Reframing Developmental Education

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					“Reading and Writing Connections for
              Cheryl Scott
           Charlyn Cassady
             Sandy Jones
The Community College of Baltimore County
 “Any of one of a variety of curricular structures that link
  together several existing courses – or restructure
  curricular material – so that students have opportunities
  for deeper understanding and integration of the
  material they are learning and more interaction with
  one another and their teachers as fellow participants in
  the learning enterprise.”
 (From: New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no. 41, Spring
 The purpose of CCBC’s Learning Communities
  Program is to offer students a more integrated
  learning experience by providing greater curricular
  coherence and by increasing collaboration of
 students and faculty in the pursuit of learning.
 Students are provided with an enriched and
 supportive learning experience.
CCBC’s Learning Communities:
Quick Facts
 50 plus learning communities a year, including general
  education, developmental education, ESOL, and Honors

 Developmental learning communities pair RDNG 052 or
  ENGL 052 with an introductory or general education
  course such as PSYC 101, SPCM 101, HLTH 101, HIST 116,
  SOCL 101, CRJU 101, and ENGL 101.

 Some communities pair developmental reading 051 and
  052 with developmental English 051 and 052.
   Characteristics of CCBC’s Program
 Offer students an integrated learning experience, including
  the use of integrative assignments and syllabi.
 Help students understand the relationship between
  different subjects and disciplines.
 Provide opportunities for students to think critically and
 Encourage students to be personally accountable for
 Provide students with an enriched and supportive learning
  experience as they form close bonds with faculty and peers.
 Provide opportunities for students to work collaboratively
  with others.
Why Offer Learning Communities for
Developmental Learners?
“The most logical goal for college reading and
 learning programs would be to teach
 students a repertoire of strategies and tactics
 that will prepare them for the tasks and texts
 they encounter in college.”
 (Stahl, Simpson, & Hayes, 1992)
  Contextualizing Through Developmental
  Learning Communities
 Pairs a developmental course with a general
  education credit course.

 Utilizes content of the credit course for skill
  development in the developmental course.

 Assists students with connecting their learning across
  courses and disciplines.
Integrating Aspects of the Learning
 Use of authentic readings
    Readings from textbooks.
    Readings from journals.

 Strategy and skill transfer
    Apply reading and thinking skills to content course
     text and lecture material.
    Learn and practice note-taking and study
  Integrating Aspects of the Learning
 Use of collaborative learning techniques:
   Group written essays. (“Tell me a story”)

   Working with a partner to develop test questions.

   Small group work. (T.V. commercials!)

   Games! – Let’s Play Jeopardy!
 Integrating Aspects of the Learning
 Emphasis on metacognition
   “Learning-to-learn.”
   “Thinking about thinking.”
   Memorization and recall strategies.
   Predicting test questions.
   “Debriefing” after exams.
Reading 052 – College Reading
  Emphasis on critical thinking and reading skills:
    Practice techniques for reading college textbooks
     and taking notes.
    Locate stated and implied main ideas.
    Draw conclusions; distinguish fact from opinion,
     determine inferences.
    State an argument and develop a sound and
     supported counter-argument.
ENGL 052 – Basic Writing
 Emphasis on critical thinking and writing skills:
   Practice a recursive writing process for academic
    writing that includes invention, planning, drafting,
    revising, editing, and proofreading.
   Write a clear thesis statement and develop topic
    sentences for each paragraph in an essay.
   Develop and organize appropriate and accurate
    supporting details.
   Use appropriately-referenced sources to support
    arguments and evaluate counter arguments.
Benefits of Developmental Learning
 Provides content validity.
 Transfers skills with authentic assignments.
 Views students as efficacious, not deficient
  in intelligence or skills.
 Encourages student ownership of learning.
 Accelerates entry into credit courses.
 Provides meaningful professional
  development to faculty.
Participating faculty say that, as a result
of the program, they have:
 Developed self-awareness of teaching.
 Placed more attention on delivery systems.
 Used more collaborative learning techniques.
 Developed more compassion for students.
 Developed better listening skills.
 Became more flexible teachers.
 Gave students more responsibility for learning.
Expectations of Faculty
 Create themes and integrative assignments.
 Create syllabus to reflect connections between the
  courses and course content.
 Visit each others’ classes periodically to observe or
  participate in class activities.
 Communicate weekly with teaching partners.
 Participate in professional development workshops.
 Participate in research efforts.
Issues –
  How to move away from rote repetition of text
   content in homework assignments?
  How to encourage critical thinking, e.g. application of
  How to incorporate more writing into Learning
Using Bloom’s Taxonomy
  Knowledge of Bloom’s Taxonomy assists the student
 Read more efficiently.
 Retain key content.
 Predict test questions.
 Prepare for both multiple-choice and essay questions.
 Changed the critical thinking level of the homework
  assignments from the “knowledge” level to the
  “application” level (at minimum).

