Kina Lara, an adjunct English instructor at San Jacinto College, shares how incorporating Just In Time Plus has vastly improved students’ understanding in Freshman Composition.

Course redesign initiatives in freshman composition are happening all across the country, with the co-requisite model being one of the most popular. These co-req courses come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: Comp I students are coming in at lower and more varying levels.

In my Comp I (and even Comp II) courses at a two-year community college, I’ve seen this emerge over and over again as a common theme. Many of my students desperately need extra support on basic, foundational writing concepts; unfortunately, as an adjunct with another full-time job, I don’t have time to create all of these assignments or cover all of this material in 3 short hours of class each week. So this is where the digital element of my course comes in to play.

I know that incorporating digital into your traditional English courses might seem a little daunting or sometimes even unnecessary, but there’s #JustOneThing from MindTap that has helped my students be more successful in freshman composition.

I assign one Just In Time Plus activity per week. There are 21 to choose from, all organized together in a folder within MindTap that include:

Understanding the Assignment Paragraph Coherence
Rhetorical Situation Sentence Variety
Thesis Statements Subject-Verb Agreement
Essay Organization Fragments
Introductions and Conclusions Run-On Sentences and Comma Splices
Critical Reading Appropriate Language
Fact and Opinion Concise Language
Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing Sound Alike/Look Alike
Topic Sentences Commas
Supporting Ideas Capitalization
Paragraph Unity

I pick 14 for my students to complete over the course of the semester. I deep link them into Blackboard, so my students get a video tutorial, quick ebook review, and a homework assignment all right there each week. I don’t have to create these, and better yet, I don’t have to grade them!

The Just In Time Plus module has really helped my students to review foundational concepts that I don’t have time to cover in class. This has resulted in better essays and frees up more time for us to discuss readings and talk about student writing. It’s #JustOneThing that has helped my students achieve success in their first-year writing courses.