Balancing Students’ Needs and Wants with Electives Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler  Studies in American Language  San Jose...
The SAL Program <ul><li>Average size = 250 students per semester </li></ul><ul><li>8 Levels of Instruction </li></ul><ul><...
Customization is Key <ul><li>Students attend 20 hours of classes per week in the IEP. </li></ul><ul><li>Most students must...
Example Student Course Schedule  Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University,...
Creating an Elective Schedule <ul><li>The first piece is deciding how many total electives to offer. This is done by multi...
Selecting Academic Courses <ul><li>From an evaluation of skills needed at the college level, the following academic electi...
Business Elective Courses <ul><li>SAL students can customize their schedules with business courses. 10% or less of the ele...
Interest Courses <ul><li>For SAL students who do not have academic goals (or for those who need a “break”), 30-40% of the ...
Concurrent Enrollment Elective Option <ul><li>In place of one SAL elective, intermediate to advanced students can take 1-c...
Time Scheduling <ul><li>Most SAL courses are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30-12:20 or 1:00-2:50 with advanced...
Time Scheduling (con’t) <ul><li>Because a balance of student choices is important, this may create some difficulties with ...
Example of the Spring 2009 Morning Elective Choices Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jos...
Example of Spring 2009 Afternoon Elective Choices Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose ...
Example of Spring 2009 Advanced Level Electives <ul><li>TOEFL Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Silicon Valley Professionals </li>...
“ Selling” the Courses to Students <ul><li>Titling Courses is Important: Titles should be short but explain the course ade...
Academic Course Description Example on a “Choice” Sheet <ul><li>Grammar Workshop - This class is designed to help you beco...
Interest Course Description Example on a “Choice” Sheet <ul><li>English through Art-  Are you interested in Art? Improve y...
Course Selection Process <ul><li>Students have 2-3 days to select their courses. Students rank their top 3 courses in case...
Course Selection Process (con’t) <ul><li>The average size of elective courses is 16 (but some courses with more of a lectu...
Can Students Change their Courses? <ul><li>YES! </li></ul><ul><li>A change period is allowed during the first week (which ...
Are We Crazy for Allowing Changes? <ul><li>Despite the chaos and anxiety that such a process could create, there are only ...
Use of Books in Electives <ul><li>Since electives are short courses, most do not use books. However, many of our academic ...
During the Elective Session <ul><li>Teachers compile online attendance (weekly) which helps us confirm that students are a...
Elective Course Evaluation <ul><li>Courses are evaluated during the last day of the session. </li></ul><ul><li>Questions a...
Example Elective Course Evaluation <ul><li>Please give us feedback on the electives that you took this session.  [The stud...
Example Elective Course Evaluation,con’t <ul><li>[Then they complete these sentences] In general, this  class  was  _____ ...
Results of Elective Evaluations <ul><li>Results are gathered and distributed with elective coordinator comments to teacher...
Examples of Student Comments about Electives - Academic Elective <ul><li>From a TOEFL Listening course: </li></ul><ul><li>...
Examples of Student Comments about Electives - Interest Elective <ul><li>From an English through Music course: </li></ul><...
Presenter Contact Information <ul><li>Kim Chavis: ckim@salmail.sjsu.edu </li></ul><ul><li>Marianne Wheeler: mwheeler@salma...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Marianne And Kim - Balancing Students’ Needs And Wants With Electives

1,602 views
1,506 views

Published on

Balancing Students’ Needs And Wants With Electives

Published in: Education
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,602
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
490
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
3
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University) CATESOL 2009
  • Marianne And Kim - Balancing Students’ Needs And Wants With Electives

