Learner Web Regional Profile
Portland State University :: Portland, Oregon
Learner Web has made it possible for incoming first-year students to make an informed decision about what, if any, writing class they should take after having gone through the directed self placement questionnaire (dsp). Applying Learner Web to dsp will help increase retention at PSU.
Dr. Greg P. Jacob, Director of Rhetoric & Composition
Associate Professor English Department
I like the ability to emphasize student interest-driven content delivery. That is, in mathematics, for example, the user can access the content from the perspective of what they need/ want to use it for. Too often math content is delivered without contexts resulting in lower motivation levels for many students.
M. Paul Latiolais, Professor of Mathematics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
At Portland State University, where the Learner Web was developed, it is being used in a variety of ways, for example, in:
- The Intensive English Language Program (IELP) to support students, and their instructors and tutors, in academic English for college, a “bridge” or transition program to college. The IELP provides English language learning and language orientation to American universities.
- An online and hybrid university orientation of (soon to be all) incoming college students. This began in the summer of 2010 for students who could not attend face-to-face orientation. The plan is to hybridize orientation for all students online using the Learner Web.
- The English Department Course Placement Committee offers directed self placement for writing courses for all incoming students entirely online. The outcomes include, for example: students referred to an advisor or a recommendation that a student start in a particular writing course. This is advisory, not mandatory, intended to helping students understand the kinds of writing they will be expected to do as college students, to understand what they need to know/be able to do in particular courses.
- The Math Department Course Placement Committee offers a Learning Plan that includes a math skills test and also includes screening for math anxiety. This may result in outcomes such as: hybrid interventions for students with math anxiety, directing a student to a particular math class and/or facilitated support groups, peer mentoring, and math counseling. The placement process began with a process to find out if students were ready to take a calculus course. This process will also be used for learners who need developmental math classes.
- The Chemistry Department offers an assessment for readiness for chemistry for non-majors (engineering students and others.)
- The Headstart program offers an intensive pre-term workshop for students who do not have the background they need to be successful in early Childhood Education. This and IELP have been used for 2 years. Eventually Headstart will be hybridized with LW
- The Library has developed Learning plans in how to use the college library but is not yet actively using them.
- The Peer Tutoring Center will soon be using Learning Plans in their Peer Tutoring Center. Upper division students will be hired to assist other students who are struggling in certain content courses, for example, a required statistics course for Psychology majors.