November 2001 Issue
Welcome to the November issue. This month we have excellent articles including a management tip from Frank Christ on the “LAC War Room”, and a review of a speed reading software site by Susan Palau. Also this month, Jeanne Wiatr and Barbara Stout give us their fourth contribution to their Supplemental Instruction series with an article on Training SI leaders.
We are lucky to have the above authors contribute to the LCN and we would like you to join our team. The LCN is currently looking for regular and one-time contributors for its articles. So what can you write about? Anything helpful to other learning centers administrators and staff. Here are some ideas:
Share some of your knowledge, experience, and skills with your colleagues via the LCN. We are awaiting your articles. It doesn't take much time and it will make you famous (at least among our readers)! See below for submission guidelines, and email me if you have any questions.
Enjoy the new issue, and don't forget to share it with your colleagues.Mon Nasser Editor
Management Strategies & TipsBy Frank L. Christ Email: email@example.com
Tip #16: Staff Meetings
staff meetings are critical for knowledge management, staff accountability,
ongoing training, and collegiality.
the Learning Assistance Center, CSU Long Beach,
staff meetings occurred almost weekly in the eighteen years that I was
its director. Meetings had a printed agenda that was circulated to all staff
prior to the meeting for their input. Meetings followed this agenda as
prioritized by the staff at the beginning of each meeting. The agenda included
the following items: individual and center activities,
calendar for the upcoming week, project reports from staff, budget
report, review of program objectives for that semester, personnel matters,
equipment, materials, facility, programs & services, training, grants,
special projects, public relations and publicity. A brief description of the
staff meeting room, labeled by one ex-Navy faculty member as the “LAC War
Room,” and a fairly comprehensive description of MBO as practiced by LAC staff
can be found in LSCHE at http://www.pvc.maricopa.edu/%7Elsche/proceedings/967_proc/967proc_christ.htm
In addition to weekly staff meetings, a monthly case conference was held for all staff working with students' learning skills on a one-to-one basis. During this conference, staff reported on any problems/challenges and success that they had with their students and solicited input from their colleagues for alternative approaches, activities, materials.
LAC also held a pre-fall semester all day retreat with all staff including
student assistants and work-study students to review its annual MBO document and
to discuss objectives, and tasks needed to reach the annual goals. A second
retreat was held at the end of the spring semester to review progress toward the
annual goals and to consider objectives and tasks for the next year.
the summer, the staff held monthly picnics at a nearby park with a brief
business meeting prior to the day's fun, food, and games.
a director is tuned in to developing a team spirit, staff meetings are
invaluable to improve not only staff morale but also learning support center
procedures, programs and services.
(4th in series) By Barbara Stout and Jeanne Wiatr, former SI Supervisors, University of Pittsburgh Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
As discussed in previous articles the SI leader is critical to the success of the SI program. It is essential that the leaders be well trained and grounded in the SI model as well as course competency. Most of the SI leaders at the University of Pittsburgh started as students who attended SI sessions. Therefore, they had a true picture of SI as a group discussion model rather than a tutoring session. However familiar with the model, leaders gained confidence and commitment through training.
UMKC recommends that leaders be trained initially and receive continuing education. (See resources at: http://www.umkc.edu/cad/SI.) When the program first began at the University of Pittsburgh, in 1995, the leaders were often trained in other areas such as math tutor or student academic counselor. Additionally, student leaders received continuing education through pre-semester orientations, monthly meetings with all leaders and weekly supervisory sessions dividing the leaders topically (for example SI chemistry leaders). Examples of topics covered in monthly meetings would be discussions of handling disruptive students, cultural diversity, the university’s sexual harassment policy, effective questioning, and learning styles. Between 1997 and 2000 the program grew from 12 sessions per semester to approximately 30 sessions per semester. The supervisors, having less time for observations, felt the need to greatly expand the training program. Already in place on campus was the 3 credit hour, pass / fail, course entitled Seminar in Peer Helping. This course had 2 sections, one to specifically train Math UTA/tutors and one to train Student Academic Counselor. The Learning Skills Center sought approval from the administration to add a 3rd section specifically intended to train SI leaders.
As potential leaders were being interviewed for SI positions they were informed of the necessity to take the SI course prior to becoming a leader or concurrently. Exceptions were made for students with prior training in other areas and when the course would really be redundant to a student’s life long learning experiences. For example, one of our SI leaders had a teaching certificate and was returning to school to take pre-medical course work. SI supervisors were fearful that the course requirement might discourage some students from becoming leaders. The opposite proved to be true! Many potential leaders were excited to take the course, felt it would better prepare them and would provide them with a boost in confidence and experience.
