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Directed Learning Activities - DLAs

Designed in close collaboration with faculty in the content areas, DLAs are meant to assist students in developing the essential reading, writing, study, or math skills and/or strategies needed to succeed in their courses. After extensive consultation with content-area faculty, the Instructional Specialists will help them create an activity that most students should be able to complete in about an hour of independent work in the Success Center. While students are working on DLAs, instructors and tutors should be prepared to provide them with necessary assistance. Once the students complete the activities, either an instructor or a tutor then needs to have an approximately five- to ten-minute follow-up appointment withthe students to ensure that they have understood not only the cognitive, but also the metacognitive components of theDLA - that is, they developed an ability to not only perform the targeted skill or strategy, but also recognize the situations in which they should apply it. In keeping with the overall philosophy of the Success Center, the faculty member or tutor shouldalso not neglect the affective aspect of the students' response to the DLA - that is, they should attempt to promote the students' senses of self-confidence or self-efficacy about applying theses skills and/or strategies in the future.

As more and more DLAs are offered through the Success Center, it will quickly become almost impossible for a faculty member to be - at least initially - intimately familiar with all of them. However, it is important to remember that, because the emphasis of these activities is on developing reading, writing, study, and math skills and/or strategies, none of the content is truly "outside the area of expertise" of our instructors or tutors. Although the examples used in the DLAs may be specific to a certain discipline - say, chemistry or history - in order to increase the students' sense that the concepts covered are relevant to their current coursework, at their heart, these activities are about reading, writing, study, and math skills and/or strategies. 

Math and Science

Reading, Study Skills, and Counseling

Grammar, Writing, and Research Papers

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