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Re: FYI-- New report and developmental students


"Delohery, Andrew" <[log in to unmask]>


Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>


Fri, 23 Jun 2006 14:26:43 -0400





text/plain (405 lines)

I agree that it's important to remember the coin has two sides (at
least).  You raise a good point - one with which I agree, but perhaps
only implied - about learning as a partnership.  As a matter of fact, I
just read somewhere about a newly identified trend of revising
learner-centered to partner-centered, which is supposed to indicate a
return to balancing the roles of the various parties.  

One question for me, however, is a follow up to part of your message
below. "If an institution admits students who then do not succeed at
that institution, isn't it reasonable to say that the institution was
under-prepared for the students?"  While the discussion from this
question ought to yield some very useful information, I'm not sure this
is reasonable question, at least in its all-or-nothing form.  If I am
honest, my immediate bias is to recall that we (I think we) are
guaranteeing the opportunity of education, and not an off-the-shelf
education (I'm thinking Freire here).  But, of course, as soon as I
finish writing these thoughts, I'm now thinking that this response rests
on the caveat "all things being equal," which, as you point out in your
last paragraph, is not always the case.  Thanks for juxtaposing the
opposite pole.

It's very timely to be having this conversation for me; I've been asked
to develop a workshop as part of our summer faculty development series
which speaks to what some faculty are calling "gap analysis," by which
they mean the difference between the expectations students bring with
them to campus and the expectations faculty have of them when they get
here.  I've really only just begun by comparing our NSSE and FSSE
results, but I must confess, the structure of the questions for the FSSE
seem to reinforce the bias you note below.

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nic Voge
Sent: Friday, June 23, 2006 1:21 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: FYI-- New report and developmental students


You might look to work by Mike Rose or Glynda Hull, and some that 
they did together in the 1990's. They wrote, a piece called, I 
believe, "Reconceiving Remediation".

And, here's another idea that you might want to wrestle with. If an 
institution admits students who then do not succeed at that 
institution, isn't it reasonable to say that the institution was 
under-prepared for the students? Students fail, but so do 
institutions. I struggle with maintaining a view that is 
learner-centered but not learner-centric. The learner is a primary 
agent in learning, but not the only one;  there is always a context 
to teaching and learning that matters. With the emphasis on the 
individual that underlies the learner-centered approach it's easy to 
underestimate the role (and responsibilities) of the institutional 
context. So, if, as Boylan writes, a student doesn't possess, or 
isn't using, their "abilities" in ways that lead to success in a 
particular post-secondary context, couldn't the issue lie as much 
with the institution as the student?

In an institution like mine that is not very committed to teaching or 
undergraduate education, I see this a lot. I see how in many ways the 
institution is not prepared for non-native speakers (a large 
proportion of our student body), for students who are high-achieving 
but come from very low-performing schools, for students with 
differing ideas about what teaching and learning are, for students 
who do not intend to be researchers or scholars. And, who, exactly, 
is prepared to navigate a campus that's the size of a city, with one 
advisor for 1,000 students, that has introductory chemistry courses 
with  800 students, and introductory anthropology courses where books 
by Foucault are assigned, and the problems on the (lower-division) 
organic chemistry final come from recent scholarly journals? Student 
preparation is out of alignment with institutional demands and 
expectations here, to be sure, but why is the problem attributed 
solely to students?


