Back to Table of Contents for the On Course I Workshop

1. Strategy: Inner Qualities of Successful Students & Quotations (Timeless Wisdom)

Application: Student Success

Educator: Mary Allen, Faculty, Speech & Interim Director Student Success, Valencia Community College, FL

Implementation: In the 2nd or 3rd meeting of the class, have students individually write what they think are the Inner Qualities of Successful Students (qualities that can’t be seen by others). Then have students meet in small groups of 4-5, share their lists, and create a group list of their top 5 qualities, which they write on poster paper and hang on the wall. Assign each group its days to bring an inspirational quotation to class about the inner qualities on their list. Have groups read and lead a five-minute discussion of their quotation to begin each class. Students take turns presenting quotations for their group. Option: Have class decide on the “Quote of the Week” to be posted.

2. Strategy: Jigsaw

Application: College Transition

Educator: Teresa Smith, Asst. Director, Student Support Services, Appalachian State, NC

Implementation: In home groups of three, have students choose to become the group’s expert in one of three areas regarding academic integrity:

  1. Plagiarism,
  2. Cheating, or
  3. The Honor Code.

The students have one week to complete Step A (become an expert on their chosen area) and may use their student handbook, college catalogue, interviews, student conduct workshops, and possibly public records from Academic Integrity hearings as their resources. In Step B, the expert groups meet to compare their findings and plan how they will present their information to their home groups. In Step C, students return to their home groups to present their information. The home groups then decide how to present the information on Academic Integrity to the entire class.

3. Strategy: Silent Socratic Dialogue

Application: Study Skills Class

Educator: Jennifer Kohnke, Faculty, Practical Psychology/SSS, Harper College, IL

Implementation: At the beginning of the semester, have students write a paragraph about the way they study. Using the Silent Socratic Dialogue, have students in pairs read their partner’s paragraph and write a thoughtful question. Now have students exchange papers and write an answer to the question. Continue the process two or more times. Afterwards, ask student to share their present study habits (or their partner’s present study habits) and make a list on the board. Conclude with an overview of what students can expect to learn in the course to improve their study habits.

4. Strategy: Jigsaw

Application: Strategies for College Success

Educator: Cindy Johnson, Faculty, Strategies for College Success, Palm Beach Community College, FL

Implementation: Use the Jigsaw to help students understand the relationship between personality factors and effective learning strategies. First have students take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and have a qualified interpreter explain the students’ results. In home groups of four, each student volunteers to become the expert for one of the four MBTI scales: 1) Extrovert-Introvert, 2) Sensing-Intuitive 3) Thinker-Feeler, 4) Judging-Perceiving. Provide the MBTI handouts that explain these four scales. In Expert groups, have students review the traits and preferences of their scale. Next, the experts discuss implications of their scale for various learning strategies, and they create a list of strategies appropriate for the two types on their scale (e.g., listening to lectures, participating in class discussion, contributing to group projects, reading and underlining text book assignments, etc). In Step C, experts return to their home group and share their suggested learning strategies. For completion, students write a reflective paper describing their own personal traits from the MBTI and the study strategies that they think would work best for them. Note: Although MBTI preferences are best understood as whole types, this strategy is intended to increase understanding of the scales. Also, in my experience, we often “teach” MBTI without having students work on practical application. [Editor’s Note: You can order the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) shrink wrapped with the On Course text.]

5. Strategy: Inner Voices & Affirmation

Application: College Success Class

Educator: Connie Phillips, Faculty, Student Success, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, AR

Implementation: Supplies needed: 3″x3″ squares of paper, 10-15 per student; small desktop shredder; black markers; 3″x5″ cards (bright colors). Begin class by talking about Inner Voices, explaining about Inner Critic statements. Provide examples such as “I’m lousy in math,” “I’m not popular,” “I’m afraid to ask questions in my lecture classes.” Pass out the white squares of paper, 10-15 per student. Ask students to think of their own Inner Critic statements and write one on a white square, repeating until they have a square for each of their Inner Critic statements. Now distribute the 3″x5″ cards and black markers and have students write an affirming statement on a card, repeating until they have a card that disputes each of their Inner Critic statements. For example, if the Inner Critic statement is “I’m lousy in math,” the affirming statement might say, “I work hard every day to improve my math skills.” Next have the students destroy their self-defeating statements by running them through the shredder. As students shred their Inner Critic statements, invite them to breathe deeply and let go of any associated negative feelings. Have students verbalize to the class their newly written affirming statements and suggest that they put their cards where they will see them every day.

6. Strategy: Success Teams & Desired Outcomes and Experiences

Application: First-Year Seminar

Educator: Doug Orr, Director, First Year Seminar, Ohio University, OH

Implementation: Divide students into success teams with four or five members each. Have each student identify three desired outcomes and three desired experiences for their first semester or quarter. At least one of the outcomes and one of the experiences must be related to academics. Give students a few minutes each week at the end of class to check in with their success team to discuss their progress. Also, if your class has a peer mentor, have him/her check in with each group outside of class to discuss progress on students’ desired outcomes and experiences. Provide time toward the end of the semester for students to discuss and/or write about their progress, including lessons learned.

7. Strategy: Tracking Forms

Application: Student Success Class

Educator: Selina Walker, Coordinator, York College Community Opportunity Scholarship Program, York College of Pennsylvania, PA

Implementation: Provide students with enough Tracking Forms to carry them through their entire first semester in college. Explain how to use a Tracking Form as a self-management tool and ask the students to use it for identifying and tracking their actions in their role as a student. Have them place their Tracking Forms in a special binder, folder or notebook. Every two weeks, provide time for students to assess their progress towards their goals and rewrite/revise the outer and inner actions they will take in the following two weeks to improve their results. Periodically, meet with students individually or in small groups (such as success teams) to discuss their tracking forms. Near the end of the semester, have students write a reflection essay or create a collage/drawing/video/presentation that captures the essence of their experience of working with the Tracking Form, including how it affected their first semester of college.

8. Strategy: Jigsaw

Application: Student Success Class

Educator: Greg Perkins, Learning Specialist, Unity College, ME

Implementation: To provide an introduction to learning styles, begin by having students complete a learning styles assessment such as the one offered by Diablo Valley College ( This assessment takes about 20 minutes to complete, is scored online, and offers immediate feedback about students’ preferred learning style from the following: Visual/Verbal, Visual/Non-Verbal, Tactile/Kinesthetic, and Auditory/Verbal. Suggestions are offered regarding effective learning strategies for each learning style. In Step A of the Jigsaw, home groups of four decide in which learning style each member will become expert. As much as possible, students should choose the learning style that is their own preference, based on the self-assessment. Sources of information for experts include the Diablo Valley College site, other related Internet sites, and their course text if it contains related content. In Step B, student expert groups gather to discuss their chosen learning styles and study strategies that are effective for such learners. In Step C, each expert presents to their home groups examples of strategies that work for the experts’ learning style. A follow-up discussion could focus on how to do well academically when an instructor does not teach to your preferred learning style. [Ed. Note: This activity will work with any learning styles inventory, so consider trying it with the On Course learning preference assessment found in the On Course text, Chapter 7.

