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Thanks Laura,

At the risk of beating a dead horse.... I don't disregard motivation--it does play a part in academic success; however, there's a big difference between motivational theory (application and practice) in the classroom and use of the same in academic support.  Thanks again.

sal


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-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Laura Symons
Sent: Monday, January 13, 2014 12:41 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Motivation vs Academic Success

Sara,

In Skip Downing's "On Course" I found a formula that apparently has been around for a while: Motivation = Value X Expectation of Success. I have found that students who are aware of the formula can work with tutors or academic coaches, etc. to figure out how to up the value or up the expectation of success, thereby taking responsibility for their own learning on yet another level. That metacognition stuff really works!

Best,

Laura


________________________________________
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Sara Weertz [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, January 10, 2014 6:42 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Motivation vs Academic Success

Jered,

I think we're both saying the same thing but in different ways. As a program analyst by trade, however, I would never use the terms "believe" or for that matter "prove our worth" when talking about evaluating the efforts of academic support. And I'm not so sure that our mission should be to "convincingly document and, ideally, quantify the help we provide...." End-of-the-year evaluations are, more or less, summative evaluations that analyze expected program outcomes in an effort to "sum up" program results. An evaluation's means to an end is to make recommendations for continuous program improvement. If you feel you did not meet your program goals, recommendations should indicate how you're going to try to do better.

Second, I didn't raise the question about motivation.  Marcia did, implying that motivation is part and parcel of student academic success.  Though I do believe that students who self-select have a greater sense of self-efficacy, which can be construed as more motivated to learn and thus more apt to be academically successful, as a learning specialist, I can't do much with that.

I don't rule out motivation, but even if we were to discover certain traits complement higher levels of motivation, how does this help me or the student? On one hand, motivation is not part of our admissions standards; on the other, I can't change the student who is lacking. I can, however, train SI leaders and tutors to be role models and to offer the best possible assistance. I then have to sit back and hope the student takes me up on the offer. Change comes from within...and it's not an overnight process.

sal


Sara Weertz, M.Ed.
Executive Director, First Year Experience ASU Station #10915 Angelo State University San Angelo, TX  76909
(325) 942-2595
[log in to unmask]

CRLA President-Elect 2013-2014
www.crla.net




-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jered Wasburn-Moses
Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2014 10:46 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Motivation vs Academic Success

Sara,

First, let's be clear: I'm pretty sure that all of us here *believe* that academic supports help students, or we wouldn't be here. (Not that you were asserting otherwise--I just want to make sure we make that baseline explicit, because there have been misinterpretations on this listserv in the past!) The question is how to convincingly document and, ideally, quantify the help that we provide, so that we can "prove our worth" to skeptical penny-pinching administrators. ;-)

Second, I'm wondering if we are talking past each other a little bit. You ask if the goal of academic support is to motivate students or to help them achieve. But I (and I assume Marcia) am not talking about any increase in motivation that might result from our interventions. Rather, I am talking about the fact that there probably is an important characteristic difference between students who use opt-in services and those who do not; for lack of a better term, I'll call it "motivation," though "self-advocacy" or "self-efficacy" might be equally appropriate.

Students who opt-in to academic services probably have greater "motivation" than those who do not. It is *also* reasonable to believe that "motivation" is strongly correlated to student academic success. Thus, it is a reasonable hypothesis that any greater success demonstrated by participants in opt-in programs versus non-participants is really due to higher "motivation" in those students, rather than to any particular effectiveness of the services. (In statistics they sometimes call this a "lurking variable": some unmeasured entity affecting both the independent and dependent variables, creating correlation without direct causation between them.)

In other words, maybe it is the case that an SI program (or tutoring program, or Early Alert program, or...) is really very good at attracting students who ultimately will be successful in college, due to personal characteristics and possibly in spite of their group characteristics. Then students who participate in this program will obviously do better than other students, regardless of the intervention itself!

So, the question still remains, how do we--or, indeed, can we--rule out this "motivation" hypothesis, or account for it in some way, to measure the actual effectiveness of a particular intervention?

