How can I help struggling students?
These articles from the American Psychological Association help faculty understand the different types of failing students:
Here are some strategies that have been shown to help struggling students.
Strategy 1: Meeting with and Advising Students
In addition to referring students to the tutoring center, the best thing faculty can do is meet with the students to discuss and better understand the context and to identify what may be the root cause(s) of the problem.
Faculty can also share tips on time management, study skills, and the like. Interventions like these have been shown to dramatically improve student performance from the first to the second exam (see the graph above).
For more on study skills and time management, see these resources:
- A handout on 10 Rules of Good Studying and Bad Studying (pdf)
- A video on Study Skills and Test Preparation
- The Study Guides and Strategies site is very comprehensive
- See also the How to Get the Most out of Studying video series by Stephen Chew and the book Teach Students How to Learn mentioned below.
- See our article on Advising and Mentoring Students for more.
Strategy 2: Teaching Students How to Learn
Sandra McGuire, in Teach Students How to Learn, describes several techniques used to help students turn around their academic performance. See this video of a class lesson by her (with slide template if you want to adapt it yourself) of a presentation she has given in courses, usually right after the first exam, to show students what they need to do and what they need to understand in order to succeed in the class.
This review of Teach Students How to Learn describes how one instructor applied the lessons from the book to her own classroom.
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