Here are some techniques you can try mid-semester to help struggling students turn it around:
- Boost engagement and faculty-student interaction with some of these easy-to-use ideas to improve your students’ participation, attitude, and learning from EngageEngineering. There are ideas that will help make students more comfortable with reaching out to you for help and coming to office hours. CSTeachingTips also has some tips for encouraging help seeking.
- Proactively reach out to meet with or email students who struggled on your first quiz or exam or assignment. You might share these tips for effective study skills and overcoming procrastination. This can help students improve significantly. See the study “Transforming the Lowest-Performing Students: An Intervention That Worked” – in particular the graph on the 4th page that shows improvement from the first to the second exam.
- Teach effective learning strategies to your class by giving a lesson after the first exam (when students are more ready to hear this). Here’s a example video presentation and slides on effective learning strategies from Saundra McGuire, author of the book Teach Students How to Learn, as well as a book for students, Teach Yourself How to Learn.
- Refer students to advisors and tutors. Here’s another study showing how doing so can improve student’s performance: “Early Intervention in College Classes and Improved Student Outcomes.”
- Try the two-stage exam technique. Students take a quiz or exam first individually, and then a second time in a group. This can prevent struggling students from falling further and further behind, since they can learn from each other the things they missed in the first stage. And you don’t have to spend so much time reviewing the exam yourself. Here’s a video of it in action, as well as more tips for success.