ELO Zip Line to Success by 1q981Zt


									                   to Success: A First-Year
                   Experience for STEM
                      Transfer Students
                         at Virginia Tech

Gary S. Kinder – Coord. of New Transfer
Student Programs - College of Science
    Man’s Best Friend…

    How many uses can you come up with for

    Some “Framing”…
    • The Beloit “Mindset List: 2014”:
    • Since “digital” has always been in the cultural
      DNA, they’ve never written in cursive and since
      cell phones tell time, there is no need for a wrist
      watch. The now are awash with computerized
      technology that will not distinguish between
      generation accustomed to instant access will need
      to acquire “the patience of scholarship”.

Some Up-front Misperceptions….
1. Transfer students are better prepared for college
coursework and university life than traditional freshmen.
2. Effective learner-centered pedagogies operate
independently of the learning environment.
3. Today’s college students are digital natives. They can
teach the faculty a thing or two about use of technology.
Transfer Students in the College of
    Science at Virginia Tech
Transfer Students in the College of
    Science at Virginia Tech
Let’s Hear About YOUR Transfer Students

      Transfer students at my institution are:

     Transfer students at my institution need:
     Here in the South, we always fry
     Chicken with the Skin ON…....
    Once a “part” is gone, you don’t have
      it to use again….what will you do
      with it, once it makes its rounds to
                 YOU ????????

             Along Came the QEP!
Quality Enhancement Plan required as part of Virginia
Tech’s reaffirmation of accreditation through SACS

Within 5 years, all entering students at VT will receive a
first-year experience (FYE) that addresses:

Broader/universal learning outcomes
(AAC&U VALUE rubrics)
      -Problem Solving
      -Inquiry (Information Literacy)
 …We proposed the Zip-line FYE for all transfer students in
                the College of Science
VT-Modified Rubrics
   For Zip-line, we added additional learning
    outcomes: Teamwork and Community.

1. Contribute to team in and out of class.

2. Contribute to a constructive team climate.

3. Develop community identity and commitment.
                 Assessment Tools
1. Reflection prompts in e-Portfolio: problem-solving,
inquiry, integration, teamwork and community
2. Motivated Strategies for Learners Questionnaire
(MLSQ): problem solving
3. Information Literacy Test (ILT): for inquiry

4. Open-ended questions given at end of course
             The QEP also mandated:

1. Training in and use of the new electronic course planner
2. Generation of an e-Portfolio by each student.
3. Incorporation of the VT Common Book
In 3-person groups, at your tables, discuss :

1. What goals or outcomes are the most important for your
respective transfer students?

2. What pedagogies and/or activities might be employed to
accomplish these goals?
What is SCALE-UP?
                         Lessons Learned
     • Undergraduates can achieve “high” levels of learning through the
       SCALE-UP model
     • The broader learning outcomes are by no means “soft skills” and may
       require discipline specific training
     • Digital natives still need help in the appropriate use of technology
     • High achievers in traditional learning environments need specific
       attention- assumptions that “all will play nicely in the sandbox…”
     • Team skills need specific attention from the instructor
     • Don’t expect your teaching evaluations to improve in this setting!

     Zip-line to Success – what did they do?
     • ~140 Transfer Students (COS) in 3 sections of ~45
       students / 2-credit A-F course (Required)
     • Small-Groups/InterACTIVE Projects such as ePortfolio
       presentation on “Hot Button Topic Issues in Science”
       along with group paper; Library Subject Research
       Exercise; Research Opps and Grad. School in-class “look
       up” Exercises; Common Book Papers; Critical Thinking,
       Logic, Scientific Methodology Exercises; Strengths Finder
       Assessment- Resume/Career Fair & Interview Prep.; Pre-
       Health and Pre-Med/Vet panel discussions in-class; Time
       and Money Management Seminars.

     • Group assignments foster group dynamics and
       interpersonal communications
     Zip-line to Success – what did they do?