9. Strategy: After Math (Case Study)

Application: Student Success Class

Educator: Suzanne Crawford, Faculty, Cerritos College, CA

Implementation: Have students rewrite the case study, using what they have learned from the class to show the characters making emotionally intelligent choices. After students have presented their revised case study, have them explain to the class the changes they made in the characters behaviors and why. In my class, the presentations run from live performances to puppet shows to PowerPoint demos to edited recordings. The assignment seems to give students a fun, create way to demonstrate some important learning. Here is a short excerpt from one revision of “After Math.”

When MRS. BISHOP returned the mid-term exams, she said, “After grading your tests, I realized your scores are low, and I think I need to explain and answer your questions better. Are there any ideas that anyone can contribute to help each other as well as to help me to help you learn better?” She ran her hand through her graying hair and waited. Students fiddled with their test papers. They looked out the window. No one spoke.

Finally, Mrs. Bishop said, “Okay, SARAH, we’ll start with you. What’s going on? Did you study?”

“Yeah, I studied, but I still don’t understand what I am doing. I think that a personal tutor or a meeting with you after class will help me understand what I’m supposed to be doing.” Other students in the class nodded their heads. One student muttered, “Amen, sister.”

Mrs. Bishop looked around the classroom. “How about you, AMELIA? You didn’t even show up for the test.”

“I have a lot of excuses, but it’s hard for me to manage my time. I need help with time management. I’ll get a calendar to write down my responsibilities. I will go buy another math book, and I will catch up with the rest of the class.”

10. Strategy: Graduation Game (Ring Toss)

Application: Student Success

Educator: Carolyn Kirby, Student Services Specialist, Bluefield State College, WV

Implementation: A major requirement of our course is the completion of a portfolio by the end of the semester. In the past, I encouraged students to begin immediately, but of course many waited until the last minute. I use the Graduation Game to demonstrate that working in small steps will be more beneficial and result in greater success than trying to put the whole portfolio together the night before it is due.

11. Strategy: Silent Socratic Dialogue

Application: Student Success

Educator: Chris Landrum, Career Counselor, Mineral Area College, MO

Implementation: I used the Silent Socratic Dialogue with my students in a diversity exercise that focused on discrimination. To start, I had students write about a time when they were discriminated against, discriminated against someone else, or viewed discrimination taking place with other parties. We then broke into pairs and practiced the Silent Socratic Dialogue. When finished, we got into a circle and discussed their reactions to the exercise. Some students were a little unsure of themselves when asking questions of the other person, but they did feel that it started a dialogue and challenged them to think things through more fully. Also, I think additional benefits came from the exercise. Students were in more of a mindset to talk about these discrimination issues, and we spent the next 20 minutes allowing students to share their stories and discuss them. I could not have gotten them to that point if we had not first participated in the Silent Socratic dialogue. This exercise has also set the stage for the additional diversity exercises I plan to do later in the course. I’m so excited about having this great tool to help me in my classes.

12. Strategy: Desired Outcomes and Experiences & DAPPS Rule & Class Constitution

Application: College Success Class

Educator: Niki Amarantides, Director, Center for Learning, Seattle Pacific University, WA

Implementation: Do this activity on the first day of the course.

  1. Put students in groups of four and ask them to discuss the following questions: A. Why did you sign up for this course. B. What experiences do you want to have in this class?
  2. Put students in pairs. Explain the DAPPS Rule and have students decide on their desired outcomes and experiences for the class. Have them write answers on Post-it Notes and put on flip chart paper.
  3. Create a Class Constitution, identifying what students are willing to do to achieve their desired experiences and outcomes in the class.

13. Strategy: Jigsaw

Application: College Success Class

Educator: Lory Conrad, Faculty, Student Success, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, AR

Implementation: I use this activity during discussions of Chapter 5 in On Course:
Interdependence. As Step A, assign students to home groups of four and have them choose to become their group’s expert on 1) Codependence, 2) Dependence, 3) Independence, or 4) Interdependence. Inform students that they have until the next class meeting to become their group’s expert on their chosen relationship style. Identify resources available to help them become experts (e.g., On Course text, supplemental handouts, and instructor-selected web sites). Explain that, as a product of their research, each home group will present what they have learned about these four relationship styles in the form of a poster, skit, video, commercial or other creative presentation. In Step B, have expert groups meet to discuss the information they have discovered and compile a list of behaviors that exemplify their relationship style. In addition, have students discuss ways they could most effectively present this information to their home groups. In Step C, students present their information to their home groups, and home groups design their presentation to the class. The final step is the actual presentations, with each group showing what its members have learned about Codependence, Dependence, Independence, and Interdependence

14. Strategy: Affirmations

Application: College Success Class

Educator: Heidi Davison, Transition Advisor, Butler Community College, KS

Implementation: Lead the process of creating a personal affirmation by having students brainstorm a list of 30 positive attributes (in the form of adjectives) that would contribute to their success in college or in life. Have each student identify three that they would like to have more of. Then have each student write them in a statement such as “I am a ____, ____, ____ man/woman/person. Facilitate a milling process in which students circulate around the room introducing themselves, shaking hands and repeating their affirmations. The individual hearing the response replies with “Yes, you are.” And in turn, the affirmer says, “I know.” As a reinforcement of the affirmations, have students create a personal poster or dream collage/vision board which includes their affirmation. If created on an 8.5″x11″ paper, they can put them in the front of a view binder to see on a daily basis.

15. Strategy: Wise Choice Process

Application: Study Skills

Educator: No name provided

Implementation: This activity is designed to use with very low academically achieving, first-semester students who are part of a 12-credit, four-course learning community consisting of math, English, speech and study skills. During the first 2 weeks of the semester, ask students to identify a problem or difficulty that has had or may have a negative impact on their academic success. Introduce students to the Wise Choice Process. Use a personal demonstration to walk them through the model. Now have students pair off and give each pair 30 minutes (15 minutes each) to discuss the problem using the Wise Choice Process. Walk around to help students who get stuck. Call class back together and lead a discussion with questions such as “How did you feel about the method of problem solving? Was it helpful? Do you see how you can use it to solve other problems?” For homework, ask students to work for four weeks on the choices they committed to during the Wise Choice Process. At the end of the four weeks, have students get with their original partner and evaluate their progress. If the problem still exists, give them time to go through the Wise Choice Process again to find another possible solution. In a whole-class discussion, invite students to share their challenge, the options they implements, and the results they created.

