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Are the Learning Team leaders attending class with the students?

Michael B. Kassel, Ph. D.
Tutorial Coordinator
Academic Success Center
285 University Pavilion
(810) 766-6773
[log in to unmask]


On Wed, Jun 5, 2019 at 9:21 AM Stephanie Weatherford <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Thank you, Emily!
>
>
>
> Each group is different depending on their needs. Some are more hands-on
> and some are not. Of course, we more highly encourage the hands-off. When
> students have homework questions, we encourage the tutors to refer back to
> an example that is similar. They then get the clients to figure out how to
> work the example problem. Then, the client works the homework problem and
> the tutor checks it. We ask that the tutors be somewhat prepared for
> learning teams by bringing old notes or a textbook (or both), but they do
> not need to do any "major" prep work. We do not pay them to prepare for
> their learning teams. Our goal is for the learning teams to be
> "client-lead". One of the things the tutor is supposed to do during the
> first learning team of the semester is ask the clients what they hope to
> gain out of their learning teams. They explain that it's not a "homework"
> session, but that they may have some time to work on their homework. We
> feel that a little bit of time to work on homework is not bad as long as
> the tutor explains "why" and gets the client to work the problems
> themselves.
>
>
>
> I hope this helps!
>
>
>
>
>
> Stephanie Weatherford
>
> Program Director – Math and Computer Science
>
> Academic Assistance and Resource Center (AARC)
>
> Stephen F. Austin State University | Nacogdoches, TX
>
> (936) 468 – 1403
>
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
> The views and opinions expressed in this message are my own and do not
> necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Stephen F. Austin State
> University, its Board of Regents, or the State of Texas.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <
> [log in to unmask]> *On Behalf Of *Janssen, Emily E
> *Sent:* Tuesday, June 4, 2019 6:28 PM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Re: [External Sender] Increasing SI attendance
>
>
>
> Hi Stephanie,
>
>
>
> I am very intrigued by your learning teams model! Does it follow the same
> collaborative learning philosophy as SI, where the leader takes a very
> hands-off role, or is it more like traditional group tutoring with a more
> involved leader?
>
>
>
> Thanks for sharing!
>
> Emily
>
>
>
> *From:* Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <
> [log in to unmask]> *On Behalf Of *Stephanie Weatherford
> *Sent:* Tuesday, June 4, 2019 1:40 PM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Re: [External Sender] Increasing SI attendance
>
>
>
> Hi Michael,
>
>
>
> I agree with Emily. Math SI has low turnout for us as well, but our math
> walk-in table is extremely popular. Actually, I should say “was”. I was a
> math SI leader at Stephen F. Austin State University. Then I became a math
> instructor at the same university and had an SI leader for my course.
> Attendance was good, but not great. We were seeing that a few people came
> consistently, but then there wasn’t enough space in the room right before
> an exam (no matter how much I encouraged the students to NOT wait until the
> exam).
>
>
>
> Then, I left the university for a couple of years. During that time, the
> Math Program Director (which is my job now) made some changes. They got rid
> of SI completely and offered “learning teams”. When I was first told about
> this, my gut reaction was “No! Let’s change that back to SI”. However, I
> gave it some thought. I knew our Math department had been through many
> changes over the last couple of years, so I decided to keep one thing
> consistent and see for myself how it went. I was glad I did!
>
>
>
> One of the main differences between “learning teams” and SI is that
> students have to sign up for learning teams. Attendance is mandatory. When
> they sign up, they are sent a reminder email about their appointment once a
> week. They are also weekly reminded of the attendance policy. The learning
> teams end up being similar to one-on-one tutoring, but with a max of 8
> students instead of 1. I can describe further if needed.
>
>
>
> Last semester, I tried to partially bring SI back. The thought was for
> each Math course, we would offer about 3 or 4 learning teams and 1 SI
> during the week. The students had to sign up for the learning teams, but
> not SI. We quickly learned that students actually prefer learning teams. As
> a former SI leader myself, that was a little shocking to me. Having a mix
> of learning teams and SI works best for courses like Math Elementary Ed,
> Statistics, and Calculus. Going forward, those will be the only courses
> that I offer SI for.
>
>
>
> Of course, I’m only speaking for Math. This idea of mixing learning teams
> and SI was given to me by our Science program director. We both agree that
> some courses need both learning teams and SI, but some courses only need
> learning teams. Those are generally the courses that are problem based and
> homework heavy. SI works better for courses that are more concept based.
>
>
>
> I hope that helps! If you think this idea is crazy, then your mindset is
> exactly as mine was when I first heard about it. The professors resisted at
> first, but actually prefer learning teams now as well. I agree that having
> them as our cheerleaders and advertisers is the best way to get any clients.
