I have begun making appointments with students who are not being successful and compelling them to come to my office to work out an action plan. I give them a written appointment like the one below:
If I can get the student to come to my office for this meeting I talk to them about what their problems are with the course, answer any questions they have, and then set up an individual plan for success. This plan may include resubmitting some missed or poorly done homework or doing some other activity to learn a concept they are missing and to earn points for completing that activity. I generally place a condition that the student must have very good attendance from this point on to earn these extra points. I also may require the use of the Math Center or a tutor.
Not all students accept my invitation, some totally ignore the appointment and others do not complete the individual plan, but some benefit so it’s worth it. I send an email and give a personal invite if the student is attending class. The students who do come to my office are generally thankful for the intervention and are honest with me about why they are not doing well. I have had one student who has been pretty demanding and not accepting his own responsibility, but for all of the others, it has been an opportunity they have greatly appreciated.
Overall, the intervention has not changed the results for very many students, but that’s OK. I figure if I can keep one student from failing it is worth it. It does not cost me very much of my time and gives me the opportunity to show the students that I care about their success.