The SI course provided the opportunity to model SI sessions and were lead rather than taught. There was much use of role-playing and hands-on activities. As opportunities arose speakers from all related areas of campus were brought in to introduce the students to the broad role of student affairs on campus. Speakers included staff from the Counseling Dept., Learning Disabilities, and the Learning Skills Center. These speakers aided leaders in learning how to make referrals to various campus departments. Also included were cooperating professors and current SI leaders. The Leader’s Guide to Supplemental Instruction published by UMKC (http://www.umkc.edu/cad/SI) was used as a basic manual. Materials added to the manual to supplement information included topics such as diversity, boundaries and learning styles. Students role-played various scenarios that might occur in SI sessions. Approximately half way through the course SI trainees were paired with a current SI leader. They began to attend one session a week with that leader, assisting the leader and culminating with leading a session. Students found this hands-on experience the most valuable part of the course. Upon completion of the course the leaders felt a real connection to the SI model, the history of SI, the Learning Skill Center and the Division of Student Affairs. The course provided them with the confidence and knowledge to lead SI sessions and succeed in their paraprofessional role.
Director, Learning Center, Purchase College/SUNY
I am thinking of putting together a speed reading course that would be held at my Learning Center during the Spring semester. It is my belief that speed reading may be the study skill that would attract the most students and therefore increase the use of my Center. With this in mind, I visited the AceReader site to see what is happening currently in the speed reading realm.
The homepage announces that AceReader is "the award winning software that is revolutionizing reading proficiency." It basically claims to achieve the following:
AceReader is not a remedial tool; it does not help you learn how to read. Rather it helps you become more proficient at reading both online and offline.
As you delve deeper into this website, you come across a Media Player or audio that certainly adds interest to the general lay-out. Accompanied by a lava lamp-type visual, you get a fast-talking man describing the main features of AceReader. You can also get a demo of the two modes of this program - Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) and the Tachistoscopic Scroll Presentation (TSP).
The RSVP mode displays text or one word at a time in fast succession in the center of the screen. You can control the speed. Their theory behind this type of reading is that your eyes do not have to move because the text is flashed on the screen. Even at the slower speeds you are automatically reading 25% faster than the average reader.
The TSP mode works the same as the reading teacher of old's best friend - the tachistoscope. A bunching of words is presented on the screen at varying rates that is controlled by the reader. It is read in the traditional way with left to right eye movements. However, you are trained to do this "regular" reading at increased rates.
In both modes you can load in your own texts, reports and email via a clip board. The price seems reasonable and they offer help and easy ordering.
AceReader can be found at http://www.stepware.com/acereader.html
Opportunities for Learning Support Center Personnel
Learning Support Center Web Site Excellence Awards. This
year marks the second year of annual awards for six outstanding learning support
center web sites. The awards are sponsored by LSCHE, the only web portal focused
exclusively on learning support centers in higher education. Only US learning
support center web sites are eligible for the awards. Please note that writing,
tutorial, and math centers-- centers that do not serve all campus students -- are not
eligible. Rules for the awards and a copy of the criteria for the awards can be
found on the LSCHE web site at http://www.pvc.maricopa.edu/~lsche/resources/lc_awards/awards_wi.htm
Awards winners will be announced at the Winter Institute 2002 banquet in
Tucson. The three top winning sites will be awarded wall plaques and donated
items from publishers and/or software developers. Honorable mentions will
receive a certificate and a donated item. In addition, award winning sites may
display .the LSCHE award icon on their web site home page.
