Developmental English

Innovators Speak: Creating a Co-Requisite Model for English Composition

Author: Greg Underwood, English Department Chair at Pearl River Community College As a chair, I helped oversee the Pearl River Community College English department’s shift from offering nine non-transferrable developmental hours before students could enroll in the traditional first semester writing course, to a track where those same students now directly enroll in a transferrable, four-credit hour first semester writing course. We’re now in our second year, and our tracking numbers show that academically, students perform at or above the levels they did previously. Combined with the fewer developmental hours students no longer have to take, we now retain more Read More…


Innovators Speak: Advice I Wish I Had While Considering, Planning and Designing our English Co-Requisite Model

Author: Dr. Jenny Billings, Chair of English and Study Skills at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Cengage Faculty Partner A year ago, I attended a state-wide meeting about changes coming to North Carolina Community Colleges: Developmental English was going to be redesigned, again. Rather than panic, pretend like it was going to go away, or wait around, I volunteered my department, my college, to be the first to pilot the proposed changes. I figured that if we were the first to pilot, we could help inform the System Office and possibly influence the decisions made. Plus, this is a good Read More…


How to Help Students Overcome Writer’s Block

Even when students choose to write on a topic that interests them, they may still experience the frustration of writer’s block. They may deal with the frustration by spending too much time researching and then run out of time when it comes to writing and revising their work. As instructors with advanced degrees, we’ve written more papers than we care to count. It’s easy to forget that our students are still neophytes when it comes to academic writing. What can we do to help students complete their writing assignments more effectively?

Reasons for writer’s block

Some people are procrastinators by Read More…


MindTap Supports Strong Outcomes in Developmental English

As an instructor of Developmental English, you have numerous goals for your students. Among these,  you undoubtedly want to see high levels of student engagement, as well as strong outcomes and student success.

How can you help your students achieve these important goals? Try assigning digital. When MindTap counts for at least 20% of their grade, students in Developmental English are engaging in course material more and performing better.

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Busy Professor Discovers the Benefits of Aplia and its Impact on Struggling Students

Professor Ricardo Vergara teaches the Fundamentals of Writing course at Laredo Community College in Texas. Before using his current combination of Aplia with Fawcett’s Grassroots with Readings: The Writer’s Workbook, his courses were textbook based and did not include an online component. However, just a few years ago, dramatic changes to developmental education standards were mandated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The changes meant that Laredo Community College had to rethink and reorganize the developmental course sequence within his department. Additionally, Vergara and his colleagues wanted to give students a more organized, comprehensive, and independent study-oriented experience in the Fundamentals of Writing class.
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First-time MindTap Users Share Best Practices

Cengage Learning wanted to understand the experience of first time MindTap users to identify best practices and opportunities for future improvement. To achieve this, Cengage Learning recruited four instructors and twenty students to participate in a semester-long journaling project for the Fall 2014 who documented their experience with MindTap throughout the semester. Both students and instructors completed bi-monthly journals.

Instructors provided insights on how they and their students were using MindTap’s tools and assignments, as well as what differences they noticed with regard to student engagement. Students provided insights into how they were using MindTap and if they found it beneficial to their studies. The courses taught during this study were English, History, College Success, and Western Civilization.

 

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Aplia Helps Developmental English Students Thrive in Boot Camp

Elizabeth Keefe is an Assistant Professor of English that oversees the developmental English programs at Gateway Community College in New Haven Connecticut. In 2013, Elizabeth began redesigning Gateway’s developmental English programs in response to a law passed in Connecticut that required colleges and universities to reconfigure their developmental education curriculum. In order to fully address the needs of students with the most significant gaps in their reading and writing skills, Elizabeth developed Boot Camp – a three-week intensive review of basic reading and writing concepts. Students at the lowest remedial English level attend the Boot Camp prep course and conclude it by taking the ACCUPLACER placement exam. The goal of the course is for students to score high enough on the ACCUPLACER exam to place into a higher level English course, thus saving them time and money.

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Developmental Educators Work to Grow Student Engagement

Today it is increasingly vital as developmental education programs—faced with economic pressures and completion-based funding—have a higher stake in moving developmental education students efficiently through their curriculum as well as keeping them engaged so they persist and go on to graduate.
 
In a 2014 research study conducted by Cengage Learning at the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE) conference in Dallas, Texas, all of the faculty participants noted their greatest challenge is breaking down the barriers to achievement and helping increase student motivation, preparedness, engagement, and confidence. The link between engagement and student success has been demonstrated in decades of research, so finding new ways to engage students is important, albeit challenging.
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Aplia™ Promotes Preparedness and Streamlines Assessment in Developmental Reading and Writing

As higher education institutions seek new ways to help students move successfully through the curriculum, one trend is the integration of developmental reading and writing. Such is the case at campuses in the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), where Ulanda Forbess teaches and coordinates the developmental reading and writing program. She has been using the Aplia™ online homework and learning solution for a year to help guide her students to reading and writing proficiency. Read More…


Aplia Helps Karen Hackley’s Students “Connect the Dots” Between Reading and Writing

In this success story, you’ll discover how Karen Hackley of Houston Community College used Aplia to promote proficiency, reinforce her classroom discussions and activities, and keep students involved and on track in her Integrated Reading and Writing course. You’ll also see how Aplia can help you reinforce key concepts, help students hone fundamental skills, and demonstrate the connection between reading and writing.
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