Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System

It's all about that Book, 'bout that Book...

Rating: 
4.857145
Average: 4.9 (7 votes)
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 to Thursday, May 7, 2015
Abstract: 

In Fall 2014 I re-designed my COM225 Public Speaking course into a 5-week "Fast Track to Completion" format.  When I recalled having taught Summer sessions (which are also 5 weeks in duration), I remembered that students had difficulty completing the reading assignments from the established textbook--it was quite lengthy (and expensive).  But, I wanted to see if taking the course during the regular semester might make a difference in student engagement with the textbook.  Dismal results. Only about 75% of the students were reading and completing the accountability assignment (see attachment) and only half of those were doing so at the 5 level.   Flash forward to Spring 2015.  After adopting a leaner and more affordable textbook credible in the field (with help from my colleague, Cheri Hebert) almost 100% of the students completed the accountability assignments in both sessions this Spring, with 90% of them doing so at the 5 level.  The textbook also received accolades from the students in the 2 fast-track sections for being readable, current, informative, and more affordable.

Completed Full Cycle: 
Yes
Assessment of the Month: 
June, 2015

Comments

PETAA00009's picture
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Like the title of this CATS! Good move on eliminating the possibility of course length influencing book comprehension. You did prove that it was definitely about that book! Sounds like the new book was the Grand Canyon (a mile wide, very deep, and relatively short) as opposed to the Mississippi River (a mile wide, very shallow, and very long!). It is indeed, all about that book!

Also really like the rubric. Is this a discussion or an assignment?

ste2255369's picture
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Good CAT!  Thanks for sharing.

TER2062747's picture
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What a wonderful example of "thinking about the students"!  It is so important for us to take into consideration what they are experience and not just following the textbook...literally and figuratively :-)

Thank you for sharing.

ROSAA00006's picture
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Thanks, Terri!  FYI, based upon the feedback of the students and Cheri's pilot of the book in a traditional class, we adopted the new textbook for all COM225 classes beginning in the Fall 2015!

REBZS76641's picture
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First, I LOVE this title.  I am very happy to see folks trying to find cost savings for our students, and to find a book that makes the content meaningful/relevant to them.  I hope you continue to see success and I love to see an update on this next fall with Cheri's results included. 

heck's picture
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I like your CATS title and have a similar issue with students engaging with a textbook in SLP104 that is very lengthy and written more for graduate level students.  We are looking for other options, haven't found any good options yet!

NOR2157229's picture
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Great CATS!  I've also re-evaluated some of our textbooks because of their length.  Approximately how many hours of reading per week were involved for the first, lengthier textbook and how many hours of reading per week for the second textbook for the 5-week sessions and the semester long sessions? Also, do you think that there's a difference between those students who take the course in a 5-week session compared to the semester-long course?  I've wondered about this question myself but I've only taught the 5 week courses during the summer.

ROSAA00006's picture
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Thanks, Norma, for your interest.  This semester all COM225 Adjuncts and our OYO will be using the new textbook.  I will communicate with them at the beginning of the semester to let them know I will be collecting feedback at the end of the semester to quantify.  Any ideas you have for me are welcome!  Ro

OLGYZ58951's picture
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Ro, Thank you for sharing how students became more interested in learning from the textbook. The chapter questions connect the student to the readings by having them apply it to their own life and future interests. The rubric and the questions can easily be used across disciplines. Olga

sardh00001's picture
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Great CATS!  Wish we could all pick a more affordable book.  Luckily a few copies of the textbook are available in the library for my course. 

BROAA00004's picture
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This is so true and it is nice to see a study documenting achievement for students. I appreciate your emphasis on not only affordable but worthy or credible.