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The Underprepared Student Professor Jane G. Wiese, MAT, MSM Professor, Accounting Technology Valencia Community College
The Underprepared Student • Characteristics • Course Architecture • Implementation Ideas
An Underprepared Student is: • A person who is unable to engage in purposeful learning; • A student who wants to learn, but doesn’t know how to learn; • And tends to be an “at-risk” student
At-Risk Students • Academically underprepared • Working 30+ hours per week • Lack of support from key family members • First member of family in college • Expectations of failure • Little past academic success • Limited math and English skills
Underprepared students are disadvantaged by: • Weak self-esteem • History of academic failure • No goals or unrealistic goals • Family problems • Economic difficulties • Learning disabilities, often undiagnosed
Typical Indicators of Underprepared Students • Come to class without pencil, paper, or calculator • Delay purchasing a textbook • Sit near the door or in the last row • Don’t complete the first assignment • Miss the first day of class • Erratic attendance
Typical Indicators of Underprepared Students (continued) • Take few or no lecture notes • Rarely ask questions • Don’t highlight or make notes in textbook • Nonparticipants in group settings • Rarely or never visit professor during office hours • Limited academic vocabulary
Course Architecture • Teacher centered course architecture • Clear goals and objectives • Multiple Learning strategies • Modification of student behavior • Balanced scorecard for assessment
Teacher Centered Course Architecture • Teacher centered methods focus on teachers as the key transmitters of knowledge. • Student centered methods place students in the primary role of knowledge seekers because of their supposed inherent curiosity and desire to learn.
Teacher Centered Course Architecture: Direct Instruction • Direct instruction is characterized by courses with an integrated set of goals and objectives. All course activities are designed to reinforce student achievement • Direct instruction is characterized by teaching in small, logically sequential steps with student practice after each step.
Clear goals and objectives • All goals and objectives for the entire course are clearly stated and made available to students on the first day of class • All lectures, readings, assignments and assessment activities are directly tied to the goals and objectives.
Multiple Learning strategies • Take into account the different learning styles of students: • Visual • Aural • Reading/Writing • Kinesthetic • Provide opportunities for students to learn processes and concepts according to their learning styles
Modification of student behavior • Design course structure and activities to reinforce positive academic behaviors • Attendance on first day of class • Coming to class everyday on time • Taking lecture notes • Participation in group activities • Completion of assignments • Good study and test taking habits
Balanced Scorecard for Assessment • Employ multiple methods • Vocabulary • Matching • Multiple choice questions • True false questions • Problem solving • Fill in the blank • Check boxes • Extra credit activities
Implementation Ideas • Memo for absence on first day of class • Handout with goals and objectives • In-class workshops • Self-paced worksheets • 5 minute preview • Organization of groups • Proofreading for extra credit