16. Strategy: Pair/Square/Share

Application: Learning Styles in a College Success Class

Educator: Colleen Caffery, Faculty, Human Development, Greenfield Community College, MA

Implementation: Introduce the idea of learning styles and briefly describe the four learning preferences as discussed in On Course: Thinkers, Doers, Feelers, and Innovators. Have students determine their own learning preferences by taking the Learning Styles self-assessment in the On Course text—Chapter 7. Pair students of the same learning style and ask them to answer the following:

  1. What are two ways that your learning style prefers to learn new information or skills?
  2. What are two things you can do if your instructor doesn’t teach the way you prefer to learn?
  3. What are two things you can ask your instructor to do if s/he doesn’t teach the way you prefer to learn?

Form “squares” of four students, each with a different preferred learning style (as much as possible). Have students discuss their answers to the four questions that they discussed with their previous partner. Afterwards, debrief by asking students to share their answers with the whole group.

17. Strategy: Graduation Game (Ring Toss) & Self-Management Tools

Application: Freshman Orientation

Educator: Tam Lowry, Student Development Specialist, Frostburg State University, MD

Implementation: Do this activity to show students the value and process of breaking assignments and studying into small steps. First, play the Graduation Game, drawing out the value of taking small steps rather than procrastinating and cramming. Next, discuss self-management tools that can help them organize and track their 3-foot tosses: Monthly and Weekly Planners (paper, computer, phones, etc.), Next Actions Lists (modified with a check box to check when completed), Tracking Form, and 32-Day Commitment. Finally, brainstorm the benefits of using these self-management tools. Some benefits my students mention include better grades, less stress, deeper learning, graduation, and, after graduation, success in careers.

18. Strategy: Jigsaw

Application: College Success

Educator: Karen Owens, Title III Grants Officer & Faculty, First Year Experience, Hillsborough CC, FL

Implementation: In order to have students develop an awareness of the world around them and to connect to that world through reading and analyzing, have students form “news edition” home groups. Each student in the group becomes an expert in one news area (e.g., community news, state news, national news, world news). Over a two-week span, students read appropriate newspapers and periodicals, watch local and national news on television, and search the Internet for relevant news. During each class period for these two weeks, allow time for “experts” to collaborate, sharing what they are learning. In the third week, “experts” return to their home group to empower fellow students with what they have learned. For closure, lead a class discussion on what students learned about following the news and how the news was relevant to their success as college students.

19. Strategy: Case Study (based on “The Late Paper”)

Application: Professional Development & Student Success

Educator: Taunya Paul, Assessment Coordinator, York Technical College, SC

Implementation: We use a case study “The Test Not Taken” for faculty training, but it could also be used in a student success class. The story shows points of decision in various life events and prompts discussion of the importance of keeping one’s goals in mind and making wise choices that move one toward those goals

The Test Not Taken

by Taunya Paul

Professor Herron teaches an online history class and all the tests must be taken in the Assessment Center. He posted the Assessment Center hours – 8AM-9PM Monday-Thursday and 8AM-2PM on Friday and Saturday – in his course handouts. He gives 3 tests a semester and allows one week to take each test. He said that he would not allow any make-up tests and he clearly emphasized that if a test is missed, the grade for that test would be a zero.Jane had already taken two of the tests and had an 89% on each. She wasn’t too worried about the final test. She had studied hard and knew the material.

On Monday, the first day of the week for taking the test, Jane’s son Sammy wasn’t feeling well. She asked her husband Don if he would stay home with their son because she needed to take her history test and she had to work 12 hour shifts for the next 3 days. Her husband said “No way. I have had this golf day scheduled for over a month. My friends are counting on me to be there.” Jane decided to try to take her son to the doctor and take the test Thursday evening after work. [DECISION POINT 1]

On Thursday evening, Susan, Jane’s boss, asked Jane to stay late and finish up a project. Jane said that she really needed to take a test for her class, but her boss asked her, “What is more important, your job or your test?” Jane stayed at work to finish the project. [DECISION POINT 2]

Friday morning Don reminded Jane that they had to go watch Sammy’s baseball team play in the finals. The game was being played in a town 2 hours away. They needed to be there at 9:30.Sammy really wanted his mom and dad to be at the game, so Jane called Toni, the secretary for the history department, to confirm the the Assessment Center hours. Toni told Jane that she thought that the Assessment Center would be open until 3 on Saturday, so Jane went to the game thinking that there would be plenty of time to take the test on Saturday. [DECISION POINT 3]

Don’s car broke down on the way home from the game that evening. The mechanic at the garage told them that he would have the car ready first thing in the morning. Jane figured that she would have plenty of time to get back home and take the test if the car was ready in the morning. Don, Jane, and Sammy left the car in a garage and stayed overnight at a hotel. [DECISION POINT 4]

The next morning the car was ready by 11AM. When they got home, Jane fixed lunch for Don and Sammy. Then she went to see her friend Jill to see how Jill did on the test and to ask for some hints and last minute study tips. [DECISION POINT 5]

By the time Jane got to the Assessment Center, it was 2PM and it was just closing for the week. Jane did not get to take her test, Professor Herron would not extend the deadline, and Jane earned an F in the course.

Listed below are the characters in this story. Rank them in order of their responsibility for Jane’s failing grade. Give a different score to each character.

Most Responsible 1 2 3 4 5 6 Least Responsible

_____ Professor Herron, the teacher

_____ Susan, Jane’s boss

_____ Jane, the online student

_____ Don, Jane’s husband

_____Toni, the division secretary

_____ Sammy, Jane’s son

Is anyone else responsible for Jane’s grade?

Jane faced five important decision points; what other choices could she have made at each one? [See examples below]

What is the life lesson that Jane should draw from this experience?

Example responses for Jane’s five Decision Points:

DECISION POINT 1—Other choices Jane had:

  1. Jane could have cried because her husband would not stay with their son for an hour while she took the test.
  2. Jane could have called a friend or relative to sit with her son while she went to take the test.
  3. Jane could have left her son alone at home while she took the test.
  4. Jane could have locked her son in the car while she took the test.

Which of these choices would probably have best consequences?_____

DECISION POINT 2—Other choices Jane had:

  1. Jane could have taken the test earlier in the week.
  2. Jane could have gone into work late.
  3. Jane could have called in sick.
  4. Jane could have quit her job.

