Learning Techniques To Improve College Student Retention

Learning Techniques To Improve College Student Retention

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The changes in our economy and the overall changes to the world we live in over the last twenty years have clearly called for modifications in the abilities and educational requirements of our college graduates in this country. With these new demands, comes the need to find innovative ways to achieve improved college student retention.

Traditionally, college degrees have been geared toward specialization or majors but with the forward thinking businesses of today, the list of competencies have made critical changes. The college graduates of today are expected to have critical thinking and problem solving skills along with excellent written and verbal communication skills. In addition, they must have a working knowledge in their general courses such as mathematics and science.

With these changes and expectations, comes the need for innovative ways to help college students retain what they are learning. Colleges across the nation are growing in numbers due to the ongoing financial crisis of our nation. No longer are the colleges filled with just the young traditional students but with older American workers who are attempting to learn new skills in hopes of keeping their jobs or finding a new job.

In order for colleges to meet this challenge, they must find a way to help the students learn effectively but in an affordable manner. For some schools, the answer is finding the most innovative solution and simply utilizing technology. For example, instead of teaching a math course in the traditional manner with a text book and a chalk board, many are utilizing interactive math programs.

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These programs are capable of integrating with college placement test and have interactive tutorials that will assess each student’s work and capabilities. Once a student’s initial test is taken, the computer assesses the student’s results and if they do not pass above a certain level, they are required to use a computer program for several weeks of math tutoring. The best part is that the course will focus on each student’s individual weaknesses in relationship to their original placement test.

The program allows each student to work at their own pace and gives them immediate feedback if they’ve done the problem incorrectly. By automatically grading each assignment, this frees the instructor up to give additional help to the students. After only a few weeks of this innovative technology most college students are prepared for a college level course.

Many schools have now designed entire computer classrooms based on this interactive technology where all homework and grading is done online. Students and professors alike both agree that this type of innovative technology positively affects a students learning and retention rates.

One of the more simple, yet effective college student retention techniques is to utilize active learning in a class room. Active learning focuses on the student’s participation in the classroom and the importance of teachers encouraging an interactive environment. The idea is to remove the old premise of ?banking education? where the knowledge is simply deposited from teacher into the student’s mind only to be withdrawn at test time.

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To begin utilizing active learning, you must find activities that will excite and motivate your students. Using hands on experiments, project activities and technology are all great ways to encourage participation. If you’re just getting started, you can begin small by allowing your students to create their own lecture. If you normally use the overhead to give a lecture with the main points of the chapter you are working on highlighted, let the students prepare a lecture over the material instead. Utilize the internet or handouts if you would rather not use the overhead but allow them to go through the chapter and create a lesson and then go through it as a class and have them make notes for studying.

Try utilizing a chat room for an online study night. You can login and have a study session or review session for a test. Be there to answer questions or discuss a certain topic that they aren’t clear on. Let everyone get involved. Allow students to help give answers to other students to initiate confidence and communication.

Assign group projects each week or study groups each week and make them mandatory but make sure you change up the groups each week for fair results and to create new interactions and encourage working with new people. Ensure that everyone has to complete one part of the project but do not penalize the entire group for one person’s incompetence. Instead, encourage them to help each other and work as a team. Do not wait until the end to evaluate them. Give them progress reports and feedback throughout the entire project so they can learn and see where they need to improve. By learning throughout the process, it improves a college student’s retention.

Teaching students to integrate knowledge from multiple sources and giving them the skills to think, listen, learn and diversify will allow for improved college student retention.

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Lincoln Rigg is a representative of collegestudentenrollment.com. At College Student Enrollment.com we are dedicated to providing you with the best and most up to date resources and information involving Your College loans. Visit us online today!

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