     • Group trips to local area attractions (Area farmer’s market,
       Appalachian Music events, hiking trails, State Parks, etc.
     • Visitor’s Center for regional information such as Medical,
       Restaurants, Retail Stores, Voter Registrar/other
       City/Town services/Utilities, Local/Part-time area
       Employment, etc.
     • Campus history and traditions
     • Used “Connections” Higher Ed. Textbook
     • Read campus/local papers (paper and on-line)
     • Start every class meeting with music and video clips (their
       choice and TAs)

          Looks like a College Student, acts like a
           College Student, MUST BE a College
        student… “Misconceptions Realized”…
     • Technology usage - Scholar, Internet, PPT, PC vs. Mac, etc.
     • Academic preparation – Lacking in Critical Thinking Skills,
        Presentation skills and grasp of Group Dynamics
     • Students’ abilities to fully comprehend the merits of this type course (vs.
        “busy work”) -- Library, Grad. School, Research opps., VT Engage,
        Sustainability Paper, Self-Expression Project, etc.
     • Comprehension of Scientific Methodologies and Information/Research
      (“I found it on the Internet, so it HAS to be credible………right?”)

     Lessons learned – changes for this year
     • Developed more science-relevant activities, focus on undergraduate
       research, career opportunities and graduate schools
     • Development of “What I Believe/ Passions, Interests, Skills”
     • Clarify grading rubric “I did all the work…where’s my A? !”

     • Further integration of “FYE Textbooks” – think about it…most
       textbooks are not designed for this format of class experience…

     • Additional training for students, in basic use of technology such as
       PPT (embedded videos, etc.), use of Macs, e-Portfolios as well as oral
       presentation skills (TAs assist)
     • Expanded use of undergraduate TAs (former Zip-liners) IN and OUT
       of class (as mentors and social connection points)

                       Did it work?
                          The bottom line:

Academic Outcome – ZIP-LINE: 4% probation after 1st Full Year
(2010-2011), 6% after only Fall 2010 term; Non-ZIP: 13% probation
after 1st term and 12% after 1st Full Year… Provost and FYE office was
pleased. Zip-Line leading the percentage change, compared to all 5
FYE programs at VA TECH 2010-2011 (there are 12 FYE programs
in 2011-2012)
                        Did it work?
MLSQ showed significant gains in Problem Solving and near
significant increase in Test Anxiety

Near significant gains in Help Seeking

Open-ended questionnaire: “Developing your problem-solving skills
was one of the goals of this course. Tell us if and how you have
changed as a problem-solver as a result of taking this course.”
                                     ⌘Team-based, group problem solving

                                     ⌘Utilizing internet/web resources to
                                     tackle problems

                                     ⌘Utilizing library resources for academic

                                     ⌘How to get help/problem-solve
                                     specifically on VT’s campus: approaching
                                     professors, managing bureaucracy etc.
                         Did it work?
Inquiry: ILT showed no gains

Open-ended questionnaire: “Similarly, developing your inquiry skills
was one of the goals of this course. Describe how being able to access
and use information to make informed decisions has changed as a
result of taking this course.”
                                        ⌘Specific to VT: knowing where to go for
                                        internet/web resources to solve
                                        problems/make decisions

                                        ⌘Information access

                                        ⌘Future planning: career resources, resume-
                                        writing etc as a way to make decisions about
                                        future goals etc.

                                        ⌘How to access and use online/library
               Did it work?
Integration, use of Common Book, confidence about
                 Planning for Future

                          ⌘Self-empowered to incorporate
                          sustainability in personal lives
                          ⌘Sparked discussion, assignments and
                          projects on sustainability
                          ⌘Understanding local politics and
                          economics and applying them to Blacksburg
                          ⌘Greater understanding of VT’s pledge for
        Today’s Assignment:

Take a picture…. Study your picture…. You
 may say or ask ANYTHING to ANYONE
  but you CANNOT SHOW THEM your
              PICTURE !!!

Your Assignment: Figure out How Each of
              You “FIT”
    Today’s assignment #2 (if time allows):
1. Assemble in your groups of 3 colleagues….

2. Pick a critical learning outcome for transfer students (problem-solving,
    integration, others unique to your institutions)

3. Using the basic SCALE-UP paradigm, outline an exercise/activity that
   takes advantage
   of: teamwork setting, room design, technology

4. How will you know whether your students achieved the goal?

5. How will your students know whether they achieved the goal?

6. Could this activity work in a traditional classroom? Why or why not?
for your attention, today..

Have a wonderful remainder of your visit to
the area, and Safe Travels back to home….

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