Common Reading Initiatives: Strategies That Work
Date conversion 09.08.2018 Size 18,31 Kb.
Catherine Andersen, Vice Provost University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland USA Fellow at the John.N.Gardner Institute European First Year Conference June, 2018 AGENDA Introductions Common/Summer Reading: what, why Steps in the process Book selection PR and planning Activities and events Budget Assessment University of Baltimore Enrollment:5,336 2,825 undergraduate, 1,841 graduate and 670 Law Four Colleges College of Public Affairs College of Business College of Arts and Sciences School of Law Introductions Common Reading: What is it? Book chosen for all entering students or select group of students Faculty, staff & extended community can participate Series of events to promote a common intellectual experience Common Reading: Why? Establishes academic expectations before arrival Establishes a culture of readers Connects to institution’s mission and First-Year Experience goals Provides academic and social integration opportunities Provides a springboard for community conversation Why Common Reading? Common reading supports two key theoretical principles of student retention and learning: Active involvement (Astin 1985) Social integration (Tinto, l975, l993). Why Common Reading? “A common reading may simulate, on a smaller scale, the advantages associated with a core curriculum by providing a “core” learning experience…” (Cuseo, FYE listserv 2004) Kuh (2005) stressed the importance of offering ways for students to spend time with each other. Peers are essential to student learning and motivation. (Laufgraben, 2006) Steps in the process Book selection PR and planning Activities and events: curricular and co-curricular Budget Assessment Step 1: Book Selection Criteria for choosing a book Who sets the criteria? Who reads the books, narrows the field of choices? Committees Faculty Director of The First Year Students Who funds the program? Process and timelines Book Selection Continued Book selection Readable and engaging Literary quality Contemporary Relevancy to issues related to first-year students Appealing to males and females Possibilities for additional programming Interdisciplinary Rich in content/themes Cost (paperback vs. hardback) Length Likelihood students read the book in high school Potential to use the book in other classes or in other areas of the curriculum Example book selection process Furthers one or more college initiatives and mission Meaningful and relevant to current society Applicable to college divisions Has an audio version (film version possible) Short- to fit in 10 week syllabus Good read and well written Accurate portrayal of individuals (accurately and fairly) Author availability Where to find a book? Electronic sources First Year websites Example: Summer Reading at Appalachian State Commercial websites, bestseller lists, book club selections College publications Colleagues Students and Faculty You can also access electronic resources E-Source, NRC's electronic newsletter on College Transitions, has published numerous articles on common reading programs, in ARCHIVES 2015 – Vol. 12, No. 2, Page 14-15 – Good for the gander: Why common reading programs are good for faculty 2012 – Vol. 10, No. 1, Page 5 – Building a fully integrated university common reading program 2009 – Vol. 6, No. 6, Page 11 – Wofford’s novel experience: Taking a common reading program to dinner 2008 – Vol. 5, No. 5, Page 6 – Connecting common reading and study abroad 2007 – Vol. 5, No. 1, Page 1 – One book, one campus: Exploring common reading programs 2007 – Vol. 4, No. 4, Page 8 – Lafayette’s first-year students analyze a film for their common reading 2005 – Vol. 3, No. 3, Page 5 – The novel experience: An uncommon summer reading program 2005 – Vol. 3, No. 2, Page 1 – Mountains beyond mountains: Campus and community apply summer reading to Katrina aftermath Step 2: PR and Planning Contact agents, publishers Consider Author’s availability & cost Author’s presentation style Alternatives to author Step 2: PR and Planning Begin campus-wide advertising to engage faculty/staff Update your website Announce selection on new student portal Send letter & guided reading questions to newly admitted students Stock your bookstore Plan coming semester events Step 3: Activities & Events New Student Orientation & Convocation Semester events prior to author visit Panel Discussions Essay Contest (to have lunch with author) Movie Nights Programs in residence halls Reading recognition buttons Author visit to campus Public presentation Book signing Class discussions Example Curriculum Connections Quote of the week/words of wisdom Connections to issues throughout the semester Visiting presenters’ connections Weekly journals Interdisciplinary – in or across courses Reflective writing at midterm, final Step 4: Budget Develop a budget Establish funding options Administrators may be looking for return on investment (ROI) so you have to go in prepared Share costs across campus – link with existing events Biggest costs is author visit – there are other options Virtual, partnering with other institutions or community events What is Assessment? -”Any effort to gather, analyze or interpret evidence to describe effectiveness” (Upcraft & Schuh 1996) Why Assess? Justify continuation of program and expense Link goals to outcomes that measure student success Characteristics of Effective Assessment (Swing 2004) Focuses on what matters Focuses on something you can change Is built on goodwill of participants and stakeholders Is multidimensional Includes input from stakeholders Places findings in appropriate context Produces comprehensible results Is disseminated and used