Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners


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Success by design

Many students enter college unprepared. While 87 percent of high school students surveyed by YouthTruth said they wanted to go to college, only 45 percent felt ready to succeed there. They may even lack the emotional stamina that college life demands. Partnerships between colleges and high schools can help ease the transition to higher education. To help improve the odds for incoming students, the AHC program worked with students who were on-track to graduate from New York City public high schools but had not met traditional benchmarks of college readiness, such as adequate SAT scores.

The program focused on preparing students for the CUNY placement exam and college-level work; helping them with college and financial-aid applications; getting them ready for college life; and assigning each student a faculty mentor, a full-time advisor, and a peer mentor who kept track of her progress during the first year of college. Students who participated in AHC scored 10 to 20 percentage points higher on the CUNY placement exam than students who were not in the program.

The University of Montana partners with high schools across Montana to help students better prepare for college-level math coursework. Research by Complete College America found that 71 percent of students in the Montana State University system do not make it through gateway-level college math classes within two years—a major deterrent to persistence. These findings spurred the university to find a better way to prepare students for college-level math. To date, EdReady has been implemented in more than schools across Montana. Early results from a pilot found that students who used EdReady before their college math classes, compared with those who did not, earned a.

Another kind of partnership allows students to earn college credits while still in high school. Early college high schools are small public schools that offer college courses, starting in ninth grade.


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They are based on the theory that if you engage underrepresented students in a rigorous curriculum, with strong academic and social support, tied to the incentive of earning college credit, those students are more likely to pursue higher education. These collaborative efforts have proven extremely successful. A study by the American Institutes for Research shows that students who attend early college high school were significantly more likely to enroll in college; 25 percent of them went on to graduate, compared to just 5 percent of students who did not attend early college high schools.

While the academic program is the foundation for the El Paso success, the wraparound services available from ninth grade through college graduation really make the difference. From eighth grade on, each student in the program works with an advisor to chart an appropriate academic path. The El Paso example shows how institutions can collaborate to create a streamlined experience from high school through college and graduation. While implementing strategies on their own campuses, colleges and universities can also share leading practices with peer institutions. The 11 member universities of the UIA work together to identify and pilot innovative programs designed to improve student success.

The alliance has pledged to scale successful programs across member campuses to graduate an additional 68, students by Other UIA members are using the lessons learned from these efforts to guide the development of their own initiatives to apply predictive analytics capabilities to aid with student success at their respective institutions.

When it comes to improving student success, few institutions have achieved significant gains. This is due to the inherent obstacles to change that colleges and universities typically face—from distributed decision-making systems and multiple power and authority structures to misaligned goals. To help drive widespread student success, an institution should marshal all its resources, gain commitment from faculty and others who work with students, embrace innovation, ground decisions in solid evidence, create incentives resulting from change for all stakeholders, and stay relentless about measurement and evaluation.

And to be able to achieve this kind of fundamental change, strong leadership must champion the effort. Georgia State University offers a prime example of what is possible when the foundational capacities of leadership and strategy, measurement and evaluation, and transformational readiness all come together.

A nationally recognized leader in student success, GSU achieved one of the most dramatic graduation rate increases in the country while working to eliminate the graduation rate gap among low-income and underrepresented students. The leaders also maintained a long-term perspective, understanding that successes would accumulate over time. For instance, when the student success team proposed the Summer Success Academy, allowing the most at-risk incoming students to earn seven credit hours and receive academic advising and financial literacy training before their first semester, President Mark Becker might have balked.

Support from the top also helped to remove an array of obstacles to student success that were related to university infrastructure. A careful analysis of university data drawn from multiple sources revealed that when students faced problems involving academic policy, financial aid, billing, student choices, and other functions on campus, they almost never could resolve those issues by working with one university office alone.

Seemingly separate problems were actually interconnected in complex ways. The managers of these functions hold weekly meetings, which help reveal new obstacles that students may face and provide a better structure for dealing with those issues. This strategy started with a focused effort to maintain the quality of the data that drove decisions.

When GSU launched its student success programs, administrators already had a wealth of transactional student data upon which to draw. But to help make that data useful, they needed to move it from numerous stand-alone systems into a well-designed data warehouse. They also needed to make sure that the Institutional Research Team and the offices responsible for the transactional data kept the warehouse up to date. With the infrastructure in place, not only could GSU uncover the greatest obstacles to student success, and launch programs to address them, it could also continually test new approaches.

When a likely solution emerged from a small-scale pilot, GSU quickly ramped it up to test how well it worked on a broader scale. By applying this method to simple problems, GSU made some significant gains in student outcomes. Those early wins encouraged administration and faculty to apply the same methodology to tougher, more complex issues. In one experiment, in , the university gave small grants to approximately students who had been dropped from classes for nonpayment.

These students had good grades, owed just a small amount of money, and were close to graduation. The grants kept most of the students from dropping out, resulting in higher graduation rates in the long term. In another experiment, GSU addressed challenges caused by its new, more expensive apartment-style residence halls which, because they feature kitchens rather than dining halls, do not promote as strong a sense of community. In , it opened Freshman Hall, a newer residence hall based on an older model, with small double rooms, shared bathrooms, and a dining hall.

