Friday, October 16, 2009

Students at Risk - Weeks 9 - 13

There were no tutorials in weeks 8-10 and there were no online tests running in weeks 10 & 11.

Starting in week 11, I continued my routine emails to students not attending tutorials.  I have now divided the messages into three standards:  A gentle reminder to students who have missed only 1 or 2 tutorials; a warning of poor performance to students who have missed more that 2 but less than half of the tutorials and a severe warning to students who have missed more than half the tutorials.  I have also sent SMS messages using the SMS manager system messages to students who have missed more than half the tutorials.

I sent emails to students who did not attempt the 4th online test and to students who performed poorly on that test.  A week before and again 2 days before the 5th online test closed, I sent emails to all students who had not yet attempted the test.  I also sent the message by SMS 2 days before the test closed.

I received greater responses to the SMS than I did to the email.  One student objected to being contacted by SMS.  Several students thanked me for the SMS about the test closing in 2 days.  About half of the students who received the SMS about tutorial attendance have contacted me.  Some of them are adamant that they will study their own way and will not come to lectures and tutorials.  Most, however have been promised to change their ways - while I have the promise, I do not have evidence yet of the promise being complied with.  This constant emailing and messaging has identified a few students with ongoing health problems impairing their performance.  I have directed these students to the supports services offered by the University and encouraged them to seek professional help.

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