Back inthe saddle article N + 1 with a twist

Posted on November 12, 2021


… okay, trying not to get distracted by a video about the blazing ones and how that movie affected the western industry…

Heater works 🙂

Looked at Geogebra and the IM course thinking “maybe that would be a good framework” but I don’t see it working as is. So! Next is to figure out if it’ll say “you got it right” or not 😉

But first, 20 minutes on MY times tables because finishing a thing would be good.

And 2 days later, I’ve gotten some more quizzes done on that. Need to finish the fours, then do nines, threes, sixes, sevens and eights… and also add things for division and algebra.

BUT FIRST> There’s an article in “Community College Data” — from March 2017, updated in 2020. The


“Accelerated Learning Program” (ALP) is the acronym of the day.that “can modestly improve outcomes in college-level English for remedial students just beneath the highest placement cutoff.”

Okay, obviously Alexandros Goudas and I think on the same wavelengths; he’s pretty scathing, but the bottom line is

“… the corequisite reform movement may be harming at-risk students more than helping them.”

Goudas, Alexandros… Corequisite Reform Movement: A Higher Education Bait And Switch

He notes many of the things I had which would skew a program to success: a small number of *volunteers* with scores close to the cutoff, and *highly trained faculty.*

He calls attention to the math co-req in New York (Logue et al., 2016) — which had a “corequisite” that wasn’t technically “the remedial course” but was a “lab.” (I blogged about that co-req model here )

He then goes on to analyze the research on the rather few places that were enough like actual research to be analyzed.

Even the successful English composition course, though, had a negative in that the twelve *non-remedial* students who were in the “mixed remedial and non remedial” composition class, when compared with “matched groups,” had a lower subsequent college-level enrollment and passrates. There were other statistically significant downsides for the 12 — but good grief, 12 is a teensy weensy sample size. But oh, the graduation rate wasn’t any better even for the ALP (remedial) students – and, of course, there was the selection bias (all volunteers, so possibly more motivated and of course knowing they were In A New Program for Hawthorn Effect, too, and carefully selected instructors).

He then goes on to note that hey, THIS IS EXPENSIVE to do at scale. The 8:1 student teacher ratio, for starters! and to discuss how the “just do ALP FOR EVERYBODY” folks analyzed the cost.

First year college courses hold students back just as much as remedial. Also: proportionately, more withdrawals occur after the first semester than after later ones — so the “remediation” aspect may not be the “barrier.” It could be whatever the other 132 possible factors are. They *don’t* usually count how many people don’t come back in the “hey, they passed!” group (and also factor in the very specific noncognitive supports and targeted content for *passing that course that semester.*) In my opinion, It’s totally fair to argue that the noncognitive support and targeted content is important — but insisting that it occur in a co-req doesn’t make sense. What if, in the developmental courses, this level of intensive “whole student” support happened? (When it has — which isn’t all that often — suddenly the numbers get a whole lot better.)

The article has a ton of data to support that *for those almost at college level* the acceleration can work.

(It doesn’t address that for the rest of ’em, developmental doesn’t often work too well, either. Welp, folks, that’s why we need to at least try teaching those important concepts underneath the “oops missed that procedure for adding fractions” issue. )

It’s 4:14 of a Friday. Time to do some tidying and get ready for a weekend!! Hopefully no snow on the ride home…

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