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Resources and Responses to Chat Messages

Responses to Chat Questions and Concerns


Chat For 1st Day Of Events

The questions/concerns bolded and in italics are from the chat

Do we have comparison data from other UW campuses?

We have comparison data on Retention and Persistence rates.

It would be very helpful if access and main campuses were separated out. Also this decline parallels the merger of campuses.

We do track data for each campus. It is important to note that the decline was happening before the merger.

Do we have numbers that show how many of our students are working that much?  I know it is done, but I have no idea what percentage of students work this much.

Enrollment management collects data on student surveys related to work hours. There is a team working on strategies to get more students to open and complete the survey.

Is there dfw data breakout on those students who live on campus, versus commute versus face-to-face traditional learning versus virtual/online?

Not currently.

Some of these classes are smaller than others, can you provide n?

Is 1st semester college GPA correlated with lower HS GPAs of our admitted students?

From Dr. Damira Grady in Chat: Ben Hallett, asked a question in the first session that I missed. The n for the DWF rates of 50% or higher: Indigenous 6, Black/AA 11, SE Asian 27, Hispanic 7, White 70. Remember these numbers are disproportionate. I also missed Julie Meyer's question. GPAs were based on First-year students, 1st semester. Also, numbers included all campuses.

Can we re-evaluate the re-entry process?

Yes. We will add this to the list to review.

Is there maybe a package of some sort that could be provided to instructors so that they for sure know all the good things to help our students thrive?

A list of critical campus resources have been brought together in one place. We suggest that instructors create a module in Canvas and provide these resources to students through it. This module is an item on the checklist for completing the program.

We really need to improve communication and interaction between student affairs and academic affairs so that we are all more on the same page.

We agree that more collaboration across student affairs and academic affairs in terms of providing information to instructors about student supports would be beneficial to all. We will collaborate with Student Affairs to increase this communication.

Chat For 2nd Day Of Events

Can we please get this [Dr. Rendón’s book] put in follow up materials/opportunity to read this book (for free) on campuses?

Here is online access to Dr. Rendón’s book Sentipensante (Sensing/Thinking) Pedagogy: Educating for Wholeness, Social Justice, and Liberation.

Grades are often used in part as an incentive to develop perceived healthy learning behavior, for example participation/attendance counting toward grades. Can anyone share other ways to incentivize this so grades can be tailored to better reflect learning/acheivement?

You can use grades to assist students to achieve the learning outcomes. For example, in using specifications grading, also called contract grading, students are asked to meet particular learning outcomes on a pass/fail basis. However, if instructors use a pass/revise system for an early assessment, then, the student can be motivated to show their learning on threshold concepts or skills and abilities critical to the course. In this way, feedback must be processed and responded to by the student and improvement shown. Thus, students learn the importance of understanding the learning outcomes, writing as revision and responding to instructor feedback. Linda Nilson’s Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time has many strategies by which to motivate students to learn the learning outcomes for the course. Her book is available online through UWO Libraries.

I would like to echo what was said earlier that these are all great practices, but how can we manage this in large, pit classes that are typical of 1st- and 2nd-year students? Retakes and redos are a great idea, but how to manage this when there are 265 students?

Dr. Grady and I want to acknowledge that the increased workload for instructors over the last few years due to budget crises has led to lower morale among instructors as well as an increase in stress and anxiety experienced by instructors. In turn, we also understand that larger class sizes lead to differences among instructors in terms of workloads. Thus, for example, instructors with larger class sizes will find it more difficult to increase students’ workload than those with smaller classes. We agree that there are a number of ways that instructors are hurting right now. We also want to confirm that some of the strategies provided in the sessions—such as connecting with all of your students—aren’t feasible in large courses.

Yet, we also want to stress that there are multiple strategies by which you can provide students with support around grading and assessment. While it’s true that all changes in teaching demand work, it’s also true that some teaching changes demand less work than others.

For example, we have evidence on campus that implementing small group work in large classrooms reduced the DFW rates, particularly for students who have been structurally excluded from higher education historically. While we want to acknowledge that creating effective small group work will be a demand on instructor time, we also know that one of the main ways to impact the DFW rates for students is for instructors to implement changes in the classroom. In other words, without the implementation of new teaching strategies, most likely, the current rates of DFWs among students will persist. One thing for instructors to think about is that this one intervention in one course led to a 30% decrease in the DFW rate for African American students. Imagine how many possible interventions there are to decrease the DFW rate and the impact if each instructor made at least one intervention.

Another main way for instructors to impact the DFW rates is through grading. One significant way to decrease the DFW rates would be to re-imagine your grading scale in a more equitable way or build equitable opportunities into the course for students’ to improve their grade. For example, Ryan Bowen and Melanie Cooper discuss the ways that bell curve grading is implicated in a tradition of structural racism within higher education nationally. Read their essay. Jenny Schuttlefield Christus is the one who recommended this essay as a resource. 

Providing low-stakes assessment that provides students with opportunities to show their work, get feedback on their learning, and build confidence can be critical to student success. These low-stake assignments can be graded on a credit/no-credit basis to make grading easier.

Another way to provide second chances without an inordinate amount of work would be to allow students to correct their work for additional points. Not all students would pursue this option, and it could be limited to a certain number of corrections. This strategy puts emphasis on the importance of the learning outcomes and, at the same time, rewards students for their re-learning. Other strategies for making grading more efficient and productive can be found on Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching website. 

I've heard many students who self-identify as not belonging in a class even before taking it- "I'm not good at math, so I'm worried about your statistics class".  Any suggestions about how to debunk that self-defeating perception that in some cases dictates, at least in part, their level of success in a course (in this case involving math)?