Assessment: Planned and Cyclical Adapted from Ward (2002) –Cycle of Intentionality Assess Re-define Outcomes Example: Assessing Interaction Learning Opportunities Web based discussions Luncheon talks Connected to curriculum Assess Re-define Outcomes Define Needs & Outcomes Faculty/student interaction 50% of Faculty interact with 80% of new class Why do you have a Common Reading Program? What are your proposed outcomes and did they connect with you First-Year Experience goals ? Do you want to expose students to rigorous academic work? Do you want to build community? With other students? With faculty? Program Outcomes Was it worth the time and money? You might do a survey or count participation at events Did all students know about the summer reading program? How? How many students (faculty/staff) read the book? How was the book selected? Did this event increase awareness on the campus about FYE? Did they read the book before or after they arrived on campus? Did students attend or participate in any events connected to the common reading (essay contest, book discussions, author’s visit)? Which of the events were most popular? If they attended the author’s visit, did they enjoy it? Why or why not? What did students like best/least about the book? Were faculty/staff opinions the same? Was the book used in other classes What books do students recommend for future common reading? Would students recommend a common reading program for next year’s students? Student Outcomes Did students see any benefit from reading the book? What were the benefits? Did it apply to their lives? Did reading the book encourage them to read more? Is there a relationship between common reading and higher GPA’s? Did students who read the book want to know more about the theme (ex. the environment) Personal Development Outcomes If families were encouraged to read the book were there higher levels of family involvement? Was there any connection between declaring a major or choice of major and the book content? Specific Forms/Measures of Development Was there any change in attitudes/behaviors about a theme that was emphasized in the book? Did students who participated in common reading do more community service? If the book is connected to university goal did students who participated in summer reading respond more favorably to such questions? Additional Assessment Ideas (Laufgraben 2006) Bowling Green State University Objective: “To assess the effectiveness of using Into the Forest in generating class discussion, facilitating socialization, assisting students in making connections, and intellectual stimulation” How? A student survey Cal Poly Assessment (Laufgraben 2006) Survey students and facilitators at the end of the book discussion Examples: How many students brought their books to the session Did breakfast work well Where was your meeting Would you volunteer to lead next year What suggestions do you have Student survey Example results: I read Tuesdays With Morrie 92% I attended an event 61% Summer reading is a good idea 76% Reading this book made me want to read more 63% I want more events like Tuesdays With Morrie 50% Results continued After reading Tuesdays With Morrie I Appreciated life more 63% Appreciated friends more 49% Appreciate family more 49% Appreciated teachers more 40% Was more focused on academics 22% More results Selected student journals “My father had ALS... I never knew how he felt” “I am curious about last year’s book and what will you choose for next year?” “Do you think Mitch follows his own message?” Resources Barefoot, B.O., Griffin, B.Q., & Koch, A.K. (2012). Enhancing student success and retention throughout undergraduate education. Brevard, NC: The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. Ferguson, M. (2006). Creating common ground: Common reading and the first year of college. Peer Review, 8-10. Jaschik, S. (2014, February 21). South Carolina lawmakers question books on gay topics. Inside . Retrieved from Higher Education https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/02/21/south-carolina-lawmakers-question-books-gay-topics. Koch, S.S., Griffin, B.Q., & Barefoot, B.O. (2014). National Survey of Student Success Initiatives at Two-Year Colleges. Brevard, NC: The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. Kuh, G.D. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). Kuh, G.D. & O’Donnell, K. (2013). Ensuring quality & taking high-impact practices to scale. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). Lass, A.H. & Wilson, E.S. (1965). The college student’s . New York, NY: D. White. handbook Laufgraben, J.L. (2006). Common reading programs: Going beyond the book. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Skipper, T.L. (2014, July 23). The spring of our discontent: What’s so bad about common reading? [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://tech.sa.sc.edu/fye/NRC_blog/?p=141 Skipper, T.L., Latino, J.A., Rideout, B.M., & Weigel, D. (2013). Extensions of traditional orientation programs. IN J.A. Ward-Roof (Ed.), Designing successful transitions: A guide for orientting students to college (Monograph No., 13, 3rd ed., pp. 95-115). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Thorn, A., Wood, P.W., Plum, C., & Carter, T. (2013). Beach books: 2012-2013 What do colleges and universities want students to read outside of class? New York, NY: National Association of Scholars (NAS). Young, D.G. & Hopp, J.M. (2014). 2012-2013 National Survey of First-Year Seminars: Exploring high-impact practices in the first college year (Research Report No. 4). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition. Contact Information
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