Let’s take a look!
Before and After
  Read the section entitled “The Battle of the “Schools” Begins:
  Structuralism versus Functionalism.”
  NOW – Divide your paper in half! On the LEFT side, write the
  following questions.
        What is Structuralism?
        What is Functionalism?
   Answer the questions on the RIGHT side.
  Edward Tichener and William James are asked to be on a panel
  discussion about the growing problem of juvenile delinquency.
  The moderator will ask each panelist how the problem of
  juvenile delinquency should be studied. Write a response for
  both men. (Format: Paragraph)
Before and After
a) What are circadian rhythms; and b) What happens when you
ignore them?
Florence N. is a registered nurse and has been working the day
shift for five years. She then changes to the 11-7 shift. Florence
finds that she is fatigued, sluggish and irritable when awake and
cannot fall asleep when she returns home. Describe: a) what has
happened to Florence; and, b) what recommendations could
help Florence to adjust to the night shift. (Format: Paragraph)
Before and After
1. Describe the four general symptoms of schizophrenic disorders.
2. Describe the four subtypes of schizophrenic disorders.
3. Briefly describe the six factors that may influence the development of a
  schizophrenic disorder.

 Select one of the following subtypes of the schizophrenic disorders:
   Disorganized, Paranoid, Catatonic. Write a two-paragraph letter that could
   have been written by the patient or a family member. The letter should
   include: a) evidence of the symptoms/characteristics of the type of
   schizophrenia that you have selected; b) factors that may have contributed
   to the development of the schizophrenic disorder. (Format: Informal letter)
Samples of Student Work….
 Refer to your packets (“Samples of Student Work”) to
  review examples of student work from the current

 I am so proud of my students…! One class out-
  performed the Honors Psychology 101 class….
 Health 101 and Reading 052
Compare and Contrast Reading and Writing Assignment
   Reading                       Health
      Internet search for a        Choose an article
       health article               Compare information
      Annotate the text               with that in your text
      Compare/Contrast web           Cite the book and pages
                                       in your typed paper
      List 5 similarities and
                                      List 5 similarities or
       differences                     differences
      Use these to write your        Evaluate the quality of
       paper                           the information
                                      What did you learn?
Health 101 and Reading 052
 Health Portfolio – a culminating Health 101 project.
 Reading 052 Strategies were used to develop the
   Internet Research on one health practice
   Choose two articles
   Compare and Contrast chart good vs bad practices
   Analyze your current practices
   Judge - make an action plan to change
   PowerPoint Presentations
Student Comments
 “It was absolutely amazing and it has instilled in me much
  confidence and motivation to do my best and never give up.”
 “What inspired me the most was the instructors’ care and
  understanding, their passion for the teaching. . . And their
  willingness to help students. . .”
 “Not only have I made a lot friends in my learning community,
  but I got to know my professors a lot better in a more personal
 “The best aspects of my learning community are the
  interactions between the instructors and the students.
  Everyday was filled with new ways of learning and
 “It is the best way to learn.”
MDRC Learning Communities Demonstration
 Large-scale, random assignment evaluation of learning
 community programs at six community colleges:
   The Community College of Baltimore County
   Hillsborough Community College
   Merced College
   Houston Community College
   Queensborough Community College
   Kingsborough Community College
Findings from MDRC Study
 Designing and Managing Learning Communities
   A paid coordinator and committed college leaders
    are essential to manage and scale up a LC program.
   Recruiting and supporting enough motivated
    faculty are ongoing challenges.
   Selection of courses to link is strategic and must
    meet student needs to attract enough students to
Findings from MDRC Study
 Teaching and Learning in Learning Communities
    Coordinators must be specific and clear about
    Support and ongoing training of faculty are
   As coordinators clarified expectations and offered
    support, faculty responded positively by changing
    their teaching practices.
   Curricular integration remained difficult to
    implement widely and deeply.
Findings from MDRC Study
 Supporting Students in Learning Communities
   Student cohorts led to strong relationships among
    students, creating both personal and academic
   The strongest connection to student support
    services occurred when the support was integrated
    closely wih the learning community.
   Gabelnick, F., MacGregor, J., Matthews, R.S., and Smith, B.L. (Eds).
    (1990). Learning communities: creating connections among students,
    faculty, and disciplines. (New Directions for Teaching and Learning, No.
    41). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
   Stahl, M., L. Simpson, and C.G. Hayes (1992). Ten Recommendations
    from Research for Teaching High-Risk College Students . Journal of
    Developmental Education. Volume 16, Issue 1, Fall Issue.
   Tinto, V. Goodsell-Love, A. and Russo, P (1994). Building learning
    communities for new college students. State College, PA: The
    Pennsylvania State University National Center on Postsecondary
    Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.
   Visher, Mary, et al. Scaling Up Learning Communities: The Experience
    of Six Community Colleges. National Center for Postsecondary
    Research, March 2010.

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