Tracking Form

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.