Prioritizing Problems of Practice
It may be difficult to choose a single problem due to the variety of issues needed to transition to corequisite remediation. Moreover, the problem of practice must be something that individuals on the improvement team have the power to change. By prioritizing problems, work can be accomplished on a more efficient scale, addressing more severe problems first and removing any road blocks those issues may be causing.
Please consider the following when prioritizing:
- There is a consensus among key stakeholders that the problem of practice is a high priority. This consensus ensures that individuals will be willing to engage in the various activities required to carry out improvement strategies and willing to make decisions and changes based on the evidence that emerges.
- The problem of practice is under the purview of the college. Problems of practice like “issues with high schools not sufficiently preparing students” or “challenges students are facing with life events that are causing them to drop out” are not ideal because they are problems that are largely outside the control of the college.
- Addressing the problem of practice will drive student success. Student success in terms of increased learning, degree completion and preparation for employment is central to the mission of a college. If addressing the problem of practice will not substantially contribute to the college’s mission, the problem should not be prioritized.
- The problem of practice cannot be adequately addressed through existing evidence. As colleges continue to adopt and scale corequisite remediation, the evidence based on effective models and promising practices is likely to grow. Colleges should first look to what is known internally and what evidence is available about what other colleges have done to support successful corequisite models.
- List the major challenges or issues that the college wants to resolve. Based on the input of a broad range of stakeholders within the college and using existing evidence, identify issues or areas of uncertainty that the college is facing with corequisite remediation and list these problems in the first column.
- Rate problems according to the four criteria provided. Choose a rating from 1 (low) to 5 (high) and provide a brief description of the rating. These ratings can be determined as a group through discussion or done individually and aggregated across team members.
- Choose a problem of practice for improvement efforts to focus on. Based on individual or aggregated group ratings, determine which of the problems of practice should be prioritized for improvement efforts.
Problem of Practice (PoP) and Supporting Evidence
Issues with student success in corequisite models taught by instructor pairs
Lower student outcomes in two-instructor sections; faculty perceptions of alignment issues
PoP is entirely driven by things under the college’s control (5) to entirely outside of the college’s control (1)
Much that can be done to improve issues, but some drivers of issues out of the college’s control
Aligned with Mission
Addressing PoP will cause big changes in student success (5) to no changes in student success (1)
Planning to scale two-instructor model soon, so needs to be resolved soon and will affect many students
Consensus on Importance
All stakeholders agree it is important to address the PoP (5) to few agree it is important (1)
Faculty and administrators view as very important; support staff and instructors in one-instructor models less so
Substantial existing evidence on how to address the PoP (5) to no evidence available
Many colleges struggling with this, but only anecdotal evidence on how to address it