As applied to basic skills for instance contextualization creates explicit connections between the teaching of reading, writing, or mathematics on one hand and instruction in a subject area on the other, as might occur when writing skills are taught with direct reference to material taught in a sociology class.
Assessment and Feedback Students are more likely to succeed in classrooms that assess their performance and provide frequent feedback about their performance in ways that enable everyone -- students, faculty, and staff -- to adjust their behaviors to better promote student success in the classroom.
Several of these deserve special attention, not only because of evidence that supports their effectiveness, but also because of their capacity to reshape the nature of classroom learning, and in turn enhance classroom success -- in particular, but not only, for those who enter college academically underprepared.
Contextualized Academic Support Contextualized support can be achieved in a variety of ways.
For them, if not for most students, the classroom is one, and perhaps the only, place where they meet with faculty and other students and engage in learning activities.
Their success in college is built upon classroom success, one class and one course at a time.This is the case because most efforts to improve college completion, such as learning centers and first-year seminars, sit at the margins of the classroom and do not substantially improve students' classroom experience.Lest we forget, many students, certainly those in community college, commute to college and work and/or attend part-time.Classroom assessment of student performance is particular effective when it is early and is used to trigger to provision of academic support to those whose performance indicates the need for support.This is especially true during the first year when students are trying to adjust their behaviors to the new academic and social demands of college life.Such engagements lead not only to social affiliations and the social and emotional support they provide, but also to greater involvement in learning activities and the learning they produce. As with assessment and feedback, involvement is particularly important early in the semester, as it helps to establish a pattern of student behaviors that further enhances student effort throughout the semester.Efforts to Enhance Classroom Effectiveness Though they are still limited in scope, there are now a number of efforts to reshape the classroom by altering the way academic support is provided, improving the usability of assessment and feedback techniques, and restructuring patterns of student engagement in the curriculum and classroom.Involvement A fourth, and perhaps the most important, attribute of effective classrooms is involvement, or what is now commonly referred to as engagement.Simply put, the more students are academically and socially engaged with faculty, staff, and peers, especially in classroom activities, the more likely they are to succeed in the classroom.These programs, such as the one at the Community College of Baltimore County, challenge the conventional assumption that basic skill instruction should precede the beginning of college-level work.For other students who require additional academic skills, learning communities, such as those at the City University of New York's La Guardia Community College, are being used to connect one or more basic skills or developmental courses, such as writing, to other content courses, such as history, in which the students are also registered In other cases, they may include a student success or counseling course.