Which of these choices would probably have best consequences?_____

DECISION POINT 3—Other choices Jane had:

  1. Jane could have taken the test and gone separately to the game.
  2. Jane could have told her son she couldn’t go to this game.
  3. Jane could have checked online to see the Assessment Center hours that Professor Herron had posted.
  4. Jane could have called the Assessment Center to confirm the hours.
  5. Which of these choices would probably have the best consequences?_____

    DECISION POINT 4 – Other choices Jane had:

    1. Jane could have rented a car.
    2. Jane could have called a friend or relative to give her a ride early in the morning.
    3. Jane could have called a taxi to take her to the college.
    4. Jane could have screamed and yelled at her husband for not taking better care of the car.

    Which of these choices would probably have the best consequences?_____

    DECISION POINT 5—Other choices Jane had:

    1. Jane could have driven directly to the Assessment Center to take the test and had her husband and son to wait for her in the car.
    2. Jane could have dropped off her husband and son and let them fix their own lunch.
    3. Jane could have checked the Assessment Center hours as soon as she got home.
    4. Jane could have emailed the professor and asked him to extend the test deadline.

    Which of these choices would probably have the best consequences?_____

    20. Strategy: Victim and Creator Language

    Application: Sociology – Human Relations and Student Success

    Educator: Richard Benard, Faculty, Bryant and Stratton College (Willoughby Hills Campus), OH

    Implementation: In order to help students focus on the language they use (Victim or Creator), I made a red vest (a running or construction vest will work) with a big “SVU” (Special Victims Unit [all victims think they are “special”]) on it. I also made a green vest with “CREATOR” on it. Beginning the first class after the lesson on Victim/Creator language, I started handing out the vests for students to wear based upon the language they used in the classroom. I began by “awarding” the first example of Victim or Creator language that I heard. For example, if a student arrived a few minutes late and said “I tried to get up early so that I could get here on time,” I gave him the red SVU vest to wear. Similarly, if a student said “I took an earlier bus so that I could get here on time,” I gave her the Creator vest to wear. Once I gave out the vest(s) in each class, the students then listened as other students spoke, and they passed the vests around. Just to be fair, I included myself in the process so that if I slipped and made a Victim statement, I too could be awarded the SVU vest. At first the students weren’t sure how to take this type of activity. However, after the first 15 minutes of the first class, they were really into it. I have never seen so many students practice active listening for such long periods of time. By the end of the semester, there was very little Victim language in the class, and, in fact, the students went from “just trying not to get the SVU vest” to actively using Creator language in order to be “awarded” the green vest. It is truly awesome to see how a small activity such as this can create a fundamental change in the way students speak and thus eventually begin to behave.

    21. Strategy: Inner Conversations as part of Mastering Creator Language

    Application: Human Relations & Student Success

    Educator: Richard Benard, Faculty, Bryant & Stratton College (Willoughby Hills Campus), OH

    Implementation: When discussing the three main players in our inner conversations – The Inner Critic, The Inner Defender and The Inner Guide – I have found that if students can visualize a person or character to associate with each voice it is easier for them to accept that 1) the conversations are actually happening and 2) they can control which voice they choose to listen to. For example: The Inner Critic could be the face of a mother-in-law, an ex-spouse, or anyone else who they might see as a judgmental nag. The Inner Defender might be a Dad, the Hulk, or someone else who has protected them in the past. The Inner Guide might be a grandparent, teacher, counselor, or a wise looking owl. As part of the class discussion I give this personal example: Before I became a true Creator and really got in touch with my Inner Guide, my Inner Defender ruled my life and allowed me to stay a victim with very little effort. My Inner Defender was “Helga” a female Viking warrior. Whenever it looked like I might be blamed for something, Helga would be there with her big sword and shiny Teflon coated shield. She knocked down any accusations aimed at me and her shield and my tongue were in perfect sync to cast the blame far from me. As I got older (and hopefully) smarter, I started to be more responsible. But I needed a guide to help me make better decisions. One day, out of the blue, I heard a long forgotten nugget of wisdom that my long-passed grandfather had told me as a boy. I remembered the exact moment and location that he had shared his experience with me. From that point on, whenever I am at a crossroads of a decision I visualize my grandfather and listen for his invaluable guidance. At times, I have to keep Helga at bay and tell her to “Shut up!” I know she wants to protect me and help me be a Victim but I don’t let her. The point of all of this is that once students realize that they can actually see who or what is talking to them, they can sort out who they want to listen to and then they can begin to realize that they have the power to tell the others (by name) to leave them alone! I have shared this strategy with not only my students but other OC Ambassadors and all of the feedback is positive in terms of helping people realize which voice to listen to in order to be less of a Victim and more of a Creator.

    22. Strategy: Impossible Questions? (Interdependence)

    Application: Study Skills/Life Skills

    Educator: Alice Franey, Faculty, Mathematics, United States Air Force Academy Prep School, CO

    Implementation: I handed out a quiz with 20 questions to my class. The students began the quiz thinking they had to do it all by themselves. After 7 minutes, I interrupted them and told them they could work together and their individual score would be the number each person correctly answered. They ended up working on it as a class, asking if anyone in the class knew the answer to each question. It was amazing that they seemed to find someone in the class who knew each answer. I ended up counting the quiz for extra credit. This led to a discussion about how each person has something to bring to the group and how much they are missing out on if they don’t take advantage of each person’s knowledge and talent.

    23. Strategy: Student Planners/Monthly Calendars

    Application: Student Success Class

    Educator: Patricia Gonzales, TRIO, Faculty, Psychology, Galveston College, TX

    Implementation: Towards the beginning of the course, have students bring all of their syllabi, along with their student planners (or provide monthly calendars). Allow students time to record on the calendars all academic due dates and exams, class times, work schedules, appointments, social events, and any other important campus dates (e.g., career fairs, drop dates, student success workshops). The completed calendar allows them to see at a glance what is expected of them so they can manage themselves accordingly. Throughout the semester, conduct random calendar checks to see that students are continuously updating their calendars. Remind students to review their calendars daily.

    24. Strategy: The Late Paper and Forks in the Road

    Application: College Success Class — Preparing for Success

    Educator: Pat Willis, Life Keys Coordinator, Georgia Military College, GA

    Implementation: Have students read and rank characters in “The Late Paper” for homework. In the next class, have students get in groups and discuss their rankings. Follow with a large-group discussion, asking first about the choices that Kim made and the alternatives she had. Next, ask students to share an experience when they were at a fork in the road. Which road did the student choose? What were the consequences of that decision? If s/he had chosen the other road(s), what would the consequences likely have been? Finally, ask students to journal about what they have learned (especially about making wise choices), offering an opportunity for students to read their entries to the class.