>Oh my, this is a topic with which I've been wrestling as well.  Frank
>mentions Hunter Bolyland's book "What Works:[...]"; page three offers
>the following information. "For the purposes of this study
>education is defined as courses or services provided for the purpose of
>helping underprepared college students attain their academic goals."
>Granted, this speaks to developmental education.  The passage goes on
>the say, "The term underprepared students refers to any students who
>need to develop their cognitive or affective abilities in order to
>succeed in a postsecondary educational experience."
>I would wonder if the criteria above doesn't describe each of our
>students.  Do we make an assumption that our students are, in fact,
>underprepared when they arrive?  Aren't courses and curriculum
>with an eye toward cognitive and affective (and perhaps psychomotor)
>elements in their objectives? If so, don't we take implicitly that the
>students entering the course/curriculum need to develop skills to reach
>the outcomes?
>As we continue to embrace learner-centered-learning, constructivism, or
>whatever nom-du-jour describes the current privileging of the
>individual's learning process, I wonder if we'll find more trouble
>painting with broad brushes. I imagine that some of this conversation
>has taken place already; can anyone point me toward some reading?
>Andrew Delohery, Director
>The Learning Center
>Quinnipiac University 
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
>[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nic Voge
>Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2006 7:37 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: FYI-- New report and developmental students
>May I suggest, Frank, that the reason you do not find many
>definitions of "developmental student" is because the term, at least
>from my understanding the developmental perspective,  is redundant.
>An equivalent would be "professional  doctor". The concept of
>development seems inherent in, or to use the linguistic term,
>"entailed" by, the term "student", much as the idea of being a
>professional is entailed by the term "doctor". Students are, by
>definition, those who are developing their knowledge, skills and
>identity, etc..
>Thus, I would take issue with Maxwell's definition. Her definition is
>probably an accurate operational or institutional definition
>(essentially amounting to "any student who is in a developmental
>program") in many contexts. But, I would say that it's not a useful
>theoretical definition; that is, it doesn't advance our thinking
>conceptually even though it might serve a purpose practically. I say
>this on the grounds that the denotative and connotative meanings of
>the term "development" don't have much, if anything, to do with
>comparison to "typical",  which is the basis for her definition. And,
>I don't see how such a use of the term follows from developmental
>I'd be curious to hear what others think.
>>Colleagues, the recent post by Mary Leahy (Re FYI-New Report),
>stimulated me
>>to look at LSCHE for a definition of "developmental student."
>>LSCHE has compiled ten definitions for the term, "developmental
>>there is not a definition for "developmental student."  I don't
>>ever having seen such a definition. Hw does one differentiate between
>>developmental students and those not described as developmental? Are
>>developmental students the underprepared students?
>>I did not find a definition for a developmental student in the
>>Silverman book, Learning Assistance and Developmental Education. The
>>authors, however, did state that "One significant aspect of this shift
>>perspective [from remedial and compensatory to developmental]  is that
>>students are potentially developmental students: ..." Page 32.
>>In Maxwell,  improving Student Learning Skills: A New Edition, Maxwell
>>wrote"In an earlier edition of this book, I defined developmental
>>as those whose skills, knowledge, motivation, and/or academic ability
>>significantly below those of the 'typical' student in the college or
>>curriculum in which they are enrolled."  Page 2.
>>In the Cross book, Beyond the Open Door, I did not find a definition.
>>Perhaps she had a definition in one or more of her other books.
>>In the Boylan book, What Works: Research-Based Practices in
>>Education, the terms, "developmental education" and "underprepared
>>are defined.I did not find a definition for  "Developmental students."
>>Nor did I find one in the Van doctoral dissertation, The Application
>>Essential Developmental Education Principles by Program
>>although the author had a section, "Definition of Terms, that included
>>definitions related to developmental education. Pp.9-10.
>>Perhaps, someone has defined "developmental student" using criteria by
>>such students can be empirically recognized. I am not an expert in
>>but I do believe that if we are discussing developmental education, we
>>to have developmental students defined and differentiated from
>>non-developmental students. It may be that the criteria established by
>>Piaget or Perry in naming developmental stages might be starting
>>Perhaps Stahl, Caverly, Boylan, Roueche or others who publish on
>>developmental education have defined in print their definitions of a
>>developmental student. If so,  can anyone cite specific references
