Aritcle 1. Mississippi State University, The Learning Center, Miss. State, MS. By Anita P. George, Ed.D.
Aritcle 2. A Letter from the Publisher
Aritcle 3. SUNY, College at Oneonta, Learning Support Services, Oneonta, New York. By Dr. Joan H. Marshall, Director
Aritcle 4. Forward Service Corporation, Educational Talent Search, Rhinelander, WI. By Jane Stahmer, Director
Aritcle 5. University of Tennessee at Martin, Student Learning Center, Martin, TN. By Sharon Robertson, Study Skills Coordinator
Aritcle 6. Hazard Community College, Student Support Services, Hazard, KY. By Helen F. Brunty
This is the fifth anniversary of the LASSI in Action newsletter and I take some pride in the fact that the publication is the result of a request I made to the publisher. LASSI, Learning and Study Strategies Inventory, was first published in 1987 and was almost two years into wide professional use when I asked for a means of exchanging information on the Inventory. H&H Publishing responded with this newsletter which begins its fifth year with this issue.
The LASSI in Action always contains four or five articles written by professionals using LASSI. The result has been the type of information exchange which benefits each of us trying to deal with a variety of problems in our own work setting.
Here at Mississippi State University we use the electronic LASSI in our Learning Center. Our use is for individual students who need help in improving their studying. Often, the new awarenesses they have after taking LASSI will be enough to increase their studying effectiveness. For other students, my professional staff is able to provide direct instruction or prescribe books, videos, computer programs, etc., that can reasonably be expected to overcome studying deficiencies. The E-LASSI has also been proven to be an invaluable pre/post test tool that our faculty administers to students in each of our study skills and reading courses. We can actually observe change as early as at the end of one semester of remediation. An aspect of the LASSI that really makes it valuable for us is the fact that the weaknesses it identifies are correctable and when corrected have a significant effect on student success.
Like Dr. Anita George who instituted LASSI in Action, the staff here at H&H Publishing Company is also proud of this newsletter. We began with a mailing list of about 5,000 professionals and expect over 21,000 to be sent this new edition of LASSI in Action.
While our vested interest in selling LASSI is obvious, this newsletter allows us to serve a real educational purpose by accurately reporting the experiences of others. As our President, Bob Hackworth, describes it, "Since we have a product of such quality, we can be very comfortable just providing information about it." And that is exactly our aim with each new edition of LASSI in Action.
We intend to continue providing bonafide information from professionals across the country and report uses of LASSI in a surprising variety of educational settings. For Dr. George at Mississippi State University, James P. Christopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley, and many others, their use of LASSI has been within a Learning Center. For Pegi Denton at Johnson County Community College, Melinda Steele at Texas Tech University, and others, their use has been in special academic programs aimed at students experiencing academic difficulties. For C. Susie Mirick at The College of William and Mary, Dr. Eric Bowman at the U.S. Naval Academy, and others, their use of LASSI has been for the entire entering freshman class.
This edition of LASSI in Action contains articles from four previously unreported institutions. We encourage you to read and learn from these experiences and we also hope you'll consider sending in a report of your own use of LASSI. If you have colleagues who would like LASSI in Action you are urged to send their names/addresses.
We have been using the LASSI and E-LASSI in the Learning Center at SUNY-Oneonta for over six years. We administer it as part of our pre/post testing for both our Reading and Study Skills classes and to all students seeking tutorial assistance. Most of these students participate in a lab program designed to improve their study skills.
We see significant gains in student performance on the instrument and in Grade Point Average. The LASSI is a major contributor to our program of diagnostic prescriptive learning. In fact, sixty-six percent of students who enter our program on academic probation end that semester off probation.
Dr. Marshall, for brevity's sake, did not include percentiles and norms in this article. She will, however, be happy to share that information with those interested. She can be reached through H&H Publishing.
Forward Service Corporation's Education Talent Search incorporated the LASSI during the 1993-94 school year. Previously we had used other methods of disseminating study skills information to the students the grant serves. However, none have impacted or interested our youth like LASSI. The LASSI truly helps them understand the correlation between well-developed study skills and grades/school achievement. Students with below average school achievement see first hand deficits in study qualities that are potentially causing their academic difficulties.
Additionally, average or above average students see their study quality strengths and weaknesses.
Many students have a very poor understanding of the impact study strategies have on grades. However, after we hold individualized conferences with the students on the LASSI outcomes, the students who have a low grade point average also see that they plot low (indicating poor study skills) on the LASSI graph sheet. This is a real shot of reality for them, as well as a motivational tool. The second phase of the study skills program is to provide information on how to improve weak study skills areas.
Since the LASSI's incorporation we have seen an increase in the students' interest in this part of the program. The students tell us these materials are now more personalized and therefore more relevant.
I began using the LASSI at the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1991. The LASSI was a very valuable instrument in the needs assessment aspect for developing the instructional curriculum for a "College Study Skills" class. This class is for college credit and for a letter grade.
The students who participated in this needs assessment ranged from: traditional to non-traditional, probationary to dean's list, and first to third year. As I developed the curriculum, I wanted to help all students improve their grades. The LASSI revealed that whether students were trying to improve their grades to get off probation or to raise their G.P.A. for entrance into a pre-professional program, they were weak in most of the ten areas.
I still use the LASSI each semester as a diagnostic measure to help students identify the areas where they need the most help in improving their study habits. Students commented that they were not surprised at the weaknesses the LASSI revealed, but they were surprised to learn the extent of their weaknesses and in how many areas they were weak.
I am the Transitional Counselor for a Federally funded program under the U.S. Department of Education that was established to help first-generation college students succeed academically. The program serves approximately 170 students who are targeted with academic deficiencies.
In an effort to assist these students in overcoming their academic deficiencies, we use the LASSI to display their strengths and weaknesses in learning and study strategies. The ten scales provided give us the information we need to refer these students to workshops, tutors, other academic departments, and provide the academic counseling needed.
In the student's second semester, we use the LASSI as a post-test to determine the progress each student has made.
The students find the hard copy results easy to understand and very beneficial. The post-test also allows hard-copy documentation of program success.
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