Amjad Khan and Tracy Russo
Given the recent pennant race with many ups and downs for Tigers fans, a baseball metaphor seemed appropriate to frame strategies helping students score in school.
Bring home the run
Over the many years of my teaching experience, I have learned that meeting in the last quarter of semester, once or more, individually with those students who are on the border (between a 1.5 and 2.0 GPA) DOES increase the course completion/student success rate. I use this time for sharing additional learning tips with them, by making accommodations for their reasonable needs, or simply encouraging them by drawing their attention to the bright light at the end of the tunnel.
Every time at bat counts
My reminders to students regarding course/degree completion NEVER! ends in the first week of the semester. I keep reminding my students every day of the semester the importance of completing my coursework as well as completing all courses and earning a college degree.
Teamwork is a key to success
Early on, I ask my students to introduce themselves to each other in the classroom and exchange phone numbers/email addresses/other contact sources in order to be able to reach each other for arranging group study sessions, borrowing notes (from each other) from missed classes, or for meeting up at local bars!
Right off the bat
Also, I thoroughly discuss the course syllabus in each class on the first day of semester and, in the process, students have an opportunity to share their thought/expectations/concerns/excitements regarding the course! This semester, I have sent email to those students who have never attended the first three classes. In addition, I have sent email to those students who have attended the first/second class & have missed the next one/two classes.
I encourage my students to stop by my office anytime (from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, excluding my class hrs) on any day of the first week of semester with their ANY qns/concerns/worries regarding the course and I will have an open/informal discussion with them. Some students do take advantage of it. Further, my students can reach me anytime of any week/weekend day via my mobile phone and a number of students call me early/late hours during week days as well as weekends.
What do you do to ensure your students bat a thousand each semester? Please use the comment section below to share your techniques. Or, try your hand at our 4 x 4 x 16 = ice cream contest!