Jered Wasburn-Moses
Math Center Coordinator
Success Skills Coordinator
Learning Assistance Programs
Northern Kentucky University
http://lap.nku.edu
University Center 170F
(859) 572-5779


# -----Original Message-----
# From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:LRNASST- # [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sara Weertz # Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2014 11:12 AM # To: [log in to unmask] # Subject: Motivation vs Academic Success # # Jered and Marcia, # # Yes, you're right.  My approach doesn't answer the question about # motivation or even self-selection for that matter. It does, however, show # that academic support can help the less proficient student. My take on the # difference between the two has more to do with the goal of academic # support: Is it to motivate students or help them achieve academic success? I # think it's the latter.
#
# I'm not sold on the idea that personality-inventory-type assessments such as # the MSLQ will help to answer the age-old question regarding motivation and # self-selection. Creating a baseline score for participants/non-participants is # akin to chasing a ghost; there are so many variables to consider when you're # talking about students, particularly first-year students who first need to learn # how to learn. Much of this initial process is learning to self-regulate, ask for # help, manage time....
#
# Students who fail will often say, in one way or another, if we know # something is "good" for them, why don't we make them do it. Though, # forcing students to attend tutoring or SI raises the argument regarding # prescriptive vs optional. Give students the option to work with a tutor and # they will opt out. Make students work with a tutor and they're not only # resentful but resistant to any help the tutor tries to offer.
#
# sal
#
# Sara Weertz, M.Ed.
# Executive Director, First Year Experience ASU Station #10915 Angelo State # University San Angelo, TX  76909 # (325) 942-2595 # [log in to unmask] # # CRLA President-Elect 2013-2014 # www.crla.net # # # **********************************************************
#
# -----Original Message-----
# From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:LRNASST- # [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jered Wasburn-Moses # Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2014 9:34 AM # To: [log in to unmask] # Subject: Re: ROI on Academic Support Services? -- Different Take # # This is a great approach, Sara, but I am not sure that it addresses the core # issue raised by Marcia. After all, of all the data you cite below, which of them # is supposed to serve as a proxy measure for personal motivation or stick-to- # it-ive-ness or gumption or whatever? Because attendance rate at tutoring # (including SI) is, at least in part, a proxy measure of such traits/skills.
#
# The difficult question remains, how much of the effect from ANY "opt-in"
# intervention is due to the intervention itself, and how much is due to the # proxy measurement of certain psychological traits captured by the act (and # rate) of opting in?
#
# I believe that I have seen some people (maybe even you?) try to address this # in the past using personality-inventory-type assessments. This might work, if # you had a baseline score for non-participants as well as participants...
#
# Jered Wasburn-Moses
# Math Center Coordinator
# Success Skills Coordinator
# Learning Assistance Programs
# Northern Kentucky University
# http://lap.nku.edu
# University Center 170F
# (859) 572-5779
#
#
# # -----Original Message-----
# # From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:LRNASST- # # [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sara Weertz # Sent: Thursday, January 09, # 2014 10:15 AM # To: [log in to unmask] # Subject: Re: ROI on # Academic Support Services? -- Different Take # # Ah, I love this # question...one I think I can answer because this used to be a # typical # response to Supplemental Instruction (SI) which has a history of # empirical # evidence indicating that students who use SI on a regular basis get # better # grades. Faculty often opine that SI students would have gotten # successful # grades no matter what; they argue that SI students (or those who
# # self-select) are already the "good" students.   Faculty continued their
# # criticism of the numbers even after I added qualitative data--feedback # from # the students themselves, in their own words, saying they excelled in # their # coursework because of SI.
# #
# # It was, however, more difficult to be critical of my interpretive report, # which # pulls the following data on students enrolled in SI-supported classes:
# #
# # * GPA (at the beginning of the term) # # * ACT/SAT scores # # * Classification # # * Ethnicity # # * Residency (on/off campus) # # * Major/Minor # # * Academic Standing # # * Cohort attributes such as athletics, provisional status, international # student, # etc.
# #
# # If I run the interpretive reports at the beginning of the term, I get a bird's- # # eye view of the class, which allows me to also create individual student # # profiles.
# #
# # The beauty of the interpretive report is its use as a tool to make predictions # # about the students in our SI-supported classes. An example would be to # # examine how a freshman with several at-risk factors and low ACT scores # # (which tests science acumen) might fare in a traditionally difficult biology # # class. Since our SI support focuses on traditionally difficult classes where # # many students struggle, we then make predictions on success (A, B, or C) # # depending on whether the less proficient students and those considered at- # # risk attend SI, how often they attend, and when they attend. The # # interpretive report allows us to compile some fascinating reports for variety # # of departments and student services. Our measurements consistently show # # that no matter how many at-risk factors a student may have, the more SI # # visits, the higher the final grade.
# #
# # While something like an interpretive report is more difficult to generate # with # tutoring, it can be done.
# #
# # sal
# #
# #
# # Sara Weertz, M.Ed.
# # Executive Director, First Year Experience ASU Station #10915 Angelo State # # University San Angelo, TX  76909 # (325) 942-2595 # [log in to unmask] # # # CRLA President-Elect 2013-2014 # www.crla.net # # # ****************************************************
# #
# #
# # -----Original Message-----
# # From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:LRNASST- # # [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Marcia Toms # Sent: Thursday, January 09, # 2014 8:32 AM # To: [log in to unmask] # Subject: Re: ROI on # Academic Support Services? -- Different Take # # That is great, Leonard.
# #
# # One question, though: Do students voluntarily come to your center?  If so, # # how do you address the motivation issue?  In other words, who is to say # that # these students wouldn't have higher retention rates anyway?
# #
# # Best,
# # -Marcia
# #
# #
# # On Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 9:06 AM, Roberta Schotka # # <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
# #
# # > Leonard,
# # >
# # > That is brilliant, especially since it is so difficult to link grades # > directly to # tutoring, given all of the other contributing factors.
# # >
# # > -Roberta
# # >
# # >
# # > On Wed, Jan 8, 2014 at 4:52 PM, Geddes, Leonard G.
# # > <[log in to unmask]
# # > >wrote:
# # >
# # > > Melissa and any others who are interested, # > > # > > I have attached # part of a report that I sent up to the "powers  that be"
# # > > about the influence our services are having on the bottom line -- # > > # retention. In the past, we communicated how we were affecting # > > # academic performance.  However, when it seemed like reporting how # > > # students were improving academically was not generating the traction # > > # that we thought it deserved, I decided to speak the administration's # > > # language by adding a retention element to the report.  In short, we # > > # compared the re-enrollment rates of students using our services to # > > # general student retention, # > athletic # > > teams, etc.  Our numbers # rocked!  (I've attached an abbreviated # > > report since I don't think the # administration would like us to share # > > financial info publically.) # > > # > > # In the actual report, we put figures to the report by factoring in # > > the # "real" revenue that is generated per student. For example, # > # hypothetically, # > > if the overall retention rate was 70%, but our numbers !

