Promoting student success: Creating conditions so every student can learn

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Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research
Accommodating diverse learning styles of students has long been espoused as a principle of good practice in undergraduate education. Much progress has been made during the past two decades in using active, collaborative, and problem-based learning, learning communities, student-faculty research, service learning, internships, and other pedagogical innovations to enrich student learning. Variable time blocks are more common--from three hours, to all day, to weekends, to six or eight weeks--to fit the desired outcomes, content, and processes. Peers tutor other students, deepening their own learning in the process. Increasingly sophisticated communication and information technologies provide students access to a broad range of print and visual resources and to an expanded range of human expertise. A wider range of assessment tools document what and how well students are learning. Despite all this activity, at too many schools these and other effective educational practices are underutilized. The suggestions offered here are drawn in large part from a study of 20 diverse four-year colleges and universities that have higher-than-predicted graduation rates and, through the National Survey of Student Engagement, demonstrated that they have effective practices for fostering success among students of differing abilities and aspirations. These institutions clearly communicate that they value high quality undergraduate teaching and learning. They have developed instructional approaches tailored to a wide range of student learning styles, ensuring that students engage with course content and interact in meaningful ways with faculty and peers, inside and outside the classroom.
Deep learning, Learning strategies
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