BEP 110: Introduction to Learning Strategies and Skills
Section 001: MWF 11:00-11:50 AM; Section 003: MWF 12:00-12:50 PM
Graves 313 (3 credit hours)
Department of Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology and Counseling

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Course Description
Introduction to Learning Strategies and Skills will provide students with information about themselves as learners, a theoretical understanding of specific learning strategies, and opportunities to apply these strategies�using processes of reflective decision-making and critical evaluation�for maximizing learning and academic success.
   
Conceptual Framework
Preparation of Professionals as Reflective Practitioners and Ethical Decision Makers: Experiences in academic programs are devoted to developing individuals' understanding of knowledge construction, learning, pedagogy, and responsible professional practice in the contexts of education. UA�s College of Education seeks to prepare professionals who value and demonstrate reflective practice and ethical decision making through respecting diversity, honoring difference, and promoting social justice.
   
Objectives: Students who fully participate in assignments/discussions will gain:

1. Self-awareness of the strengths and weaknesses within your own current studying and learning habits, practices, and abilities.
2. Knowledge of goals: how to set them and use them to guide and monitor your learning progress.
3. An understanding of the relationships between goals, learning strategies, and control of your motivation, procrastination, organization, and workload.
4. Self-awareness of your natural aptitudes which come from personality traits and talents.
5. Knowledge of learning strategies which can be used to meet the needs of a variety of situations, including those beyond the classroom.
6. Overall, you can become a more strategic learner who is motivated to learn, knows how to study and learn efficiently and effectively, and can manage your studying and learning activities, leading to greater levels of personal and professional satisfaction and achievement.

   
Class Behavior Expectations
● Students are expected to abide by all standards set forth in the UA Student Code of Conduct, available at http://policies.ua.edu/studentcode.html.
● Cell phones must be turned off/silenced. No texting or playing games in class. Take care of personal business before class. If you refuse to do this, I reserve the right to ask you to leave.
● If you choose to use a laptop in class for taking notes or viewing documents on e-Learning, I expect you to do so in a manner that is not distracting to others.
● I expect you to come to class prepared and ready to regularly participate in discussions.
   
Textbook/Required Materials
● Purchase a packet enabling access to the LASSI computer-based modules at University �Supe� Store (Ferg or Tutwiler locations); packet is not available at off-campus bookstores. Ask for the packet for BEP 110; packet is white with a blue stripe.
● No sharing of these packets; each package includes individualized codes for pre and post assessments for YOU, as well as a unique login to access the reading modules.
● Do not open this packet until instructions are given in class.
● Day Planner: required for keeping up with assignments. You will be asked to demonstrate regular usage; bring to class regularly.
● Notebook for assignments: Use to take notes, keep course materials in one place, journal thoughts, complete in-class assignments, jot project ideas and meeting notes. You may be asked to leave class if you do not come prepared with notebook and pen.
   