    25. Strategy: Emotional Intelligence

    Application: Learning Skills – How to talk effectively with professors

    Educator: Heather Lippard, Asst. Director, Learning Assistance Program, Appalachian State University, NC

    Implementation: Part of the emotional intelligence section of our course focuses on how to talk effectively with professors. Part of that lesson is developing ways to approach a professor with questions or problems and have the conversation lead to a positive solution. To start this lesson, present the poem “Did I Miss Anything?” After reading the poem, ask students to write a brief reaction to the poem in their journals, addressing the following questions: What is going through the student’s mind when asking the question? What is going through the professor’s mind when hearing the question? Why was the poem written? Have students pair off to discuss their journal entries, followed by a group discussion. After a while, ask, “What might be a more appropriate (i.e., emotionally intelligent) question to ask to get the information you need.” The objective is to see the interaction from an instructor’s perspective, as well as helping them determine a more effective way to approach a professor. As a final step, ask student to have an actual interaction with a professor and journal about the experience.

    26. Strategy: Silent Socratic Dialogue

    Application: Success Class for International Students–Dealing with Difficulties

    Educator: Denise Goetz, Academic Advisor, Appalachian State University, NC

    Implementation: After two or three weeks of class, have students write about one difficult or frustrating incident they have faced in their new country and how they handled the situation. Thereafter, have student participate in the Silent Socratic Dialogue. Tell them that the questions they ask their partner should be designed to help them see alternative ways to handle similar situations in the future. Finally, have a group discussion about the problems students have encountered, and invite support or suggestions from fellow international students who may have faced a similar situation.

    27. Strategy: Point-Story-Point (OC II Workshop)

    Application: Success Class–Touching the Spiritual

    Educator: Gilbert Parks, Faculty, Political Science, University of the Ozarks, AR

    Implementation: We begin our class with a few minutes of reflection and an activity to touch the spiritual in a “safe” way. I have my students read a scripture verse or poem they like and, using Point-Story-Point, briefly explain how the reading applies to the soft skills we are studying in the course. In the first four times we did this in one semester, I had presentations from an Orthodox Jew, Baptist, Agnostic and Presbyterian. Not one has been “evangelical.” I ask them to begin, “I find this inspirational for me because…

    28. Strategy: Scripts and Who Wants This Prize?

    Application: Student Success Class (Psychology 1300: Learning Frameworks)

    Educator: Jameeka Williams, Allied Health Science Advisor, Galveston College, TX

    Implementation: Our college day care center is located next door to my classroom, and today the children were being particularly active (i.e., noisy). After I finished doing the “Who Wants This Prize?” activity from the On Course Facilitator’s Manual, I asked my students, “What do you think would happen if I went next door and did the same activity with a bowl of candy?” My students agreed that I would probably be in need of medical assistance after the children ran me over. I asked my class, “What happens to us between where they are and where we are now that stops us from taking action to get something we want in life?” The answers were profound! Students responded with comments such as We are too worried about what other people think of us, We think there is a catch to everything, People tell us negative things about ourselves, We stop trusting in other people. We went on to discuss life scripts, disputing irrational and outdated beliefs, the power of choice, re-writing outdated scripts, self-esteem and core beliefs, the “Curse of Stinking Thinking,” believing in yourself, and how our past experiences affect beliefs, choices and success. I could sense by the expressions on my students’ faces that this discussion seemed to solidify their need for change, forgiveness, and reevaluation. In closing, I asked them to think about the experiences that had changed them into the person who would not or could not get up and get the money. I asked them to challenge the beliefs that those experiences produced and to make a choice to change what is no longer supporting them to take action to get what they want.

    29. Strategy: Affirmations and Name Tags

    Application: Student Success Class

    Educator: Stedman Burroughs, FYE Coordinator, Portland Community College, OR

    Implementation: Provide students with stiff 8.5 x 11″ paper (card stock). Have them fold the paper in half and decorate the “front” (the part that will face away from the student) with their name and any decorations they choose to personalize the name tag that other students and the instructor will see. They are to bring this name tag to every class and put on the desk in front of them. After students create affirmations for themselves (focusing on qualities of a successful student), have them write their affirmation on the “back” side of their tame tag (the side that faces them): I am a ___, ___, ___ student. This activity provides a way to get to know students’ names and gives students a visual reminder of the qualities they want to strengthen as students.

    30. Strategy: Next Actions List

    Application: Student Success Class

    Educator: Theresa Dupuy, Student Success Coordinator, Phillips Community College-University of Arkansas, AR

    Implementation: I use the Next Actions List as a “Weekly Schedule” for my students who are “at risk.” This allows them to have a visual in front of them for each week. I draw a column for the students to add a “Due Date” for any homework assignment. Using this list helps students accomplish their school, home, work, and outside activities. One helpful factor is that this list gives students more room to write their “to do’s” than a normal Monthly Calendar.

    31. Strategy: The Puzzle

    Application: Learning Strategies

    Educator: Kim Garner, Faculty, Learning Strategies, Guilford College, NC

    Implementation: I use the puzzle activity early on in my learning strategies course to help students become aware of some of the choices they make, especially when working with a group. It makes a good ice breaker and a good lead in to talking about the mission of the course. I repeat the activity in the last class of the semester and have students discuss whether or not they approached the puzzle differently. After this activity, I facilitate a discussion about the experience and the overall changes students have made during the class.

    32. Strategy: The Jigsaw

    Application: College Success-Campus Resources

    Educator: Amybeth Maurer, Faculty, College Success, Elgin Community College, IL

    Implementation: Create Home Groups of 4 students and assign each one a service area on campus that all students should be familiar with. For my purposes, the areas are 1) Career & Counseling Services, 2) Testing and Tutoring Center, 3) Student Life Office, and 4) TRIO Services. I separate students into home groups of four students to review hand outs that provide an overview of the area of each student’s expertise. I ask students to make a list of any questions about their area that they come up with from the handout. They then have one week to visit the service area of their choice to learn more about it, including getting answers to their questions. In the following week’s class, I convene their expert groups and students share their gathered knowledge. Then they return to their home group to teach others about their area. Afterwards we discuss both what they learned and the process of how they learned it (become experts and teaching others their expertise). We then discuss how they replicate this process on their own, which leads into an exploration of the value and process of study groups.

    33. Strategy: Success Teams

    Application: College Success

    Educator: Mary Perkins, Faculty, College Success, Elgin Community College, IL

    Implementation: Create Success Teams, and by Week 2 have each student identify three outcomes and three experiences s/he desires for the course plus for two additional courses they are taking. Teammates share their outcomes and experiences and create a constitution in which they define their team commitments for the remainder of the semester. All students sign the constitution. Identify additional times for success teams to meet inside and outside of class. This approach fosters interdependence, social connections, motivation, personal responsibility and DAPPS goal setting.

