July 2001 Issue
Welcome to the July issue. This month we have excellent articles including part II of the SI series and a management tip from Frank Christ. This is a slow time of the year and almost half of our subscribers are off for the summer. For those of you who are still around Susan Palau is taking you for a virtual tour of the outdoors via cyberspace.
Because of the reduction in the number of readers this issue is lighter than usual. We will go back to full throttle when fall semester begins.
Enjoy the new issue, and don't forget to pass its web address to colleagues and fellow staff members.Mon Nasser Editor
Management Strategies & TipsBy Frank L. Christ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Center Outreach to Online Students
Chronicle of Higher Education ( 7 January 2000) reported that a recently
completed U.S. Department of Education survey found that 1,680 institutions
offered 54,000 online courses in 1998, with 1.6 million students enrolled -- and
those numbers have since had two more years to grow.
involved is your center and your staff in supporting student learning in online courses? Check your involvement in
supporting online students against the following list of possible learning
Partnering with your campus course development office to insure that student
learning support is a part of online course design.
Acting as a course virtual learning skills specialist in cooperation with
a course instructor so that students may interact with you on their study
Offering online support to online students with a link from your learning center
web site to course and study skills tutorials and information that is especially
relevant to online study and assignments.
Offering the services of your center for F2F assistance with any online student
that lives nearby regardless of the institution in which they are enrolled in an
online course. This may be a fee-based service.
Encouraging your staff to enroll in an online course to experience the
difference between it and traditional courses and to understand the special
needs of online students.
Providing outreach services to online faculty and students will not only increase your center’s visibility but will also demonstrate your leadership and initiative in supporting campus retention and student satisfaction.
Department to SI Program Dynamics (2nd in series)
By Barbara Stout and Jeanne Wiatr, SI Supervisors, University of Pittsburgh
Although students entering our
undergraduate programs appear to be ready to face the challenges of college,
faculty is often met with students having ineffective study strategies who
struggle and fail many introductory courses.
Faculty attempt to reach out to students through office hours and
appointments but are thwarted by limited number of hours they are available to
see students individually and student hesitancy to approach a professor.
Professors are eager to hear of assistance that enhances their courses and
allows them to maintain their high course standards.
Supplemental Instruction (SI) is the tool easily adopted to address
faculty desire for support.
If you have an idea of which
courses are high-risk (as defined in our last article) approaching
administration/faculty would be the next step to establishing SI.
Understanding what support is currently available for the subjects
involved is important. As a start, showing how SI could enhance the assistance
available or better yet establish academic support for students in targeted
courses is a great introduction. Assurances
that SI is a cost-effective tool usually peaks the administrations interest.
Establishing that SI groups involve larger numbers of students within the
same time one or two students would be seen during tutoring sessions or office
hours makes an impression. Pointing
out the long-term benefit of retention and reenrollment of students who succeed
with SI support also appeals to efforts involving retention issues.
When discussing funding with administrators be prepared with a list of
funding sources, as suggested in the manual from UMKC.
Becoming part of a tutoring budget, considering work-study programs, free
credit options, fee waivers, internships and other possibilities are all
creative options for student compensation.
Writing a grant for a pilot can even get you up and running and the
potential for contributing to research is very attractive in many institutions.
Once you have administration on board approaching faculty is next.
Faculty want to see their students
achieve and should not have to compromise their course standards to see students
succeed. Providing a thorough
explanation of the SI model is critical to a solid foundation for SI support
with faculty. Soliciting assistance from professors for the purpose of referring
students as possible leader trainees offers them an active role in establishing
SI for their course. Care must be
taken not to promise a specific student will get the position (covered in the
recruiting article) but gathering information for several students is good.
If faculty feel they have a handle on the program and involvement (stress
the communication loop) with the leader and supervisor it is not difficult for a
professor to agree piloting SI in their course.
Once they understand that SI is not a response to inadequate teaching but
a tool used to improve inadequately prepared students, faculty generally welcome
the opportunity to offer their students assistance unique to their course.
Stressing the fact that the burden of work rests mainly with the program
helps to ‘sell’ the concept. Reiterating
the importance of their ongoing approval and cooperation further provides a
sense of control. After a pilot
takes off your faculty will be your best source of public relations to new
faculty and administration.
Starting small with one or two
supportive faculty members and the cooperation of your academic support or
tutoring program can go a long way with the administration.
Once administration sees SI as a winning situation for all involved you
are on your way to joining a dynamic international program.
Director, Learning Center, Purchase College/SUNY
White Flower Farm
Forgive me, faithful readers, but I cannot motivate myself to write about academic issues this month. Instead, I am dreaming about being outdoors as I sit for hours at my desk and computer. So I will allow myself to share this lovely, albeit “off-the-topic” website with you – “White Flower Farm”.
The homepage is quite colorful with a number of pictures of flowers that are currently on sale. There is an easy to find and use “Garden Search” along with a plant index that allows you to browse. The “Garden Catalogue” enables you to visit sites on “Plants and Bulbs”, “Only On the Web”, “Gift Ideas” “Tools and Accessories”, “Garden Decor”, “Kitchen Garden”, “Seeds” and “White Sale”. Of course this last site intrigued me – I did not know what to imagine, but I discovered that this site offers, not the latest in towels and sheets of course, but a hodgepodge of good sale items, like clematis, delphinium and point weave baskets.
On the “About Us” page, we learn that White Flower Farm is a family-owned nursery located in Litchfield, Connecticut. They have been in business since 1950 and offer the full range of annuals, perennials, bulbs, and vines throughout the United States. They grow the majority of the plants in their own greenhouses and import the finest bulbs from Holland. They are also proud supporters of “The Hole in the Wall Gang” camp, started by the actor Paul Newman, that offers a wonderful camping experience for children suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses.
