Ideally the study would provide students the 4 choices identified on this page and then measure effectiveness of those programs.  

The four programs for at-risk students: learning strategies courses, targeting success advising, success learning communities, leadership initiatives

Effectiveness of a study skills course on undergraduate student success



Increasing undergraduate retention and graduation rates is a very high priority for the university.  A logical place to begin is with students who the university is able to categorize as entering Purdue academically at-risk.  Implementing promising practices at a pilot study level to investigate intervention and program effectiveness at Purdue is a sensible approach, particularly in the current fiscal restraints.  This study will help illustrate the effectiveness of various approaches and interventions for Purdue students.  The literature supports the effectiveness of learning strategy courses on student grades and retention, and a pilot study will illustrate the impact of a study skills course at Purdue.



Students deemed at-risk (Brent Drake) will be invited to join the class through targeted emails from advisors.  The course will have 50 total students, approximately half at-risk and half not at-risk.  The course implements team-based learning to foster the integration and mastery of learning strategy and self-regulation skills.  The course has been taught at Purdue University for about 25 years but recently was fully redesigned with the help of Purdue’s IMPACT initiative. The redesigned course has been taught for two semesters and student self-reports of skill confidence data has been collected from both semesters.  Data collection will continue for the pilot study with student self-reports of confidence in three areas assessed at the beginning of the course, mid-term, and at the conclusion of the course.  Student grade point average, retention, and persistence will also be tracked.  A group of waitlisted students who are not enrolled in the course will serve as the control group to reduce self-selection bias.

Description of Relevant Institutional Personnel Resources

Research Collaboration Team

Design research methodology (summer 2013), analyze data (December 2013,) publish results (2014), and propose future research (ongoing).  It is proposed that the team include cognitive science and education researchers.


Instructional Team-Lead Instructor

Design and Implement course learning activities and assessments (summer 2013), coordinate team facilitators (fall 2013), and foster advisor-student meetings (fall 2013)


Project Coordination

Identify and Invite at-risk students, (summer 2013) coordinate course enrollment (summer 2013), collect data (fall 2013), and facilitate research collaboration team (ongoing.)



GS 290 Study Skills Seminar

Course Outcomes

  1. The student will integrate evidenced-based strategies into a study plan to strengthen learning.
  2. The student will apply self-regulation techniques across academic environments and disciplines to strengthen learning.
  3. The student will develop confidence in implementing learning strategies for college success, including working in groups.