    1. 1. Balancing Students’ Needs and Wants with Electives Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler Studies in American Language San Jose State University
    2. 2. The SAL Program <ul><li>Average size = 250 students per semester </li></ul><ul><li>8 Levels of Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Most students have academic goals (community college, undergraduate, and graduate) </li></ul><ul><li>Some come for personal English improvement </li></ul><ul><li>The majority of students are from Asia (others come from the Middle East, Europe, and South America) </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    3. 3. Customization is Key <ul><li>Students attend 20 hours of classes per week in the IEP. </li></ul><ul><li>Most students must take Written Communication, Oral Communication, and Current Events Reading and Vocabulary courses (=16 hours per week). </li></ul><ul><li>Each elective course runs six weeks for twelve hours total. Students select elective courses that meet their individual goals. </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    4. 4. Example Student Course Schedule Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009) Time Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri 8:30 Writing Skills Reading Skills Writing Skills Reading Skills Writing Skills Advanced Elective Choice 10:30 Speaking Skills Elective Choice #1 Speaking Skills Elective Choice #3 Speaking Skills Advanced Elective Choice 1:00 Elective Choice #2 Elective Choice #4 Advanced Elective Choice
    5. 5. Creating an Elective Schedule <ul><li>The first piece is deciding how many total electives to offer. This is done by multiplying the total number of level sections of instruction by 2. </li></ul><ul><li>(Ex. 12 sections X 2 =24 courses) </li></ul><ul><li>Academic courses: Since the majority of our students have academic goals, 50-60% of courses should be academic </li></ul><ul><li>(13-15 courses on average). </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    6. 6. Selecting Academic Courses <ul><li>From an evaluation of skills needed at the college level, the following academic electives are usually offered: TOEFL Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Notetaking, Grammar Workshop, and Active Reading. </li></ul><ul><li>These courses are offered at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Students (for all electives) are grouped into multi-level courses. </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    7. 7. Business Elective Courses <ul><li>SAL students can customize their schedules with business courses. 10% or less of the elective schedule is comprised of the following types of electives: Business Writing, Business Idioms, or The Apprentice. </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    8. 8. Interest Courses <ul><li>For SAL students who do not have academic goals (or for those who need a “break”), 30-40% of the schedule is comprised of interest courses like: English through Music, Art or Movies, American Idioms, Volunteers in Action, American Popular Culture, and Excursions. </li></ul><ul><li>In all Interest courses, the focus is on learning English in a fun environment. </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    9. 9. Concurrent Enrollment Elective Option <ul><li>In place of one SAL elective, intermediate to advanced students can take 1-credit San Jose State University courses. There is an additional fee of $50 per student for this option; however, students can receive the benefit of interacting with American students. </li></ul><ul><li>Options include: physical education, music, and communication courses </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    10. 10. Time Scheduling <ul><li>Most SAL courses are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30-12:20 or 1:00-2:50 with advanced courses on Fridays. </li></ul><ul><li>More choices are offered to the largest levels which are usually intermediate to high intermediate levels. It is important to balance the course offerings between the four time blocks which allows maximum student choice of academic and interest courses. </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    11. 11. Time Scheduling (con’t) <ul><li>Because a balance of student choices is important, this may create some difficulties with teacher availability. (Ex. an intermediate student has a balance of academic, business, and interest courses in the four time blocks; teachers are then scheduled who have the experience, skills, and availability.) </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    12. 12. Example of the Spring 2009 Morning Elective Choices Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009) Tuesdays 10:30 Thursdays 10:30 TOEFL Listening 1 TOEFL Speaking 2 American Movies 1 Active Reading 2 Business Writing TOEFL Listening 2
    13. 13. Example of Spring 2009 Afternoon Elective Choices Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009) Tuesdays 1:00 Thursdays 1:00 Clearer Speech Survival English American Movies 2 Grammar Workshop Business Idioms TOEFL Speaking 1 Writing and Grammar Workshop Active Reading 1
    14. 14. Example of Spring 2009 Advanced Level Electives <ul><li>TOEFL Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Silicon Valley Professionals </li></ul><ul><li>TOEFL Speaking 3 </li></ul><ul><li>American Accent Training </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation Skills </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    15. 15. “ Selling” the Courses to Students <ul><li>Titling Courses is Important: Titles should be short but explain the course adequately. We often use “TOEFL” to describe a course that is more academic (like TOEFL Notetaking) because students may not understand the relevance of why notetaking skills are important. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers help select course titles and provide short summaries (3-6 sentences) of courses. </li></ul><ul><li>Course summaries are compiled on “choice” sheets sorted by level (students only see choices for their levels) </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    16. 16. Academic Course Description Example on a “Choice” Sheet <ul><li>Grammar Workshop - This class is designed to help you become more knowledgeable about grammar and to use it more effectively in academic and everyday communication tasks. We will explore grammar using games, charts, handouts and other materials.  </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    17. 17. Interest Course Description Example on a “Choice” Sheet <ul><li>English through Art- Are you interested in Art? Improve your English speaking skills and expand your vocabulary by learning about great American artists and discussing modern art. This class includes fun hands-on activities. No artistic talents or background needed! </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    18. 