There is still time for a learning center web sites to
participate. Request for a site to be considered for the award is to be
submitted from the learning center director to firstname.lastname@example.org
Online Graduate Course for Learning Support Center Administrators and Staff. This spring 2002, Grambling State University will again offer a three-unit graduate course online entitled, Learning Support Centers in Higher Education. Instructors for this course are Frank L Christ (University of Arizona), Johanna Dvorak (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), and Bill White (Grambling State University). If you are interested, contact Dr. William White, Professor of Educational Leadership, 107 Charles P. Adams Hall, PO BOX 51 GSU Box 4305, Grambling, LA 71245. Tele: 318-274-2162 FAX: 318-274-6249 EMAIL: email@example.com. To view course syllabus, visit:
Winter Institute 2002
January 2-5, 2002 - Tucson, Arizona. This three day retreat is
designed as an intensive collegial experience for professionals in the field of
learning assistance. This year, the Institute focuses on Learning Support Centers in Higher Education: Location, Space
Design, Equipment, Furnishings, Décor with presentations by Dr. Bill White
(Grambling State University) on space design, Dr. Susan Deese-Roberts
(University of New Mexico-Albuquerque), on centers in campus libraries, Sylvia
Mioduski (University of Arizona) on the new university college Integrated
Learning Center, Nadine Rosenthal
(City College of San Francisco) on reflections six years after designing a
learning assistance center. Go to LSCHE http://www.pvc.maricopa.edu/~lsche/
and choose “Next WI” for registration information.
By Martha Maxwell, Former Director of Student Learning Center, Retired UC Berkeley
Email: MMMarthaMaxwell@CS.COMBook: Homework: Motivation and Learning Authors: Eunsook Hong, Roberta M. Milgram Publisher: Bergin & Garvey Pages: 208 Price: $68. Order: Contact publisher at (203) 226-3571 or Click here order on-line from Amazon or .
This is the first book on homework style - defined as the
personal preference for doing the tasks assigned by
teachers and learning new material outside of the
formal school setting. Although the authors claim
Interested in publishing a book review in the LCN? email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The answer is In previous Learning Center Newsletter issues. Visit the Topic Index to quickly find past articles by clicking on this link:
Technology Tools for Teaching and
This conference will explore how technology can be used to effectively assist low-income and underserved students preparing for postsecondary opportunities.
For further information or questions, please contact Carmen Torres at 973-484-7554 or email@example.com.
2002 First-Year Experience Conference-West
21st Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience -
NADE National Conference
Each year the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE) offers a national conference that attracts over 1,400 educators from across the U.S. In addition to nationally-known plenary speakers, nearly 200 concurrent sessions provide a comprehensive treatment of developmental education issues.
Visit http://www.neoaonline.org to learn more about the New England Educational Opportunity Association (NEOA)..
NYCLSA's 25th Annual Symposium
NYCLSA is the NY state chapter of NADE. For more info about the annual symposium, visit http://www.rit.edu/~jwsldc/NYCLSA/general_info/annual_conference/2000.shtml
PA/NJ Regional Chapter of the CRLA
For More Information, Contact: Pat Grove firstname.lastname@example.org
NYSMATYC Annual Conference
For more info on the New York State Mathematics Association of Two Year Colleges conference, visit:
NTA 9th Annual Conference
The National Tutoring Association (NTA) conference provides the latest in tutor information, training, and the opportunity to network with other tutors and administrators. For more information visit the NTA's web site at:
2nd SI / VSI Conference
Let us know about conferences not listed here by emailing email@example.com
NoteTab Light is a freeware text editor that replaces Windows NotePad. A text editor does not add special formatting characters to the text file like word processing applications do. So why use a plain text file? They are needed for many applications. For example, html pages, pearl scripts, C source code files, and some windows configuration files are all plain text files.
OK, so you need a text editor. What about the Windows NotePad? If you used NotePad before you are familiar with its limitations. For example, NotePad can only handle small text files under 64K in size. Also, while you can perform simple searches with NotePad, there is no replace feature. In addition, you can only open a single text file per a NotePad session.
NoteTab fixes all these limitations and adds a wealth of other features. You can load and work with files up to 2 GB in size, you can do search and replace, and you can open multiple document at the same time. NoteTab also includes some advanced features. These include a Paste Board file to automatically save text clips. The software can also strip HTML tags from files. Other features include complete document statistics. NoteTab also allows you to select the font size, color, and font used when viewing text files.
NoteTab Light is a freeware. The company also offers another version called NoteTab Pro that adds more features, including:
You can download a 30-day evaluation version of the Pro version. Its registration costs $19.95. The Light version is free.
NoteTab requires Windows 95/98/NT/2000. Visit this web site for more info or to download the software:
|A management tip by Frank Christ on Learning Center mission statement and goals.|
|A student study skills tip by Lucy MacDonald on backpack weight.|
|A study skills web site review by Susan Marcus Palau.|
|Free software that will filter ads and other annoying web content.|
|Creating catchy headlines with MS Word.|
|Adding items to Windows Start menu.|
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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, Martha Maxwell, Jeanne Wiatr and Barbara Stout.
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