“… because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” -- Donald Rumsfeld
BLC Webinar II: Biology Intensive Orientation for Students (BIOS) Bill WischusenAssoc. Chair, Introductory BiologyLSU Dept. of Biological SciencesSheri WischusenDirector of Retention LSU
Overview The “Why”, “How” and “What” of BIOS, a 5-day self-funded content-specific academic boot camp
Why? Have you ever had a student who failed your first exam say that they ….. ?
“Why” do freshmen struggle, especially on the first exam? 12 13 18 Years of success College is 13th grade They are 18 and very (overly?) confident
The result is: • they perform poorly on their first exam or two • they blame others for their poor performance • they drop the course or earn a low grade • they change majors
BIOS Program Structure 5 days Built around course content and exams Study skills and learning styles support Learning communities formation LSU orientation
BIOS was designed to allow students to: • Get a preview of the content • Make mistakes ---that don’t count • Learn and practice new study skills • Meet and work with other students • Meet and work with university faculty and staff • Get a feel for the “Pace of College Life”
Content Exams Study Skills Learning Community-building LSU orientation Sunday 12:00 pm Housing Check-in 3:00 pm Program check-in, and Dinner 7:00 pm Orientation (Introduction, Content Lecture 1)
Content Exams Study Skills Learning Community-building LSU orientation, comfort level, help Monday Morning 7:00 Breakfast 8:00 Content Lecture 2 10:00 Break 10:30 Study Skills Discussion 1, note taking, listening and metacognition Afternoon 12:00 Lunch 1:00 Student Discussion 1, student organizations & BASC 2:00 Group Work 4:00 Content Lecture 3 5:30 Dinner 6:15 Graduate Mentor Research Presentations 7:30 Lab Tours
Content Exams Study Skills Learning Community-building LSU orientation, comfort level, help Tuesday Morning 7:00 Breakfast & Review 8:00 Exam 1 9:30 Content Lecture 4 11:00 Learning Strategies Discussion 2 Afternoon 12:00 Lunch 1:00 Discussion of Exam Results 2:00 Study time/group work 4:00 Content Lecture 5 5:30 Dinner 6:15 Graduate Mentor Research Presentations 7:30 Lab Tours
Content Exams Study Skills Learning Community-building LSU orientation, comfort level, help Wednesday Morning 7:00 Breakfast 8:30 Content Lecture 6 10:00 Student Discussion 2 11:00 Lunch/Lab Afternoon 3:00 Study Time 4:00 Content Lecture 7 5:30 Dinner (faculty visits) 6:30 Graduate Mentor Research Presentations 7:30 Lab Tours
Thursday Morning 7:00 Breakfast and Review 8:00 Exam 2 9:30 Content Lecture 8 11:00 Student Discussion 3, how do I survive? Money Matters, Student Health Center Afternoon 12:00 Lunch 1:00 Discussion of Exam Results 2:00 Study Time/group Work 4:00 Content Lecture 9 5:30 Dinner 6:30 Graduate Mentor Research Presentations 7:30 Lab Tours Content Exams Study Skills Learning Community-building LSU orientation, comfort level, help
Friday Morning 7:00 Breakfast & Review 8:00 Exam 3 10:30 How to be a Student Session 4, Undergraduate Research. What comes after you graduate? 11:30 Final Exam Results Afternoon 1:00 Awards Luncheon and Closing Ceremonies 3:00 Checkout of dorm Content Exams Study Skills Learning Community-building LSU orientation, comfort level, help
Groups Introductory Biology Course/Section
So what are the results from the first 6 years of this program? Before we show our data, what is the basic success rate in your introductory course?
BIOS Keys to Success • Focus content material on a specific course directly related to their major. 2) Use real exams. 3) Group the students in small groups. 4) Infuse the program with study skills training. 5) Involve the faculty who teach the introductory course.
Conclusions BIOS participants performed significantly better than control students in introductory biology. The percentage of BIOS students on-track was significantly higher than the control group. Similarly their retention rate in the major was also greater than that of the control group. The 4-year graduation rate was also significantly higher than the control
Conclusions In answers to the qualitative questions in the Exit Evaluation and post-program focus groups BIOS participants indicated that they: • learned valuable study habits • felt more comfortable about starting college than they had before BIOS. • Based on student comments they have formed and sustained study groups, i.e. “learning communities,” through their freshman year.
Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org http://bios.lsu.edu Wischusen, S. M., E. W. Wischusen, and S. M. Pomarico. 2011. Impact of a Short Pre-Freshman Program on Retention. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice, 12 (4):429-441 Wischusen, S. M. and E. W. Wischusen. 2007. CBE Life Sciences Education 6:172-178.