Directed Learning Activities - DLAs

Designed in close collaboration with faculty in the content areas, DLAs are meant to assist students in developing theessential reading, writing, study, or math skills and/or strategies needed to succeed in their courses. After extensiveconsultation with content-area faculty, the Instructional Specialists will help them create an activity that most studentsshould be able to complete in about an hour of independent work in the Success Center. While students are working onDLAs, instructors and tutors should be prepared to provide them with necessary assistance. Once the students complete theactivities, either an instructor or a tutor then needs to have an approximately five- to ten-minute follow-up appointmentwiththe students to ensure that they have understood not only the cognitive, but also the metacognitive components oftheDLA - that is, they developed an ability to not only perform the targeted skill or strategy, but also recognize the situationsinwhich they should apply it. In keeping with the overall philosophy of the Success Center, the faculty member or tutorshouldalso not neglect the affective aspect of the students' response to the DLA - that is, they should attempt to promotethestudents' 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 facultymember to be - at least initially - intimately familiar with all of them. However, it is important to remember that, because theemphasis of these activities is on developing reading, writing, study, and math skills and/or strategies, none of the content istruly "outside the area of expertise" of our instructors or tutors. Although the examples used in the DLAs may be specific to acertain discipline - say, chemistry or history - in order to increase the students' sense that the concepts covered are relevantto their current coursework, at their heart, these activities are about reading, writing, study, and math skills and/or strategies.


Mathand Science

Reading, Study Skills, and Counseling

Grammar, Writing, and Research Papers