piece in promoting and developing the course was collaborating with student services, like financial aid, advising, student success center, the library, and student activities. Our curriculum invites collaborations with many key areas of student services so that students better understand the services available to them and their success. By integrating student services into our curriculum, the course became a collaborative venture that involved very talented student success experts at our college.

41 Would you give other colleges?
What Advice Would you give other colleges?

42 Comments from Hawai’i Keep your ego in check; the classes you teach are not for you they are for the students and while these students do not know what they do not know - it is up to you to guide them and help them understand. And when they challenge you on a point (or on your opinion of the facts) do not let that affect their standing in the class; academically or socially. “Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do, or think as you think, or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.” Malcolm X “It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known but to question it.” -Jacob Bronowski

43 Comments from Pennsylvania
Expect resistance at first. Be prepared to defend and abandon parts of the initiative Ask for help when you need it. You can’t do this alone. Develop a relationship with your coach that is based on mutual respect. Be prepared to hear—“data suggests something other than you wanted!”” Communication—a document/mechanism in place for new faculty/administrators that provides information about the achievements so that previously learned lessons are not abandoned but improved.

44 Comments from Massachusetts
Create the course, track the success and be open to revising each and every semester! We continue to learn, grow, and enhance the quality of this course. Remain open to what you learn, listen to the students, create ongoing learning opportunities for faculty and find new and innovative ways to be better!!

45 Comments from Massachusetts
(From the coordinator): Make informed decisions about your program. Learn from students and faculty and staff participating in your program by collecting data that will help gauge their experiences as participants in the course; conduct research on other FYE programs at other schools that serve a population similar to your own; create a team approach for all aspects of the course. Collaborate with student services; use the National Resource Center as a guide for current research and scholarship on FYE; make informed decisions.

46 What Happened in the courses?
So……. What Happened in the courses?

47 Hawai‘i Community College - History Courses
History in Hawai’i Hawai‘i Community College - History Courses Fall 2008 Fall 2009 Fall 2010 Fall 2011 A-C Grades % A-C Grades HIST 151 106 71.6% 173 77.6% 157 77.7% 162 71.4% HIS 152 54 58.1% 82 75.9% 119 75.8% 136 70.5% Total Grades 160 66.4% 255 77.0% 276 76.9% 298 71.0%

48 Reading in Pennsylvania
Westmoreland County Community College - Reading 050 and 080 Success Fall 06 Fall 07 Fall 08 Fall 09 Fall 10 Fall 11 Total Enrollment 5,982 6,237 6,431 7,076 7,403 Number Completing the Term 4,748 4,979 5,117 5,568 5,761 Percent Completing the Term 79.4% 79.8% 79.6% 78.7% 77.8% Total Enrolled in Reading 050 67 114 210 257 269 Successful Completers of Reading 050 40 76 141 184 183 Percent Successfully Completing Reading 050 59.7% 66.7% 67.1% 71.6% 68.0% Fall to Spring Retention of Reading 050 Students 92.5% 93.4% 92.2% 93.5% 88.5% Total Enrolled in Reading 080 440 461 538 583 633 626 Successful Completers of Reading 080 323 351 397 445 456 432 Percent Successfully Completing Reading 080 Fall to Spring Retention of Reading 080 Students 88.9% 88.0% 89.4% 87.6% 89.9% 90.5%

49 Student Success in Massachusetts
Northern Essex Community College All Students CSS Completers (A-C) New Students Fall to Spring 2011 64.2% 72.2% New Students Fall 2010 to Fall 2011 50.3% 93.5% New Students Fall 2011 to Spring 2012 69.3% 96.9% New, Full-time, Degree-seeking, Students Fall 2010 to Spring 2011 77.1% 91.7% New, FT, Degree-seeking, Fall 2010 to Fall 2011 60.2% 69.4% New, FT, Degree-seeking, Fall 2011 to Spring 2012 80.5% 96.7%

50 Student Success, cont. Northern Essex Community College - College Success Seminar Fall 2009 Spring 2010 Fall 2010 Spring 2011 Fall 2011 Spring 2012 Fall 2012 Sections 3 2 12 6 13 8 30 Enrollment 54 35 208 79 248 133 574 CSS Completers A-C Developmental Course Completion 82% 79% 89% 80% Non CSS A-C Developmental Course Completion* 72% 59% 81% 62% CSS Completer Term GPA 3.1 3.2 Non CSS Completer Term GPA* 2.5 1.8 2.3 2.6 2.2 CSS Completer Average Term Credits 10.6 10.1 10.8 8.4 9.9 Non CSS Completer Average Term Credits* 8.6 7.9 8.1 7.8 5.0

51 Questions What 3-5 courses are in most need of redesign at your college? What are your greatest barriers to accomplishing course redesign at your college? Questions?

52 Contact Sam Giordanengo History Instructor Hawai’i Community College
Humanities Department 200 West Kāwili Street Hilo, HI 96720 (808) Trish Schade Assoc. Professor, Dev. Reading, College Success Seminar Northern Essex Community College 79 Ward Street Lexington, MA 02421 (978) (W)  Darlene Pabis Westmoreland County Community College 147 Pavillion Lane Youngwood, PA 15697 (724) (office) Terri Manning Data Coach Central Piedmont Community College P.O. Box 35009 Charlotte, NC 28235 Phone Number: (704) FAX Number: (704)

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