    34. Strategy: Graduation Game

    Application: College Success

    Educator: Sarah Oglesby, Faculty, College Success, Community College of Denver, CO

    Implementation: When doing the Graduation Game, I hand students a heavy backpack, briefcase, doll, or other items to represent multiple responsibilities. They have to take the toss while managing these. I have also used various sized and shaped balls with different weights that get thrown into a bucket or clean trash can. These can represent the difference in what each course may demand and how one will be tested, etc. With either approach, the students’ ability to make the toss is affected by multiple factors that exist in their lives.

    35. Strategy: Wise Choices Process

    Application: College Success Seminar

    Educator: Chris Lottman, Faculty, College Success Seminar, University of Cincinnati, OH

    Implementation: Professor Gail Kiley and I co-taught a section of our College Success Seminar class for our “Late Bloomers” – A.K.A. those students who have taken the course before and have failed to pass. We both struggle with whether or not to accept late papers. Each of us has, on occasion, established the “no late paper” policy and then allowed ourselves to be worn down by the whining, pleading, and attempts to be charming, etc. and have caved. We realize that this is a really bad idea! New Day: For this particular group of students, we established a pact that we would state the “no late papers” policy – and maintain it! It was, we think, about 3 weeks into the quarter when the inevitable whining, questioning, etc. began. So we engaged our students in the Wise Choice Process with the Present Situation sounding something like “Professors Kiley and Lottman are reviewing the ‘No Late Paper’ policy and we need your help.” We told them we would stick by whatever they decided was the best option. It was a blast! The students became thoroughly engaged in the process and contributed significantly. They were filled with self-importance as they worked through the steps to decide upon a late-paper policy for their professors. In the end, the outcome was clear to all of us: Accepting late papers had significant negative outcomes for students and professors alike and was deemed by all to be a really bad idea. Only as we reached the end did the light bulbs go on over students’ heads – “Hey, this means I have to stick by this, too!”

    36. Strategy: Affirmations

    Application: College and Life Success – CSL 20

    Educator: Melinda Ferris, Instructor, College and Life Success, Butte College, CA

    Implementation: In order to help students foster good self-esteem, positive self-expectancy, learn that the messages we give ourselves w/our self-talk is important, and create a habit of affirming themselves, I distributed 3×5 index cards, one per student. I asked them to write 3 affirmations on the front of the card and their name on the back. When they finished writing their affirmations they were asked to introduce themselves to each other and ultimately everyone in the class by the end of the exercise. They were to state their name and state their 3 affirmations. The other person would shake their hand and say, “Yes, you are” at the end of their affirmations. And they would say “I know.”

    37. Strategy: The Puzzle

    Application: College and Life Success – CSL 20

    Educator: Melinda Ferris, Instructor, College and Life Success, Butte College, CA

    Implementation: In order to help students reflect on how they approach life, create more self-awareness and interdependence, I set up the puzzle activity by putting student into two groups and having them work in a small space to complete the puzzles. Discussion afterward focused on how they approached the puzzle reflected how they approach their lives. The next class period we worked on habit awareness and changing habits.

    38. Strategy: The Late Paper (case study)

    Application: First-Year Seminar (required of all first-year students)

    Educator: Maureen McMahon, Academic Success Counselor, Paul Smith’s College, NY

    Implementation: Use “The Late Paper” to help students understand the responsibility they hold with regard to their academic work. (Exercise is presented on the second day of class.) Have students read the case study out loud. Allow one minute for consideration of responsibility levels, and then break students into six groups (one group for each case study character). Give students ten minutes to discuss their choice and brainstorm as many reasons as possible for choosing the character they did. Allow each group to report back to the class their reasons and discuss the implications of those reasons (e.g. Mary made a poor choice by providing Kim information without checking with Professor Freud first). Students then return to their individual seats to free-write about the concept of student responsibility. After three-five minutes, invite students to share what they wrote. As a homework assignment due the following class, ask students to describe a situation in which they made a poor choice, how it affected them, and what choice would have been better.

    39. Strategy: The Puzzle

    Application: College Success and/or Career Development

    Educator: Lynn M Brysacz, Instructor/Counselor, Glendale Community College, Glendale, AZ

    Implementation: In order to help students reflect on how they approach life/college/career and to create more self-awareness, I use the puzzle activity with a twist — one of the puzzles is significantly more difficult than the others. I set up 3 puzzle areas — 2 kids’ puzzles (25 pieces, Mickey Mouse rectangular) and 1 puzzle with an abstract design and non-rectangular shape, though it still happens to have 25 pieces. Students are randomly assigned to work on a puzzle in groups of 5-10. Once all the puzzles are completed (the abstract one takes longer) discussion focuses on how each student’s approach to the puzzle reflects how they approach their lives, college, or their career development and what results can be expected from their approach. Included in the discussion is how they reacted (internally and externally) to the fact that one of the groups had a more difficult puzzle than the others — especially the group with the more difficult puzzle. Some group members liked the challenge; others thought it wasn’t fair, others went uninvited to help the group with the more complicated puzzle, etc. Issues about the fairness of life, school, personal situations, working in groups, etc. come up. I also have students write a paragraph about what they learned about themselves from the activity. NOTE: My more developmental students have a hard time making the connection between how their approach to a puzzle has anything to do with how they handle school. They did say they had fun with the puzzles, though. 🙂

    40. Strategy: The Late Paper & Responsibility Model

    Application: College Success Class

    Educator: Laura McGowan, Director, Academic Support Services and Faculty, Freshman Seminar, LaGuardia Community College, NY

    Implementation: After reading the case study, have students divide into six groups (based on who the group members named as “most responsible”). Have the groups discuss amongst themselves the reasons for their choice. Next, have each group try to convince the other groups of their choices and attempt to recruit/convert new members. Now teach the Responsibility Model and ask students to list the types of responses that each character engaged in (blaming, excusing, etc.). Brainstorm a list of more creative/effective responses that each character could have made. Assign as homework the task of reinventing/rewriting “The Late Paper” so that it becomes “The On-Time Paper.” Encourage creativity in the rewrites. In the next class, pick one rewrite at random and have class members dramatize the revision. Conclude by asking students to write/discuss, “What have you learned or relearned from your explorations of ‘The Late Paper’?”

