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Great links & videos, all -- thanks for sharing!

In the process of preparing my dissertation proposal I did a good bit of research on how students’ epistemological beliefs influenced their educational achievement, and that led me down some interesting paths. Eventually, my question became this: if we know students have these wrong-headed ideas regarding how we think/learn, how do we re-train them to have new beliefs that will serve them better as college-level learners?

Have you ever read anything on the Wilson & Linville studies? I hadn't until I listened to a Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast that referenced Timothy Wilson's book Redirect (2011) -- which is well worth reading -- whose studies go back to the 80s on using interventions to change students’ attitudes. The below is from a survey article on effective social-psych interventions by Yeager, D. S., & Walton, G. M. (2011). (Social-psychological interventions in education: They’re not magic. Review of Educational Research, 81(2), 267-301.)

Intervention 1: Wilson and Linville (1982). Wilson and Linville (1982, 1985) … developed a brief intervention to teach students that poor academic performance is normal at first in the transition to a new school, that it does not reflect a lack of ability, and that students’ grades typically improve as they adjust to the new school.

In a series of classic studies, Wilson and Linville (1982, 1985) brought struggling first-year college students to a laboratory and told them that they had interviewed college students about their transition to college. They asked students to watch some of these videotaped interviews. Students in the treatment group (randomly assigned) saw videos of upperclassmen describing how their grades in college were low at first but got better with time. These upperclassmen attributed their early poor performance to unstable causes that dissipate, such as a lack of familiarity with college classes … A year later, students’ official GPAs were collected. Students in the treatment group had earned higher GPAs than students in the control group …  Moreover, this effect seemed to gain in strength with each successive term. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that the intervention set in motion a recursive or self-reinforcing attributional process whereby better performance each term reinforced more adaptive attributions for early academic struggles. In addition, treated students were 80% less likely to drop out of college. This basic intervention has been replicated many times with diverse populations …


Pretty cool, huh?

I had thought about trying to put something akin to this together this AY for the at-risk students referred to tutoring via academic alerts, but sadly I never really pursued it beyond the idea stage as I kind of got drowned in work when the term started.


--

Robert A. Russell
Director, Center for Academic Achievement
East Tennessee State University
423-439-7111<tel:423-439-7111>/7115
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Info: http://www.etsu.edu/tutoring
Appointment: http://mywco.com/etsu

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Those beliefs include the following myths:



Myth 1: I can learn quickly and I retain almost everything I read. (Characterized by marathon study sessions and cramming).

More accurate:  I learn best over time.  Distributing the time that I study over several days and studying varying ideas and concepts help me retain information. I also found that quizzing my self is a more accurate way of assessing my learning than simply reading or re-reading chapters.



Myth 2: The best way to learn is to memorize facts.

(Characterized by creating flashcards or re-copying vocabulary words.)

More accurate: Comprehension is required for retaining information over time.  If I can explain a concept to a friend or parent, I'm more likely to be able to recall these ideas later (on a quiz or an exam) and if I can apply these ideas to an aspect of my life or community, I know I have a firm grasp of the material.



Myth 3: Learning is an innate ability. (Characterized by statements like, "I really stink at history" or "Math just comes naturally to me.")

More accurate:  Learning takes time and effort.  It is true some subjects may be easier given my interests, but regardless of how good I am at a subject I need to work at comprehending information so that I can grow.



Myth 4:  I a master multi-tasker. (Characterized by statements like, "I studied while I was watching the Walking Dead Marathon" or "I usually have six or seven windows open on my PC while I'm studying just to be sure I'm not missing out on something cool.")

More accurate:  Multi-tasking is distracting.  If I can reduce distractions, I'll not only be able to learn more effectively but I will get more enjoyment from binge watching the zombie apocalypse.)



If we can begin the term by helping students become aware of these learning myths and learn some more-effective study skills, we can help them begin the semester on a stronger foundation.











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On Jan 13, 2015, at 4:03 PM, Dr. Renee Wright <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:

Mindset and academic tenacity are great topics, check out the links below.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/2014/04/14/why-academic-tenacity-matters/

http://collegeready.gatesfoundation.org/article/academic-tenacity-mindsets-and-skills-promote-long-term-learning




Renee Wright, PhD
English Faculty, E102D
708-456-0300 x 3237

________________________________________
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> on behalf of Ira Johnson <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 1:58 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Tutor training course

This is WONDERFUL information! Thanks for sharing!

On Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 12:57 PM, Maher, Patricia <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:

I ordered her book for my staff and used a great Ted Talk video for the
tutors and in a recent program for students on probation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN34FNbOKXc

Also a great short video for students (our math instructors placed this on
their course site)  is from Kahn Academy:


https://www.khanacademy.org/youcanlearnanything?video=main&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=YCLA%20Clicks&utm_campaign=YCLA%20Ph2%20Follow%20up%20email%20082214


Pat

Patricia A. Maher, Ph. D.
Director, Academic Success Center
(Formerly Tutoring & Learning Services)
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave.
LIB122
Tampa, FL  33620
813-974-5141
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>





-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>] On Behalf Of Judy Weaver
Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 1:45 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Tutor training course

What Mindset material do you use? I am considering having my students read
Carol Dweck's book, *Mindset*.

On Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 1:38 PM, Maher, Patricia <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:

I second the Mindset suggestion!!!  We are using this material with
students in workshops and in Tutor Training this year.  Good results!!
Students really relate.  I just had a tutor tell me a story this
morning about how she use the Mindset suggestions to help a student
work past a block about some problems.


Pat

Patricia A. Maher, Ph. D.
Director, Academic Success Center
(Formerly Tutoring & Learning Services) University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave.
LIB122
Tampa, FL  33620
813-974-5141
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>



-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>] On Behalf Of Terri Lamb
Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 1:33 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Tutor training course

Mindset!

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>] On Behalf Of Shreckengost, Jennifer
Sent: Monday, January 12, 2015 2:57 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Tutor training course

Hi All!

I am currently redesigning our tutor training course and would love to
get
input on any 'must haves' for such a course.

Thanks in advance!

*Jennifer Shreckengost, EdS*
*Chair - Teaching and Learning Center*



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