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Author: Louis Deslauriers and Sara Harris

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  1. 1. Interventions CWSEI End‐of‐Year event 27 April 2010Louis Deslauriers & Sara Harris
  2. 2. What is an “intervention”?Typically, an intervention to help low performing students would involve:1‐ Providing extra review sessions 2‐ Distributing additional practice problems 3‐ providing additional office hours  p g4‐ Help rooms where students can work together with TAs5‐ Etc...Typically not too effective though!!Typically not too effective though!!High performing students avail themselves of these additional resources, but lower performance students DO NOT. Many documented (and undocumented) interventions failed to improve performance Many documented (and undocumented) interventions failed to improve performanceof these lower performing students.“Although most programs in which the thrust is study skills use University students, the effect “Alth h t i hi h th th t i t d kill U i it t d t th ff ton study skills are minimal”J. Hattie, J. Biggs, N. Purdie, Review of Educational Research 66, 99‐136 (1996)
  3. 3. We successfully intervened with lowperforming students i f i t d t intwo VERY different courses:PHYS 250 (Modern Phys) May 2009Student population: 67 second year engineering phys studentsEOSC 112 (Fluid Earth: Atmosphere & Ocean) Sept 2009 lStudent population: 180 students, any year, any faculty students year
  4. 4. Who gets an intervention? PHYS 250100% Phys250: Modern Physics ‐‐ 67 Students enrolment90%80% Scores after Midterm170%60%50%40%30%20%10% 0% 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 61 63 65 67 5 Students emailed, but did not respond 12 Students emailed, and intervened with
  5. 5. Who gets an intervention? EOSC 112 udied an hours stu Media 50% Pass/fail line Studied > class median & failed S di d l di & f il d
  6. 6. Who gets an intervention? EOSC 112 udied an hours stu Media 50% Pass/fail line Came to face‐to‐face intervention Invited for F2F, didn’t come, got email Got email (not invited to F2F) Could consult study tips on website
  7. 7. PHYS 250What does an intervention look like?Intervention: Email is sent out to the ones who scored at bottom 25% on Midterm 1 We sent 7 emails, and intervened with students.We sent 17 emails, and intervened with 12 students.Took place about 1‐2 weeks after Midterm 1.One‐on‐one with one of the instructor, lasted about 15‐25min eachOne on one with one of the instructor lasted about 15 25min eachQuestions asked:1‐ What did you think of M1? (Hard/easy, fair/unfair, blabla)2‐ How did you prepare for it? y p p3‐ What do you think could be done to improve on M2? 4‐ Volunteered our help to improve their performance on exams
  8. 8. PHYS 250What does an intervention look like?Intervention: We asked them to carry out a specific set of activities in studying for future exams. 1‐ Review the homework problems and solutions2‐ Go to the weekly (optional) problem solving sessions3‐ Study the learning goals for the course they had been given with the 3 Study the learning goals for the course they had been given with the syllabus4‐ Review the assigned reading for the course Each student was asked to agree to do these things when studying for the next exam and told we would be checking on their progress before the next exam.
  9. 9. Did they do better after an intervention? PHYS 250 FE ‐M1 Final Exam  Final Exam M1 (%) M2 (%) (%) 10 students  (with intervention) 8.1 64.5 83.4 72.6 Next 16 student  Next 16 student (w/o inter. or  ‐4.5 email) 77.4 80.3 72.9 Entire class except  10 intervened stds ‐5.7 81.5 83.1 76
  10. 10. Do students do better EOSC 112 after an i t ft intervention? ti ?Average, non‐interv students Medians,  all & non=int
  11. 11. Do students do better EOSC 112after an intervention?
  12. 12. EOSC 112Intervention students report changing study habits 2 = Changed study habits “a lot” 1  Changed study habits a little 1 = Changed study habits “a little” 0 = Did not change study habits
  13. 13. How do we know the intervention PHYS 250 was responsible?Previous results clearly established that intervention had large effect, but it does not say why.For instance………did they really change their study habits or simply worked much harder for For instance did they really change their study habits or simply worked much harder forthe rest of the term?At end of semester, we conducted interviews with the “10 student intervened group”. For comparison, identical interviews were carried primarily with those students scoring in the next higher quartile after the first midterm (“control group”) . To avoid biasing the student responses, the interviews were carried out by a third person To avoid biasing the student responses the interviews were carried out by a third personwho was unknown to the students  and followed a very strict and limited script.  1‐ How do you typically prepare for exams in science and eng courses here at ubc 2‐ How did you prepare for midterm 1 in phys250  dd f d h 3‐ How did you prepare for midterm 2 in phys250 ‐‐ did you change anything in the way you  prepared for M1 Vs M2? If so, what?  y y g f / 4‐ What study advice would you give another PHYS250 student in our course for him/her to  do well in the course.  5‐ What study advice would you give another student in OTHER science and eng courses for  him/her to do well. 
  14. 14. How do we know the intervention was responsible? studied  pre  rev student diff t d t differently  notes tl t HW* LGs* LG * book* b k* read* d* sess** more other th m1‐ 1 int yes  NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW m1‐ m12 int yes   m1 m1 NEW NEW3 int yes  m1 m1 m1 m1 NEW4 int4 int yes  yes NEW NEW NEW5 int yes  m1 NEW m1 NEW6 int no   m1 m17 int7 int yes  yes m1 m1 m1 m1 NEW8 int yes  m1 NEW9 int no  m1 m110 int y yes  m1 m1 m1 NEW NEW 11 cNo Int no  m1 12 cNo Int no  m1 m1 13 c
  15. 15. Conclusions and Suggestions for interventions:‐ These results demonstrate that student performance should not  be considered something outside of the instructor s control be considered something outside of the instructor’s control‐ Can make a dramatic difference in performance with minor but  appropriately targeted i t i t l t t d intervention to improve study habits. ti t i t d h bit‐ Course needs to be structured with all components aligned  (learning goals, assignments, assessments,…