18. Course Selection Process <ul><li>Students have 2-3 days to select their courses. Students rank their top 3 courses in case their 1 st or 2 nd choices are full. </li></ul><ul><li>Students choices are then compiled. In the past, we moved more students to their third choices when courses filled. However, we have recently started to accommodate more 1 st and 2 nd choices with split courses. This means that students can keep their 1 st and 2 nd choices but may have a different teacher (this can cause some problems). </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    19. 19. Course Selection Process (con’t) <ul><li>The average size of elective courses is 16 (but some courses with more of a lecture format, like advanced TOEFL courses, may have 20 students) </li></ul><ul><li>Courses are closed if the total number of students would hinder the learning process (Ex. 20 students is too many for a lower level speaking course) Usually, another course is opened to split the course in half. </li></ul><ul><li>Classes with less than six students are closed, and the students are moved to their 3 rd choices </li></ul><ul><li>Students receive their course information (room number, teacher name, etc) in their classes about several days before elective courses begin. </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    20. 20. Can Students Change their Courses? <ul><li>YES! </li></ul><ul><li>A change period is allowed during the first week (which does mean that students can change after attending the first class). </li></ul><ul><li>A change sheet is created for this process which shows which courses are full and those that have remaining space. </li></ul><ul><li>Students can change for any reason (teacher, time/day, desire to be with certain classmates, etc.) as long as space is available. </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    21. 21. Are We Crazy for Allowing Changes? <ul><li>Despite the chaos and anxiety that such a process could create, there are only about 20-30 total change requests per session (only about 10%) of students. Only 7% of these students actually change courses due to space availability. </li></ul><ul><li>There are not many change requests because about 95% of students receive their 1 st and 2 nd choices due to course splits. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no significant difference in request changes from academic or interest electives. </li></ul><ul><li>It is important to not allow any changes after the change period has expired. </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    22. 22. Use of Books in Electives <ul><li>Since electives are short courses, most do not use books. However, many of our academic (TOEFL) courses use books as students need structure in these courses. It is important to select books which have a reasonable cost as students have already paid about $100-200 for the core texts. </li></ul><ul><li>We currently are using Delta’s Key to the TOEFL Test (Delta Publishing Company), Building Skills for the iBT TOEFL (Compass Publishing), Clear Speech (Cambridge), and Giving Academic Presentations (Michigan Press). </li></ul><ul><li>TOEFL books are often used for multiple skills at the same level. (Ex. an intermediate student can often use the same book for a TOEFL Reading and Listening course.) </li></ul><ul><li>For those courses that do not use texts, teachers need to prepare their own materials. This can be difficult for newer teachers. </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    23. 23. During the Elective Session <ul><li>Teachers compile online attendance (weekly) which helps us confirm that students are adhering to our attendance policy. </li></ul><ul><li>At the end of the course, teachers also enter their grades online. </li></ul><ul><li>All electives receive letter grades which are determined by the criteria the teacher selects but usually include a combination of the following: participation, homework, presentation, or quizzes/tests. </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    24. 24. Elective Course Evaluation <ul><li>Courses are evaluated during the last day of the session. </li></ul><ul><li>Questions about the quality of the course as well as what other types of electives students would like offered are asked. </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    25. 25. Example Elective Course Evaluation <ul><li>Please give us feedback on the electives that you took this session. [The students then complete the following sentences] </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher was prepared </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher expected the students to learn a lot </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher helped students feel comfortable participating in class </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher evaluated my work in a fair and clear way </li></ul><ul><li>The class helped me improve my English skills </li></ul><ul><li>[by choosing from the following responses] Always, Very Often, Sometimes, Infrequently, Rarely </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    26. 26. Example Elective Course Evaluation,con’t <ul><li>[Then they complete these sentences] In general, this class was  _____ In general, the teaching in my class was _____ </li></ul><ul><li>[by choosing from these responses] Excellent, Very Good, Good, Not so good, Poor </li></ul><ul><li>1.Write a comment about your elective class. Please write examples…then we can improve your elective courses! </li></ul><ul><li>2. What other electives would you like SAL to offer? </li></ul><ul><li>3. Do you have any suggestions for the SAL program? </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    27. 27. Results of Elective Evaluations <ul><li>Results are gathered and distributed with elective coordinator comments to teachers. If there are issues with the teacher’s performance, the elective coordinator will brainstorm with the teacher for ideas of improving the course. </li></ul><ul><li>Student suggestions have resulted in new courses(e.g. Silicon Valley Professionals). </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    28. 28. Examples of Student Comments about Electives - Academic Elective <ul><li>From a TOEFL Listening course: </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is excellent elective class. This class helped me to understand listening point of TOEFL. This class really improved my listening skills.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Teacher taught us how to note take, how to listen something like that. It was very good for us.” </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    29. 29. Examples of Student Comments about Electives - Interest Elective <ul><li>From an English through Music course: </li></ul><ul><li>“ It’s really an interesting class. Not only sing the songs, but also learn new vocabulary.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We sing a lot of songs. It’s really a good chance to study English in different way. I have a lot of fun in class. I love English more than before.” </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)
    30. 30. Presenter Contact Information <ul><li>Kim Chavis: ckim@salmail.sjsu.edu </li></ul><ul><li>Marianne Wheeler: mwheeler@salmail.sjsu.edu </li></ul>Kim Chavis and Marianne Wheeler (Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, CATESOL 2009)

    ×