• What high school teachers need to know about dual enrollment courses

    by Brooke Quinlan

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    As a former full-time community college math professor in the state of Florida, I had many dual-enrolled high school students in my classes over the years. For community college instructors, having dual enrollment students in the classroom doesn’t change much about how we teach or conduct class. Sure, I reminded my college-aged students to be mindful that there were minors in the room, and I frequently tweaked due dates at the beginning of the semester since many dual-enrolled students had to wait for the district to provide their course materials. But I had the luxury of teaching my courses using the same textbook regardless of whether I had dual-enrolled students on my roster or not.

    Another advantage I had was that my department was an early adopter of MathXL and MyLab™ Math, so I felt comfortable not only creating courses and assignments in those programs, but also helping my students take advantage of the great features they contained. I didn’t realize how different the experience of teaching dual enrollment can be for high school teachers until 2018, when I joined Pearson on a new team whose goal was to make dual enrollment work better for all teachers.

    Accessing dual enrollment materials

    Most dual enrollment partnerships require that courses taught in a high school must use the same course materials as the equivalent college course. This means that high school dual enrollment teachers must not only get their hands on the textbook, but also gain access to any corequisite online component (such as MyLab or Mastering™).

    Fortunately, Pearson has made these two tasks easy, thanks to an updated website designed with dual enrollment teachers in mind. On the Preview page, you will find a link to our Dual Enrollment Instructor Access Request Form, where you can request access to our digital platforms (which contain the eText) and also request a print textbook (if needed). Additionally, the Purchase page walks users through the options to purchase student materials, since dual enrollment can have various purchasing models not commonly found in higher education.

    How-tos and support

    Like myself, many college professors have been using MyLab and Mastering for years, but fewer high school teachers have experience with these platforms. Still, if the college is using MyLab Math in their precalculus courses, the high school teachers are typically expected to use MyLab Math in their dual enrollment precalculus courses as well. Pearson provides high school dual enrollment teachers with the resources they need to become comfortable using our digital products. Visit our Get Started page to learn how to register yourself and your students for MyLab or Mastering.

    Once you are registered and are ready to learn more, the Training and Support page provides the opportunity to subscribe to our customer success journey emails that are loaded with helpful tips, or register for a webinar to take a deeper dive into using your MyLab or Mastering product. This page also explains how to get access to the Instructor Resource Center so you can download presentations, instructor manuals, test files, and more.

    Lastly, this page offers assistance in case you need technical support. We have worked with our sales and technical support teams to better prepare them to tackle dual enrollment-related issues. We encourage you to bookmark our Dual Enrollment Customer Handbook, which contains much of the same information as our website, but in a handy PDF format.

    Pearson is committed to providing solutions to the unique needs of dual enrollment teachers. See how we can help your program by reading through our Results and Success Stories.

    Have questions?

    When you are ready to learn more, your sales representative can answer questions regarding content, pricing, and delivery. If student materials will be purchased via high school purchase order, find your K–12 sales representative. If student materials will be purchased via any other method, find your higher ed sales representative.

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  • Call me by my name

    by Brooke Quinlan

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    While in graduate school at West Virginia University, I was a teaching assistant for college algebra. The course coordinator gave me some of the best teaching advice I was ever given. It boils down to two magic words: seating chart. Given that most freshmen classes are held in large auditoriums, the coordinator thought it was important that the students felt like individuals in our small classes of 30. She was confident that the easiest way for us to learn their names was by using a seating chart.

    My initial reaction was, “What is this – elementary school?”, but she quickly won me over by saying we would let them choose their seat for the duration of the semester. I took her advice as a graduate student, and I continued the practice for the rest of my teaching career. I taught at a community college for 15 years, where our class sizes never exceeded 36 students. Every single semester, I gave the students one week to decide where they wanted to sit, and then on a previously-announced day of Week 2, I created the seating chart.

    It was always funny to see some students show up 20-30 minutes before class started that day so they could lock down their preferred seats. One semester, a very conscientious student missed class on the day I created the seating chart. When he showed up for the next class and realized that the only remaining seats were at the back of the room, he offered $100 to any student in the first two rows who would give up his or her seat for one in the back. To my utter surprise, only one person volunteered to swap seats!

    Seating charts serve a myriad of purposes for both the professor and the students. First, it allows the instructor to take attendance very quickly. Instead of calling roll, you simply look for empty seats. Since you know who is supposed to be in each seat, you immediately know who is absent. “Taking attendance” takes about 10 seconds. Second, it gives students the stability of knowing who will be sitting around them for the entire semester.

    After I create the seating chart, I usually say something like “OK, now it’s time to meet your new best friends! The people sitting next to you might help you study or let you copy their notes if you miss class. The least you can do is learn their names!” The classroom immediately began buzzing as students introduced themselves. They could refer to the person next to them by name instead of “that girl who sits on my left”.

    Lastly, the seating chart made it very easy for me to learn my students’ names. I referred to it when returning assignments, so I was typically able to learn all my students’ names within the first 3 weeks of the semester. I can’t tell you the number of times I would return tests around the 4th week of class and the students would say “How do you know my name? None of my teachers know my name!” They were delighted to not be anonymous in my classes.

    Originally, I created a “seat template” for each classroom I taught in and wrote down each student’s preferred name on his or her chosen “seat”. Eventually, my college adopted Canvas, which has an awesome feature called Roll Call Attendance. With Roll Call, you can bring up a blank, grid-like seating chart, then you drag and drop the student name from a list on the left to the appropriate “seat” on the right. It really sped things up on seating-chart-creation day!

    Once the seating chart is created, you can then take attendance every day by logging into Canvas on a computer or using their phone app. I always told my students “If you see me using my phone during class, I’m not texting! I’m just taking attendance.” If you are fortunate enough to teach relatively small classes, I hope you will consider implementing a seating chart. I think you will find it to be a huge benefit to yourself and your students.

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