Linda Suskie – Nurturing Student Success – August Celebration of Learning 2012

Linda Suskie, assessment consultant, was our guest speaker for the general sessions and breakout sessions throughout the day on Tuesday, August 14, 2012.  Here are my notes (my perspective) on Linda’s address at the general session.

NURTURING Student Success

What is student success?

  • When students learn what they need and what they want
  • When students achieve their goals; degree, certificate, better job
  • When students achieve their goals efficiently and effectively

How should we help them succeed?

  • Provide opportunities for writing, revising, practicing, reflecting (standard is 2 hours of work for every 1 hour in class; students report doing 45 minutes of work out of class)
  • Ask students to write even a 1 paragraph summary of what they have read; allows them writing and reflecting activities, holds them accountable for reading
  • Help students by providing them with a structure, a ‘blueprint’, for tests; many students study in an incorrect fashion
  • Minimize lecturing; provide hands-on practice, collaboration opportunities
  • Minimize memorization; Suskie referenced the 5 Minute University; students need opportunities for deep learning, getting facts into the deep memory
  • Set high expectations; use scaffolding to build one concept upon the others; grade on important goals; outline key points, what the students will do to learn, and how they will demonstrate learning; use rubrics; break projects into pieces; allow students to synthesize to get meaning from what they are learning
  • Provide concrete feedback; grading is not editing – try circling errors and letting students identify the problem
  • Prompt the use of student support resources


Following Suskie’s presentation, Dr. William Tammone made a presentation.  He indicated ICC is prepared to help students succeed, we need to focus on fall-to-spring and fall-to-fall retention of students (currently 64.5% and 44.8%, respectively).

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