    41. Strategy: Eagles and Hawks (variation)

    Application: College Success Class

    Educator: Michael Jeffries, Faculty, History, Humanities, and College 102, Northeastern Technical College, SC

    Implementation: With 15 minutes left in the first class, pair students and have them determine to be an eagle or a hawk. Ask them to exchange contact information (such as email addresses). Then have the eagles leave the “nest” (exit the classroom) as their day is complete. Present the hawks with a short lecture, story, film or video clip, telling them that there will be a quiz on the material in an upcoming class (thus, they should take good notes). Afterwards, dismiss the class. With 15 minutes left in the second class, have the hawks leave the nest, leaving the eagles still in the “nest.” Present the eagles with a different short lecture, story, film or video clip, telling them there will be a quiz on the material in an upcoming class (thus, they should take good notes). Before dismissing the class, announce that there will be a quiz the next day on material that was presented to both the hawks (when the eagles were not present) and to the eagles (when the hawks were not present). Tell the eagles to contact their hawks, exchange notes, and prepare for the quiz. Give the quiz in class three. Afterwards, lead a discussion to help students discover 1) There is great value in having a contact buddy in every class and 2) The quality of their class notes will affect their grades and perhaps the grades of their contact buddies as well.

    42. Strategy: Wise Choices Process

    Application: College Success Seminar – Topic: Financial Literacy

    Educator: Paul Janda, Faculty, College Success, The Victoria College, TX

    Implementation: Provide examples of three students who made poor choices in financial matters: 1) Using financial aid to buy gifts for family members and friends, 2) buying a new car with a large monthly payment, and 3) using a credit card to buy the newest/latest/greatest very expensive video game or phone. Explain that these decisions have led to the students experiencing severe financial problems that are affecting their personal and academic lives. In fact, they are thinking about dropping out of school so they can work more hours to pay off their debt. After teaching the six steps of the WCP, divide the class into three groups, with each group discussing one of the three students above. Have them assess the choices their student made, determine what alternatives the student could have chosen, and make suggestions for how the student in their case study could improve their financial situation and stay in school.

    43. Strategy: Eagles and Hawks & V x E = M

    Application: College Success Class

    Educator: No name given

    Implementation: For homework, have students complete On Course journal “Committing to Your Goals and Dreams” in Chapter 3. In the next class, place students in pairs. Using the Eagles and Hawks structure, have students meet with a number of partners and read their visualization of their dream to each other. After each student reads the visualization, the other student asks, “Why do you value that dream?” and “What is your expectation of achieving it?” Afterwards, lead a discussion on what the students learned about motivation and what they can do to keep or even raise their motivation when they get discouraged.

    44. Strategy: Choosing Desired Outcomes and Experiences

    Application: First-Year Seminar

    Educator: Stephanie Kroon, Academic Success Counselor/Trio, Ulster County Community College, NY

    Implementation: Ask them to write in their book or journal four Desired Outcomes and four Desired Experiences they are willing to share. Two of each are to be accomplished this semester and two are for their entire college experience/tenure. Ask students to copy them on separate Post-its and place on poster board. As we did in the workshop, ask students to move their Desired Outcomes and Experiences to Achieved when appropriate. Note: This may happen any time during the semester or move with them as they continue is school.

    45. Strategy: Affirmation Milling

    Application: Student Success – Activity Before Forming Groups

    Educator: Cindy Nichols, Coordinator of Retention and Student Engagement, Danville Area Community College, IL

    Implementation: The purpose here is to help students have successful group learning experiences. Before forming groups, have students brainstorm as a class the different positive attributes they want in their ideal group members; record the list on the board. Have each student choose three of these attributes that most appeal to him/her and write an affirmation on an index card as follows:” I am a _____, _____, and _____ group member.” Follow the creation of affirmations with the affirmation milling. Afterwards, in a whole group discussion, explore why they chose the qualities they did. Students keep their affirmation with them throughout the semester to serve as a reminder that they must first have the qualities of an effective group member before they can ask or expect these same qualities from others.

    46. Strategy: 32-Day Commitment

    Application: Reading 120: Critical Thinking or Student Success

    Educator: Pam Gordon, Faculty, Reading, Linn Benton Community College, OR

    Implementation: After analyzing the characteristics of a good critical thinker, have students identify their three strongest characteristics. Then have them identify their three weakest characteristics. Finally, ask them to choose one of these weak characteristics that they would like to strengthen. Ask them to make a 32-Day Commitment to take an action every day that would strengthen that characteristic. It is important that the action is a specific, simple action: “I will ask a question to clarify information before I respond to what someone is saying,” When facing a problem, I will use the Wise Choice Process before making a decision,” “When I become emotional, I will stop and seek to identify where that emotions is coming from and how I can react differently.” After the 32 days, ask for a short paper in which students explain how the process worked for them and what they believe the results means for them. Did they see change? If so, how much? What obstacles did they encounter? What benefits did they get? What did they learn or relearn?

    47. Strategy: Eight Choices of Successful Students and Timeless Wisdom Quotations

    Application: Student Success

    Educator: Andjela Cupic, Transition Counselor, Rhode Island Regional Adult Learning, RI

    Implementation: Form eight groups and assign each group one of the eight choices (inner qualities) and ask members to exchange contact information. They are to become the class experts on the inner quality assigned to them. In groups, students do the following:

    1. Read the preview of the choice/inner quality assigned to their group (from the OC I Workshop Book).
    2. Complete the reflection on the same page.
    3. Read and discuss Timeless Wisdom quotations on the next page.
    4. Agree on a quotation the group will present to the class. They are to explain A) How the quotation illustrates the message/point of their Inner Quality and B) A way to apply this newly learned concept in their lives right now.
    5. Make presentation to the class.
    6. Back in expert groups, students reflect and discuss the presentations of the other seven groups and create a short handwritten list of important message they got about the other qualities.
    7. As a wrap up, each student writes a thank you note to each team member, highlighting his/her contributions to the group.

    48. Strategy: Success Team

    Application: FYE or English Comp 1

    Educator: Jim Hilgartner, Director, Staton Center for Student Success/Assistant Professor of English. Huntingdon College, Montgomery, AL

    Implementation: The purpose of this activity is to have students create a Who’s Who of Faculty and Athletic Coaching Staff, thus helping them make wise choices in future course selections. Divide list of faculty/coaches among success teams. As a group, each team interviews and writes a profile (100 to 200 words) of their assigned faculty members/coaches. For example, the profile might contain the faculty member/coach’s philosophy of education. Students collaborate in revision process and all receive same grade for the group’s final product. When profiles are finished, they are collected and, if needed, group edited once more, and then assembled into a Who’s Who booklet of faculty and coaches. Copies are distributed to all students in the class (and to each faculty member and coach).

