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Evidence-based Strategies - Examples, Research and Tools

Strategy g: Engage students in an ongoing dialogue about their learning progress.


Changing Practice, Expanding Minds
Kate Nonesuch
A fascinating description of the author's efforts to respect and work with student resistance. Research in her class uncovered a positive correlation between student expression of resistance and student retention.

The ESL Classroom as Community: How Self-Assessment Can Work
Dulaney Alexander
After noticing a drop in retention between ESOL levels 2 and 3, Operation Bootstrap developed self-assessment tools that would help students recognize evidence of their own learning and provide feedback to teachers.

Improving Student Persistence at the Genesis Center
Nancy Fritz and Barbara Piccirilli Alsabek
In this Providence-based program, two teachers tested the impact of implementing three related persistence strategies: democratizing the classroom, adjusting the curriculum to respond to student interests, and helping learners develop metacognitive awareness of their learning and progress. The combined strategies had strong effect on both attendance and learning gains.

Learner Goal-Setting
Ronna Magy
A clear and succinct set of suggestions for helping ESOL students set and monitor goals. The activities focus on individual and largely work-related goals.

The Learner’s Log: Evolution of an Assessment Tool
Caroline Gear
The learner’s log is a series of self-assessment tools that are filled out weekly to help ESOL students look at their learning and their progress over time. Several tools are described here.

Making it Worth the Stay: Findings from the New England Learner Persistence Project, pp.46-47
Andy Nash and Silja Kallenbach
These pages describe the strategies New England programs used to engage students in dialogue about their learning.


The Effects of Continuing Goal-Setting on Persistence in a Math Classroom
Pam Meader
Periodically revisiting student goals in this math class improved the course completion rate and overall attendance of students. It also provided the teacher with information about what students felt were their most important supports and barriers.

"Then I Stop Coming to School": Understanding Absenteeism in an Adult English as a Second Language Program
Susan L. Schalge and Kay Soga
This case study describes the distinct views of one program’s teachers and students regarding the structure and relevance of instruction, and its impact on absenteeism. Lack of transparency resulted in unclear expectations and an uncertain sense of progress.