Our event “Growth Messaging: Communicating a Growth Mindset to Our Students” addresses how instructors might support students to envision themselves as active agents in terms of knowledge. If you don’t have time to watch the video, check out the infographic through the link below the video.

Wouldn't students benefit greatly from learning to do better on tests?  Being a good or poor test taker is not written in one's DNA, it is a learned skill, no?  And therefore isn't part of our responsibility as teachers to help our students develop these skills?

We agree that, especially in 1st- and 2nd-Year gateway courses, any skills that instructors expect students to have should be taught within the course. Whether it’s critical analysis, writing a paragraph, using multiple strategies to think through a problem, self-reflection, note-taking, or time management, instructors should teach the fundamental skills necessary to succeed in the course. If there is concern about taking up too much time with teaching such skills, modules could be developed and provided to students to complete as part of their assignments.

Can you please quickly mention who uses the writing center? First year, second etc? Those in writing classes vs those with assignments for other courses?

Crystal Mueller, Director of the Writing Center, answered this question in chat: “All students [on the Oshkosh campus] use the Writing Center, first-year through doctoral-level students. And across majors and GPA levels. Most students are coming for writing in ‘other’ (non-writing) courses.”

Please note that students on the Fox Cities and Fond du lac campuses use The Writing Center for the Access Campuses. It provides one-to-one assistance with writing assignments for any class on the Access Campuses and at any stage of the writing process.  Writing consultations are free for all Fox and Fond du Lac students. 

Chat For 3rd Day Of Events

How would you encourage someone to consider counseling if they believe their problems aren't "severe enough"/are wary of counseling?

Counseling isn’t always the answer. Ask the student what support would look like for them.

I’ve been encouraged to refer struggling students to counseling (among other resources) but I’m hearing we need to creatively find ways to help African American students that embrace the culture of strength. What, Maria and others, would be the best way for other campus community members and instructors to be able to support mental health of these students?

Counseling isn’t always the answer nor is sending the student to someone who looks like them. Ask the student what support would like for them.

Would a member of the Counseling Center be willing to talk to my class as a whole?

Sandy Cox, Director of the Counseling Center, answered in the chat during the session that you can contact her if you would like a counselor to present to your class.

Why is there no one on campus who deals directly with staff issues of these types [mental health and wellness]?

The Employee Assistance Program was developed to support both employees as well as members of the employee’s household. The EAP provides the opportunity to “call a counselor or coach anytime, 24/7, every day of the year: (833) 539-7285; TTY: (877) 334-0489; or online at” Visit the EAP website to learn more about their services.

How do we encourage help-seeking behavior?

Implementation Ideas:

Instructors can use classroom syllabus review as an opportunity to verbally highlight support resources, reinforcing the importance of maintaining mental well-being. Self-disclosing about personal experiences with stress and stress management can further normalize help-seeking behavior. Instructors can communicate out and include as a flyer or take-away the school policy statement on academic conduct and support systems and refer/remind students of the resources.

Professional staff can ensure information regarding campus resources for seeking out help are updated each semester and available to students in the form of flyers, take-aways or personal referrals. Staff can talk about personal experiences with stress or stress management to further normalize help-seeking behavior.

Can the panelists list some specific barriers/policies that are causing problems?

The biggest barrier is a lack of cultural responsiveness.


Resources Relevant to the Program


Resources provided in the 3rd Day Session: What would you do?

Dr. Damira Grady shared additional Titan Care Resources for Students.

Dr. Alphonso Simpson shared an extensive list of resources through his Mental Health Toolkit for Structurally Excluded Students.

Resources provided in the 3rd Day Session: WHO Am I Missing and HOW Are They Hurting?

Walter Lanier, Milwaukee Area Technical College, and Brenda Wesley, Milwaukee County Mental Health Board, presented in the 3rd day’s session. They provided these resources: on community care versus self care,, and on empathy,

Resources provided in the Growth Mindset event

Angela Westphal shared this infographic about Growth Mindset with takeaway tips and additional resources:

Jim Koch suggested checking out Aaron Beck's cognitive appraisal approach (which is used in psychotherapy); I think you'll find those concepts in what we heard today and some of the things you do with students in maxing a growth mindset for students.

Deanna VanderWielen shared the below works on student development models/theories.

Pintrich, P. (2004). Motivation and self-regulated learning

Rodgers & Summers (2008). A motivational and self-systems approach to retention.

Renn, K. (2004). Campus ecology & student development

Wang, X. (2017). Model of momentum for community college students

Resources provided in the Impact of Assessment on Student Success

Jenny Schuttlefield Christus shared an article in which Ryan Bowen and Melanie Cooper discuss the ways that bell curve grading is implicated in a tradition of structural racism within higher education nationally. Read their essay.

Caroline Geary provided these resources about more equitable grading in chat. Joe Feldman Grading for Equity overview at; he provides practices he describes as “encourag[ing] revision and redemption instead of compliance and corruption.” And, “Closing achievement gaps with a utility-value intervention: Disentangling race and social class.” By Harackiewicz, Judith M.,Canning, Elizabeth A.,Tibbetts, Yoi,Priniski, Stacy J.,Hyde, Janet S. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 111(5), Nov 2016, 745-765

Jordan Landry pointed to a resource on re-considering your grading. It’s a blog about Dr. Oscar Fernandez’s model of Second Chance Grading which provides students additional opportunities to demonstrate their learning. Dr. Fernandez’s essay is available online through Polk as well: In turn, Linda Nilson’s Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time has many strategies by which to motivate students to learn the learning outcomes for the course. Her book is available online through UWO Libraries.


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