Report #5 FIPP Activity Report Funded by the Basic Skills Initiative Name Briita Halonen Date 12/17/09 FIPP Partner Robin Bouse Section #6416 Activity /Strategy Tracking Form Category Feedback & Evaluation Briefly describe the activity/strategy. 1. Introduction For English 1A students, I break the research paper process down into a series of scaffolded steps. So, on the first day of the research paper unit, I give them a packet with instructions for each of the research assignments that help them build to the final product. This semester, I included a tracking form to help them pace their progress. 2. Set up & Supplies To implement this independently, all you would need is a photocopy of the tracking form from the FIPP/On-Course workbook for each student. For my process, I included it in the packet. 3. Directions After introducing the research paper assignment (e.g., definition, topics, and expectations), show them the tracking from. Then, explain that this is a tool for them and that it will not be checked by the instructor. Talk the students through each step of the form: their role, dreams, and goals. I tried to keep the focus of their short-term goals on the class and research paper specifically. I also explained the "outer steps" as things that I would explicitly be able to tell if they had not done, things like completing Research Assignment #1: Topic Generation. I explained "inner steps" as tasks that need to be accomplished to improve the quality of their final paper, but that I would not necessarily be able to tell when they had done it, things like asking the librarian for help, or fixing their computer, or spending at least twenty minutes proofreading. After they filled in the steps, I asked them to prioritize them chronologically in the left-hand margin, numbering them according to what needed to be done first. Next, I had them write in dates in the boxes to the right to indicate when they would complete each task. 4. Conclusion Ideally, this would be followed by periodic in-class self-checks to determine their progress. What worked well? I think that this is a helpful self-management tool. I liked that it put the responsibility in the hands of the student and allowed enough flexibility so that each student could adapt it to their own individual needs and topics. What would you change? A few things: 1) I would change the format to be more specifically focused on the research paper. Also, I would include a prioritization column on the left and fewer boxes on the right. 2) I would introduce it on the very first day of the research process. This semester, I gave it to them on that day, but I hadn't allotted enough class time to go over it until much later. I talked them through it right before the Thanksgiving break to help them manage their time over the vacation. 3) I would implement self-checks throughout the process: time in class where they could pull out the tracker and determine their own progress toward their goal. Would you use the activity/strategy again? Why or why not? Yes. I think it has potential, and even though it was introduced too late, I think that some students still found value in it. I do think that it works better for some students than others, but it is still worthwhile. Please describe any student learning outcomes/changes that you observed after the implementation of the activity/strategy.