>
>
>
>
>
> Stephanie Weatherford
>
> Program Director – Math and Computer Science
>
> Academic Assistance and Resource Center (AARC)
>
> Stephen F. Austin State University | Nacogdoches, TX
>
> (936) 468 – 1403
>
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
> The views and opinions expressed in this message are my own and do not
> necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Stephen F. Austin State
> University, its Board of Regents, or the State of Texas.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <
> [log in to unmask]> *On Behalf Of *Janssen, Emily E
> *Sent:* Tuesday, June 4, 2019 12:50 PM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* Re: [External Sender] Increasing SI attendance
>
>
>
> Hi Michael,
>
>
>
> Our SI program at my previous institution tended to see low turnout for
> math SI, unless we adapted SI to deal with the homework problems. For many
> math classes, students felt that they should not have to do any extra
> practice beyond the homework problems, especially if the instructor
> assigned a lot of homework. Therefore, SI was poor match for students’
> expectations about math classes. It might be worth it to try to change the
> culture around additional practice in math classes, but that is likely to
> be a long, slow, messy process. For that reason, I think SI in math is a
> tough sell, and those SI sections are likely to show lower attendance than
> your other SI sections. However, I would be more than happy to be proven
> wrong if other institutions have had better results incorporating SI in
> math classes!
>
>
>
> Our most successful SI sections – attendance-wise anyway – were those
> whose faculty were extremely enthusiastic. Some of those faculty offered
> extra credit, but many did not. I think the higher attendance was just as
> much due to the cheerleading the instructors did on a regular basis. We’re
> talking at least once a week. Some of it, I think, was cheerleading about
> the program, and some was praising the SI leader to the students. Some was
> also “the more practice you get with this, the better you’ll do on exams” –
> basically instructors who preached and modeled growth mindset.
>
>
>
> I think sometimes the best thing we can do to increase attendance at SI is
> make sure faculty understand the program well and know how much of an
> impact their words have on student attendance.
>
>
>
> Hope this helps,
>
> Emily
>
>
>
> *From:* Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <
> [log in to unmask]> *On Behalf Of *Michael Kassel
> *Sent:* Tuesday, June 4, 2019 12:03 PM
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Subject:* [External Sender] Increasing SI attendance
>
>
>
> *CAUTION:* This email originated from outside of Mid-State Technical
> College. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the
> sender and know the content is safe.
>
> What are the most effective strategies you've used to increase SI
> attendance? We find low attendance, especially for Math SI, and have
> attempted a few things:
>
>
>
>    1. Posters in class announcing days and times of SI sessions
>    2. Encouraging SI leaders to use Blackboard email to all students to
>    discuss upcoming topics (not just a session reminder) for this week's
>    session
>    3. Visits to classes by Tutorial/SI Coordinator
>    4. Faculty extra credit for session attendance (if they chose to do
>    so, as well as optional extra credit for those who cannot attend)
>    5. SI Promo video (two minutes) played during the SI intro. Here is a
>    link to the video I created:
>    https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.youtube.com_watch-3Fv-3DIonmsd8B7Zc&d=DwIFaQ&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=tkAACBgX69zH9b8QGasKbhgWu8w0Arh-QhL0xf_Y95k&m=_HIM_HvHUQuFaF3QhZKKzROkfuzGr3zVt37amtzOCX8&s=m_Ats3dMbWmwBrtROLFt_mXlmjO_1qrwp7LfgbsAtAM&e= 
>    <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.youtube.com_watch-3Fv-3DIonmsd8B7Zc&d=DwMFaQ&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=tkAACBgX69zH9b8QGasKbhgWu8w0Arh-QhL0xf_Y95k&m=K_7iIjtaGQABDUioR5ODRhvhMdTy62gF9Q1uOktc0g0&s=QhnZnN3rvKcutZItydh0UK89NOvzGlnCLm1WGMZjmNU&e=>
>
>
> For all our efforts, we still sometimes suffer from low attendance - what
> are you doing on your campus?
>
>
>
> Just a note on the video - this was not scripted - I spent about a half
> hour interviewing each of the actual SI leaders (and one student) and just
> asked some basic questions and then edited this together selecting the best
> parts of what they had said)
>
> .
>
>
>
> Michael B. Kassel, Ph. D.
>
> Tutorial Coordinator
>
> Adjunct Lecturer in History and American Culture
>
> 285 University Pavilion
>
> (810) 766-6773
>
> [log in to unmask]
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> Emily Janssen
> Academic Coach
> Mid-State Technical College / Wisconsin Rapids Campus
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