As a writing teacher, my experience has been that accelerated summer
courses work well for students who come in as good writers.  The
development of writing processes takes time, though, so my opinion is
that students who are in the most dire need of learning how to manage
writing tasks especially need more time than five weeks.  (They need
more than one regular semester sometimes.)

I just had a discussion with a colleague who taught study skills over
the last 5-week summer session and felt that it, too, was too rushed.
Although she said she pared down the course, she felt that she had to
give too much of it short shrift.  This is another
learning-as-a-function-of-time issue.

One thing we did do over last summer that was exceptionally successful
was a short course centered on note-taking for EOP Summer Academy (which
is a pre-college prep course).  We decided to focus on note-taking
mainly because we know that that is one skill that those coming from
high school tend not to have mastered.  We built the whole course around
notes but were able to work in many of our favorite related concepts.
We did a Multiple Intelligences lecture (on which they took notes that
we checked against our lecture notes) and did one of the survey
instruments to "measure" their MI proclivities.  Then we talked about
how the idea of MI relates in the classroom environment and in dealing
with professors.  Then we had a series of guest speakers come in to
deliver lectures.  The students took notes, and the next day they took a
quiz on the material that the guest had covered.  The beauty of it was
we were able to debrief after both the lecture and the ensuing quiz.  In
my class, I did the debriefing in the presence of the guest lecturer to
help demonstrate how the expectations of the instructor did or did not
match what the students experienced.  We were also able to examine the
notes to determine their effectiveness.

We were able to do a little bit with summarizing, too.

The only problem was that this would have only translated to about a 1.5
or 2 credit course.  However, this was a course that worked perfectly
*because* it was summer.  It was a blast.

Amy Crouse-Powers, M.A.
Learning Support Services
SUNY College at Oneonta

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bob Lemaire
Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 1:57 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Developmental Course Offerings in Summer Terms

Dear Colleagues:

[From [log in to unmask]]

I address this question especially to those who teach remedial math,
reading, or writing at the two-year college level.  Recently we have
been asked for input concerning a possible review of summer scheduling
for course offerings.  We now offer 3-semester hour courses in
preparatory math and writing, and 4-semester hour courses in preparatory
reading & study skills.  Until now we have offered these courses for the
full eight weeks of our regular summer terms.  Now discussion is under
way to determine whether any of these courses would be suitable for
offering in a more accelerated scheduling option: for example, two
five-week sessions offering consecutive prep-level courses.  Another
possibility would be to set aside some sections for a five-week schedule
in the summer, even if not tied to the next course in sequence for the
next five weeks.

Our main concern is whether the accelerated pace might defeat the
purpose of effectively teaching our students, who already face a reduced
time frame in the summer.

Please let me know whether your school offers these developmental
courses for the full summer term, or modifies the schedule to offer them
in a reduced time frame.  For those who have offered such courses at an
accelerated summer pace, please let me know what your results have

Your prompt response would be most helpful and appreciated!


Bob LeMaire

Professor-Math & Reading/Study Skills
Kankakee Community College
Kankakee, Illinois  60901
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