A spot in Freshman Hall, including a meal plan, costs considerably less than a spot in the apartment-style residence. The new residence always fills up fast. But instead of trying to enhance its stature by accepting more of those applicants, GSU has continued to pursue students who show promise but face academic and financial challenges. Most of the new students come from the underserved communities that GSU has committed to helping, and most face the kinds of academic challenges that GSU has been working to address over the past decade.

Besides rallying the community around this cause, GSU has taken a realistic approach toward funding. Recognizing that recent cuts to public funding are unlikely to be restored, GSU has instead used its own limited budget to produce the most effective outcomes it can.

Relying on student data to determine which investments may produce the greatest payoffs, and using well-targeted experiments to test those hypotheses, GSU has produced a transformation that it can sustain well into the future. Colleges and universities face growing pressure from state legislatures, the federal government, and the broader public, including students themselves, to become more accountable for improving retention and graduation rates, among other measures. At the same time, changes in student demographics are making the challenge of improving student success outcomes even greater.

Institutions should respond with student-centered strategies that holistically address critical parts of the student experience that are linked to student success. Meaningful progress on student success will not happen overnight. Institutions should foster the culture, skill sets, and infrastructure necessary to support a student-focused environment. As the magnitude of the challenge grows, institutions that start down this path sooner, rather than later, are most likely to see significant results. Please see www. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte Network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this communication. Cover image by: Alex Nabaum. Project team: Purva Singh assisted with the research and writing of the article. View in article. Tia Brown McNair et al.

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The Center for Digital Education, The curriculum of the future: How digital content is changing education , , no. Barbara Means et al. Danae L. Drab-Hudson, Brooke L. Whisenhunt, Carol F. Shoptaugh, Ann D. Rost, and Rachel N. Learning analytics refers to the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about the progress of learners and the contexts in which learning takes place.

It has also been perceived positively by students—it can provide students with an opportunity to take control of their own learning, give them a better idea of their current performance in real-time, and help them to make informed choices about what to study. Jeffrey J. Martin Kurzweil and D. Bailey, Jaggars, and Jenkins, What we know about guided pathways. In this model, students who have done well in the course previously are recruited to become peer-leaders: Students who lead small groups of six to eight students in problem solving and discussion of the course material.

As many as 20 individual studies have shown improved student performance as a result of participating in the PLTL. The group collaborated to accomplish several goals. First, they analyzed the HLPs in general and special education to unpack the terms and practices.

Then, the group tackled the pedagogy of teaching HLPs to teacher candidates and beginning teachers. The PLC provided a structure for agreeing on and institutionalizing HLPs for teacher candidates and beginning teachers and streamlining their roles as teacher educators at the pre- and in-service levels. Specific examples are included below:. A third-grade teacher, Ms.

The lesson begins with Ms. L reading a passage to the class while displaying the text on the Smartboard.

Study Skills & Evidence-based Learning Strategies &

First, Ms. Students are then prompted to look and listen for vivid verbs as she reads. L completes the passage, she asks students to identify the vivid verbs and infer meaning. As the class discusses the sophisticated words, Ms. L asks them to think about how they might use those words, making linkages to familiar words, in their own stories later in the day. Lexicon has identified a group of students who need targeted supplemental instruction.

L uses flexible grouping to model thinking about a vivid vocabulary word. L and the group chorally read a portion of the text. Then, Ms.

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As students provide answers, Ms. L provides positive feedback.


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  6. After students tell what blurting means, Ms. She then tasks the group to practice locating vivid vocabulary by independently reading the remainder of the text and identifying vivid vocabulary, just as they did as a group. Lexicon was certain that one of her Tier 3 students, Adam, would need more intensive support beyond the small-group instruction. When she dismissed the group to continue reading independently, she asked Adam to stay with her for more explicit instruction. L provided more modeling by reading the passage aloud to Adam. Then, she segmented the passage into shorter chunks for Adam to read to her.

    L had Adam summarize the segments in his own words and write down his ideas and vocabulary words. This intentional discussion ensured Adam had an outline prepared for the writing assignment later in the day. As the case example demonstrates, the coupling of HLPs and EBPs can be powerful when providing increasingly intensive instruction and intervention for students with disabilities and those who struggle.

    Using these practices for effectively implementing MTSS has the potential to transform teaching and learning to ensure that every student succeeds. To improve outcomes for students with disabilities and those who struggle, teachers must be equipped with knowledge and skill that they can consistently use to meet the variety of needs that their students present. HLPs and EBPs show great promise when implemented well and can be a solid foundation for educator preparation programming in general and special education.

    Evidence summaries

    This guide provides a roadmap for student success for teachers, teacher educators, administrators, and policy makers. Thiese video support teacher educators and new teachers with concrete, easy-to-access examples of HLPs in action, in real classrooms, with real students. The videos highlight research-based practices capture diverse contexts, subject areas, grade-levels, and student needs. Ball, D. Building a common core for learning to teach and connecting professional learning to practice.

    American Educator, , Beck, I. Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction 2nd ed. Cook, B. Evidence-based special education and professional wisdom: Putting it all together. Intervention in School and Clinic, 44 2 , Lane, H. Evidence-based reading instruction for grades K-5 Document No. McLeskey, J. High-leverage practices and teacher preparation in special education Document No. Troia, G. Refund Policy: Information about our product refund policy is available on the Customer Care page. This is a subscription-based eBook that will be available to you on VitalSource.

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    Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners
    Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners
    Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners
    Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners
    Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners
    Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners
    Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners
    Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners
    Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners Research-Based Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Targeted Groups of Learners

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