    49. Strategy: Self-Management Tools

    Application: College Readiness Writing Course or Student Success

    Educator: Alexandra Harvey, Program Coordinator, Intensive College Readiness Program, Midland College, TX

    Implementation: Teach the students about the four self-management tools in a mini-lecture format. Then, ask students to choose which of the four will be the most beneficial to them. Next, have them write a short essay on why they chose the tool they did, how they will implement it, and how they think it will affect their lives. Check grammar, content, etc., and have students put the paper into their portfolios. Each week thereafter, encourage students to continue using their self-management method, or, if the one they chose is not working for them, have them choose another. Toward the end of the class have students re-read their original papers and write a response paper. Did the self-management tool they chose tool help them the way they thought it would? Did they even use the tool, and, if not, why not? How will using the self-management tools help them once they actually begin college? Once the response paper has been written and corrected, have students compare their original writing sample and see how far their writing skills have come during the course.

    50. Strategy: Videos

    Application: Student Success: A Review of Chapter’s 1-6 in On Course

    Educator: Jennifer Boyle, Faculty, English and Student Success, Davidson County Community College, NC

    Implementation: The film Freedom Writers is about a group of students who display “Struggling Student” behaviors, thoughts, and patterns at the beginning of the film and through a journey of self-discovery, begin to display “Successful Student” behaviors, thoughts, and patterns. I usually show this film during our reading of On Course, Chapter 6–“Gaining Self-Awareness.” It gives the students an opportunity to apply many of the concepts from the first six chapters to these transforming students. We go over the handout (below) before viewing the film, and the film takes two class periods to get through (our classes are an hour and twenty minutes). The version of this film I use has the actress Hilary Swank in it and was produced in 2007. The film is based on a true story of a young teacher and her students–the story is exceptional. [Editors Note: This creative strategy could be used for other films about education, as many of them depict the transformation of students from struggling to successful. Click HERE for a list of some of the all-time best films about education.]

    HANDOUT: We will watch the film Freedom Writers and study three of the characters, analyzing and thinking critically about their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and inner qualities. We will see that each of these characters begins as a “Struggling Student” as defined by the On Course qualities. We will identify those qualities that classify them as a struggling student and ask ourselves how they develop into “Successful Students.”

    1) Choose ONE character to study—

    • Eva
    • Marcus
    • Andre

    2) Think about and answer the following eight questions—

    1. Successful students have the following qualities and take the following actions: Accept personal responsibility, discover self-motivation, master self-management, employ interdependence, gain self-awareness, adopt lifelong learning, develop emotional intelligence, and believe in themselves.
      • Of these qualities and actions, what does your chosen student struggle with? Note specific examples from the film and explain your idea.
      • At what point (if any) do you see your student beginning to develop the qualities of successful students?
    2. Identify instances of Victim and Creator language in your student.
      • How do you see your student’s language affecting his or her thoughts, emotions, and behaviors?
    3. Can you identify any inner conversations occurring within your student?
      • Inner Critic? Inner Defender? Inner Guide?
    4. Looking at the V (value) x E (expectation) = M (motivation) formula, how would you calculate this equation for the student concerning school at the beginning of the film? At the end?
    5. On a scale on 1-10, with “1” being the lowest and “10” being the highest, how would you rate your student’s self-management? What actions do they deem as “Important,” “Not Important,” “Urgent,” and “Not Urgent” throughout the film?
    6. What issues does your student have concerning “Employing Interdependence”?
    7. What core beliefs do you see affecting your students thought patterns, emotional patterns, and behavior patterns at the beginning of the film? The end of the film?
    8. Based on the progression of your chosen student, how likely is the student to succeed in school and in life?

    51. Strategy: Self-Management Tools

    Application: College Success Course

    Educator: Suzanne Collins & Jessica Lopez, Counseling, Skyline College, CA

    Implementation: At the beginning of each month, spend the first 15 minutes of class introducing a new self-management tool to the class and giving them the opportunity to complete it in class so they can use it throughout the month. At the end of the semester, all students will have been exposed to at least 4 self-management tools from which to choose. At the end of each month, have students write a reflection on the usefulness of that month’s tool. Have them share with the class or a partner during class.

    52. Strategy: On Course Self-Assessment, Success Teams, DAPPS Goals, 32-Day Commitments, Tracking Forms, Embracing Change Charts

    Application: Student Success Course

    Educator: Jennifer Kaschner, Academic Advisor, Learning Resource Center, Butler University, IN

    Implementation: During the second meeting of the course, ask that students reflect on the self-assessment results, and write their names on the board followed by two principles that are strengths and two they commit to improve during the course. After this activity is complete, introduce success teams and how they will be used throughout the semester for support and accountability. Point out that success teams could be formed based on the self-assessment results and goals or based on common interests or majors. Then allow students time to form success teams of 3-4 students. During the class meetings following the formation of success teams, students write DAPPS goals, commit to using a tracking form, use the embracing change charts available online, and make a 32-day commitment. During an early class meeting in the semester, students meet in their success teams for a short time each class period, checking in on their progress on each of the assigned strategies. As the semester progresses, students begin meeting outside of class either in person or on the course management system discussion board. During the last class of the semester success teams present progress on success principles demonstrated by the self-assessment results, the group’s successes, and reflection on the support and accountability provided by the group.

    53. Strategy: Silent Socratic Dialogue

    Application: Guidance (First Year College Success)

    Educator: Pamela Loyd, Counselor, Modesto Junior College, CA

    Implementation: After students have read Chapter6 in On Course, ask them to write a paragraph responding to the following prompt: Describe one self-defeating core belief you have and explain the ways it limits your success as a student. Continue with the Silent Socratic Dialogue, with 3-4 exchanges of questions and answers. Hold a class discussion on what students learned. This exercise allows students the opportunity to more deeply understand their self-limiting core beliefs and how these beliefs affect their lives.

    54. Strategy: Graduation Game (Ring Toss)

    Application: Student Success Skills–Advising students about course load

    Educator: Mindy L. Tilles, Counselor and SLS instructor, Broward College, FL

    Implementation: Many students want to take more courses than they are capable. They think that they can speed up the college process by taking extra credits. They don’t consider that they may have a full-time job, a family, and other obligations and responsibilities. In short, they bite off more than they can chew. I use the “Ring Toss” game in the second class meeting and compare it to the college experience and to life (not just graduation). The lesson I want them to learn is “slow and steady wins the race” and that breaking down goals into smaller tasks and steps will ultimately be the key to their success.

    55. Strategy: Eight Choices of Successful Students

    Application: College Success

    Educator: Kim G. Thomas, Faculty, Reading, Polk State College, FL

    Implementation: Early in the course, divide students into eight groups and assign one of the eight principles to each group. Each group then creates a 3-4 minute skit to introduce the principle to the class. The skit must illustrate both struggling students and successful students.

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