What have you done in a corequisite course that you believe has increased student success? (It might be the integration of study skills, your class structure, or your grading policies, to name a few).<o:p></o:p>
Well, I don't want to give away everything before my AMATYC Conference talk, but here are a few items that work extremely well:
Problem 1: Students in the corequisite have gaps in their math backgrounds
Solution 1: Outline "Here are some skills we will need today so let's go over them just in case you need them." Make this a routine to avoid problem #2
Problem 2: Students show up only to our college-level class and not the corequisite (not my class though) ;)
Solution 2: I explicitly tell my students that I don't care how they do in the 0-hundred course. It is there only to support you to pass the college level course. Let's use it however we need it. Then prompt students to speak up in the college level course when a question comes up that they are now prepared for! This also goes into the structure of the course. I will not give any additional work to my students that does not directly help them in the college level course. And make it known that the practice in the support class directly prepares them for specific objectives in the college level course.
Problem 3: Many students have a fixed [negative] mindset on their math skills.
Solution 3: I give multiple pre-tests (really just formative assessments) that are designed to target what students struggle with and share that I make the pre-tests as hard as I can to catch errors so students can do well when it matters. I even share this with the students to establish a growth mindset. Everyone fails the pre-tests! (Student perspective: I got a 30% because the professor made the test really hard on purpose and not because I'm not smart - it's OK though because it's hard so I can find out what I don't know and it won't kill my grade). I really didn't have any research to back up this plan, but it seems to work. Everyone "failing" the pretests actually turned into a good thing as students review their mistakes and fix them before it really matters.
Problem 4: How do I grade my students if I slam them on assessments in the corequisite course? (My school has separate grades for each piece of the corequisites)
Solution 4: The summative assessments count for both courses. Regardless of how low pre-test scores are, students can recover their grades by performing well on summative assessments in the college-level class. This rewards students for learning from their mistakes rather than punishing them for making mistakes. Of course, the college level course is graded the same for corequisite students as non-corequisite students.
What have you done in a corequisite course that you believe has increased student success? (It might be the integration of study skills, your class structure, or your grading policies, to name a few).
Thank you for engaging with this topic, Jonathan! Do you ever feel that the "problems" that fall into a similar category of your Problem #3 are really the Biggest Problems for students that place into the Corequisite? I do see that the K12 teachers are focusing more and more on Mindset and are teaching the importance of a "growth mindset", so over time this might get better, but I have been attempting to do some work with Growth Mindset in my Corequisite courses, too. I like your idea of using Pre-tests so that students can see their own growth so clearly!
Problem #4 really is a Problem....I don't know what to do with that other than work with the institution to find another approach? But working towards helping students learn from their mistakes is a great start!
You have a lot of great ideas. I hope to make it to your presentation! Please share the presentation title!
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