2022 First-Year Engineering Experience

Low Cost—High Impact: Success Skills Students Will Actually Use

Presented at Technical Session S1C

Modern higher education has always struggled with student academic success rates. Despite significant efforts to improve graduations rates, for the past decade they have remained relatively stagnate.
While most institutions have implemented study skill training (both on line and courses) increased tutoring, and other learning resources, graduations rates remain at ~60%. So a fair question is “Do these efforts work?” The answer is yes and no. Yes, the skills work but only if used and used consistently. So for many students the answer is no.
This work presents methodologies grounded in current neuro-science that have been developed in response to this dilemma. These success methodologies are termed Low Cost—High Impact success skills. By design, these success methodologies are low cost to both students and faculty. For students, low cost implies the methods must be very efficient, i.e., easy to learn and implement, rapidly implemented, and have a high rate of learning. High impact is related to effectiveness in learning. The crux of effectiveness is not if a particular method works (it wouldn’t be used if it didn’t work) but whether students will consistently use the method. This crux element—will students use the success skill—is generally overshadowed by how well the method would work if employed.
From a faculty standpoint, low cost consists of a) a small learning curve, b) little disruption to status quo, i.e., readily integrated into any course, c) little to no disruption to faculty’s mode of teaching, and d) a universal design for implementation into any disciplines. High impact refers to student performance including student engagement in class as well as overall performance.
This workshop with develop the key elements of low cost—high impact methods and their distinctive features that make them effective and efficient success skills that student will actually use. The second portion of the workshop participants will work in groups to develop new LC—HI methods or modify common success method such that students will more readily employ them.

  1. Dr. Peter J. Shull Pennsylvania State University, Altoona Campus [biography]
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