The “History” page was quite interesting. White Flower Farm was started in the 1930’s by a husband and wife writing team who relocated to Connecticut but soon discovered that nature was more seductive than writing. They became zealous gardeners and quickly exhausted the available gardening resources in the area. So by 1950, they started there own nursery and combining their gardening passion and writing skills also wrote “How-To” gardening books. This has now morphed into the “Garden Wisdom” portion of this website with “Amos Says” providing new gardening tips weekly.
To get a chance to go “outside”, visit this website at http:/www.whiteflowerfarm.com/
National Conference on Student Retention
NCLCA Annual Conference
The keynote speaker is Bunk Spann. The mission of NCLCA is to support learning assistance professionals as they develop and maintain learning centers, programs, and services to enhance student learning at the post-secondary level. More information about the conference is available on the NCLCA website:
ArkADE Annual Conference
For more info about the Arkansas Association for Developmental Education national conference, contact Sandra Kerr, ArkADE President at email@example.com
American Council on Education Conference
3rd National Conference On Research In Developmental
The conference theme is "Research 2001: Integrating Theory and Practice". The will focus on this integration for the purpose of highlighting current research in the field, sharing research-based classroom techniques, validating current instructional methods, and networking among professionals.
18th Annual Conference
The Learning Association of New England (LAANE) will have its annual conference at the Northeastern University in Burlington, Massachusetts. The theme for this year's conference is "Student Retention!" LAANE supports educators in meeting the academic and interpersonal needs of under-prepared, at risk, and nontraditional students. This also includes students with disabilities and those for whom English is a second language.
8th National Conference on Students in Transition
Let us know about conferences not listed here by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
OK, you probably rather be outside enjoying the sun and the fresh air. Unfortunately you have to work! The summer is a quiet time since many of your students are off. So what do you do with your spare time? Reading this newsletter is a great start, so is taking a look at some tools that will prepare you for the upcoming and traditionally busy fall semester.
Start by investigating the new tools available to help you manage your center. If you haven't done so already, look into automating the process of tracking the attendance and usage of services at your center. Here are some reasons why you want to do this:
I'm sure you can think of other benefits. Of course if you automate the tracking and reporting process, you can do all of the above with a click on a mouse button. This means you will be dealing with accurate, up-to-date, and live data rather than having to rely on manual tabulation of numbers from sign-in sheets. This automation will save you and your staff a lot of manual work and will speed up the sign-in process for your students.
If you work with appointments, also check out how to computerize appointments management. With the right software, finding an open slots for your students becomes an easy and quick process. Also your students can enjoy the ability of scheduling and canceling their own appointments via the Internet.
OK so what software will do all of the above for you and much more? Since this is the Sponsor's corner you know we are taking about AccuTrack. But don't take our word for it; download the free 30-day evaluation and use some of your quiet summer hours to see what this software can do for you.
Visit AccuTrack's web site http://www.attendance-tracking.com/AccuTrack.htm for detailed information and the 30-day free trial.
MS Word Tip of the Month
Using Images Efficiently
In last month's Windows tip we showed you how to capture screens for use in your documents (manuals, instructions sheet, tests, etc.) We also said that you can take the captured images and paste them directly to your Word documents. This is an easy process, but if you include a lot of pictures you will notice the size of your documents will increase significantly. The large file size might make it hard to share this document with others via email or floppy or it might slow down your printer. Luckily there is a trick you can do to greatly reduce the file size.
Click on an image in the document to select it. Cut the picture (click on the cut icon in Word's bar, or select "Edit" - "Cut" from the menu, or ctrl-x on your keyboard). Next click on "Edit" - "Paste Special" from the menu and select "Picture" then click on "OK". In MS Word the Picture format takes least space to store and prints the best quality. If you do this to all the images in your document you will find that its size will be much smaller.
For the taxes that I pay, because it means that I am employed.
For the mess to clean after a party, because it means that I have been surrounded by friends.
For the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means I have enough to eat.
For my shadow that watches me work, because it means I am out in the sunshine.
For a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing, because it means I have a home.
For all the complaining I hear about the government, because it means that we have freedom of speech.
For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means I am capable of walking and that I have been blessed with transportation.
For my huge heating bill, because it means I am warm.
For the lady behind me in church that sings off key, because it means that I can hear.
For the pile of laundry and ironing, because it means I have clothes to wear.
For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day, because it means I have been capable of working hard.
For the alarm that goes of in the early morning hours, because it means that I am alive.
And finally....... For too much e-mail, because it means I have friends who are thinking of me.
Secrets of the Rich
A young man asked an old rich man how he made his money. The old guy fingered his worsted wool vest and said, "Well, son, it was 1932. The depth of the Great Depression. I was down to my last nickel. I invested that nickel in an apple. I spent the entire day polishing the apple and, at the end of the day, I sold the apple for ten cents. The next morning, I invested those ten cents in two apples. I spent the entire day polishing them and sold them at 5 pm for 20 cents. I continued this system for a month, by the end of which I'd accumulated a fortune of $1.37. Then my wife's father died and left us two million dollars."
the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail."
Have no fear of perfection- you'll never reach it.
doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we often might win, by fearing to
One of life's most painful moments comes when we must
admit that we didn't do our homework, that we are not prepared.
"Do anything better than it was ever done before
and you'll get rich."
"It is important to acknowledge a mistake
instantly, correct it, and learn from it. That literally turns a failure into a
success. Success is on the far side of failure." *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
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This newsletter is sponsored by AccuTrack and edited by Mon Nasser from Engineerica Systems, Inc. My thanks to this month's contributors: Frank Christ, Susan Marcus Palau, Barbara Stout and Jeanne Wiatr.
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