>>author, date, page) that define a developmental student? If so, I
>>them to the LSCHE resources on definitions that currently has no
>>of a developmental student.
>>[log in to unmask]                   For all of us to win in the
>>Frank L Christ                      we need to unleash the knowledge
>>Emeritus, CSULB                document databases, use and reuse our
>>Visiting Scholar, U of AZ     knowledge, find ways to create new
>>              and then share it across our enterprise........
>  >             ...Rick Thoman, Former Xerox Corp President & CEO
>>LSCHE Web Portal:
>  >----- Original Message ----- From: "Leahy, Mary" <[log in to unmask]>
>>To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2006 9:06 AM
>>Subject: Re: FYI-- New report
>>>It's too bad there wasn't a "developmental student" category in this
>>>study. I should develop some type of similar measure and give it to
>>>students during my study. It would really be interesting to see where
>>>dev. Readers fall in this taxonomy. But, these students often tell
>>>what you want to hear (in a survey or otherwise) rather than what
>>>meala think or do.
>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
>>>[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Norman Stahl
>>>Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2006 7:53 AM
>>>To: [log in to unmask]
>>>Subject: FYI-- New report
>>>Subject: NEW NCES REPORT! - Profile of Undergraduates in U.S.
>>>Postsecondary Education Institutions: 2003-04, With a Special
>  >>of Community College Students
>>>This report is the fifth in a series of reports that accompany the
>>>release of the data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study
>>>(NPSAS). This report includes an analysis of community college
>>>examining the relationship between a measure of students' degree
>>>commitment and their likelihood of maintaining their enrollment over
>>>1-year period under study.
>>>The study developed a taxonomy called the Community College Track,
>>>classifies students' degree commitment (more, less, or not committed)
>>>based on their reported intentions of completing a program of study
>>>(transfer, associates degree, certificate, or no degree) and their
>>>attendance status (at least half time or not) within their program of
>>>Overall, some 49 percent of community college students were
>>>as "more committed," 39 percent as "less committed" and 12 percent as
>>>"not committed." The two largest groups were students classified as
>>>"more committed" in transfer programs (29 percent) and "less
>>>in general associate's degree programs (17 percent).
>>>The results indicate that students who demonstrate a relatively
>>>commitment to completing a program of study (i.e., they explicitly
>>>report that either transfer or degree completion are reasons for
>>>attending and they attend classes at least half time) are very likely
>>>maintain their enrollment for one year. Some 83 percent of the "more
>>>committed" students did so, compared with 70 percent of "less
>>>and 58 percent of those designated as "not committed."
>>>To download, view and print the publication as a PDF file, please
>>>Norman A. Stahl
>>>Professor and Chair
>>>Literacy Education
>>>GA 147
>>>Northern Illinois University
>>>DeKalb, IL 60115
>>>Phone: (815) 753-9032
>>>FAX:   (815) 753-8563
>>>[log in to unmask]
>>>To access the LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your
>>>subscription options (including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your
>>>browser to
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>>>subscription options (including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your
>>>browser to
>>>To contact the LRNASST-L owner, email [log in to unmask]
>>To access the LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your
>>subscription options (including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your
>>web browser to
>>To contact the LRNASST-L owner, email [log in to unmask]
>Knowledge emerges only through invention and reinvention,  through
>the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry men pursue in
>the world, with the world, and with each other. --Paolo Freire
>Dominic (Nic) J. Voge
>Study Strategies Program Coordinator
>University of California, Berkeley
>Student Learning Center
>136 Cesar Chavez Student Center  #4260
>Berkeley, CA 94720-4260
>(510) 643-9278
>[log in to unmask]
>To be determined
>To access the LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your
>subscription options (including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your web
>browser to
>To contact the LRNASST-L owner, email [log in to unmask]
>To access the LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your
>subscription options (including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your 
>web browser to
>To contact the LRNASST-L owner, email [log in to unmask]


Knowledge emerges only through invention and reinvention,  through 
the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry men pursue in 
the world, with the world, and with each other. --Paolo Freire

Dominic (Nic) J. Voge
Study Strategies Program Coordinator
University of California, Berkeley
Student Learning Center
136 Cesar Chavez Student Center  #4260
Berkeley, CA 94720-4260

(510) 643-9278
[log in to unmask]

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