 # were 86%, # > > then we sh!
#  owed numerically how much revenue 16% more students # added # > > to # the bottom line, thus showing that we are revenue generating.
# # > >
# # > > As a result of changing to reporting this way, our reports have been # > # going # > > all the way up the chain to the Board.  Recently, they specifically # # > > referenced our center and services in the new strategic plan!  We # > > # are now preparing for a significant budget increase as well -- yay!
# # > >
# # > > I hope this is useful.
# # > >
# # > > Leonard Geddes
# # > > Associate Dean of Co-Curricular Programs Director of the Learning # > > # Commons Division of Student Life Lenoir-Rhyne University www.lr.edu # > > # [log in to unmask] # > > (828) 328-7024 # > > (828) 328-7702 (fax) # > > # # > > The LearnWell Projects Blog:
# # > http://www.thelearnwellprojects.com/thewell/
# # > >
# # > >
# # >
# # > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
# # > To access the LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your # > # subscription options (including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your web # > # browser to http://www.lists.ufl.edu/archives/lrnasst-l.html
# # >
# # > To contact the LRNASST-L owner, email [log in to unmask] # > # # # # -- # # Marcia Toms, Ph.D.
# # Associate Director
# # Undergraduate Tutorial Center
# # Division of Academic and Student Affairs North Carolina State University # # Campus Box 7118 / 101 Park Shops Raleigh, NC 27695-7118 # 919.513.7829 # # http://www.ncsu.edu/tutorial_center/
# #
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