Evaluation Information
I. LASSI Strengths & Weaknesses Assignment
You will begin by completing a LASSI pre-test at the Center for Academic Success (see date on Course Schedule; submit in e-Learning.) In your first written �Strengths and Weaknesses� assignment, you will write a 2-3 page paper detailing your three lowest and three highest scoring areas from the LASSI pre-test, and your reactions to those results. (You will need to KEEP your copy of the LASSI pre-test results in order to compare pre- and post-tests at the end of the semester.)
II. LASSI Modules
After the Strengths/Weaknesses assignment, we will begin working through the material within the 10 module areas measured on the pre-test (accessible at www.lassimodules.com; see order of modules and due dates on course schedule; all will be submitted via e-Learning.) **If you choose not to complete the module assignments, you WILL NOT pass the class.
For eight of the ten modules (Attitude, Anxiety, Concentration, Self-Testing, Study Aids, Selecting Main Ideas, Information Processing, and Test-Taking Strategies,) you will read the online module material in its entirety and complete a typed, two-page minimum personal reflection/response (using first person) for each topic (see �Course Schedule� for due dates.) Each response should NOT be a summary of the information read, but instead it should explain what you gained personally from the material (specific new knowledge, tips, and/or understanding), how it applies to you, and specific ideas for application in your life as a student.
For the remaining two modules (Time Management and Motivation,) you will complete the activities in the module instead of a paper. Instructions for completing these activities will be given in class (some activities may be condensed or contain slightly different instructions.) Activities must be typed, numbered/labeled, and written in complete sentences. (See �Course Schedule� for due dates.) Late reflection papers and activities submitted without officially-recognized excuses will be given a maximum of half credit (see �Course Policies� section for more info.)
All written reflection assignments must be written in first person, with a length of two double spaced pages, maximum 12 point type (Times Roman, Calibri, or Arial,) 1 inch margins, using proper grammar. Indent the beginning of each paragraph. No blank lines between paragraphs. (See �Writing Guidelines� in e-Learning for more information.)
**DROP option**: If you accrue 3 or fewer unexcused absences over the course of the semester, you may �drop� or skip the writing assignments for 2 of your top 5 scoring areas from the LASSI pre-test (excluding Time Management and Motivation; everyone must complete these.) You must complete the written assignments for all 5 of the areas in which you scored the lowest. If you skip an assignment and end up accruing more than three unexcused absences, you must go back and complete that module assignment to avoid missing those points. If you wish to drop a module, you MUST notify the instructor by the due date (enter �Drop� in the submission box in e-Learning.)
III. Teaching Project
For the teaching project, students will be assigned to groups of three. Each group will be assigned a topic. Once topics are assigned, the group should research their topic and come up with an interesting and creative way to present the information to the class in a 15-minute teaching session. Each group must use at least five sources (including at least three scholarly sources.) Your grade will be based on your group�s presentation (content AND delivery) and the relevance of the information presented. Detailed grading rubric with further instructions will be given in class.
IV. Exams
There will be two tests given during the semester. (See �Course Schedule� for dates.)
V. Integrative Paper
At the end of the semester, you will again take the LASSI assessment (post-test) to determine your progress in each of the module topic areas. In your integrative paper, you will discuss the areas in which you improved the most as well as the areas you plan to continue working on and the strategies you will use to reach those goals. This paper will tie together all the components of being a Strategic Learner and your experiences in the class.
VI. Participation
Everyone will start out with 100 points in the Participation category. You will risk losing points in this area if you choose on a regular basis not to actively participate in class discussions and activities. Part of being a strategic learner means being actively engaged in learning experiences. If you choose to sleep, text, or otherwise �check out� during class, you are not actively engaging in the class and your participation grade will suffer.
VII. Extra Credit
There will be a few opportunities for extra credit available. These may include participation in enriching events on campus, participation in focus groups, and/or submitting additional reflection assignments (all these opportunities will be discussed in detail in class.)
   
Grades will be calculated as follows:
1100 points: 10 Modules plus S/W paper @ 100 points each
  200 points: Teaching project
  200 points: Two tests @ 100 points each
  150 points: Integrative paper
  100 points: Participation
1750 points: TOTAL points possible
   
A+:  97-100%  
A  : 93-96%  
A- : 90-92%  
B+:  87-89%  
B  : 83-86%  
B- : 80-82%  
C+: 77-79%  
C  : 73-76%  
C- : 70-72%  
D+:  67-69%  
D  : 63-66%  
D- : 60-62%  
F  : 59% and below  
   
Class Policies

Attendance: BEP 110 has a strict absence policy

You have 3 free unexcused absences.
4th unexcused absence: you lose 3.3 % off your final grade. (e.g., from A+ to A)
5th unexcused absence: you lose another 3.3 % off your final grade.
6th unexcused absence: you lose a full letter grade.
7 or more unexcused absences: you fail the course.
**IF you have 3 or fewer unexcused absences, you may drop 2 module assignments. (See �Modules� section for conditions.) Excessive tardiness/leaving early (missing over � the class period) will be considered an absence.

 

Excused absences include illness (with doctor�s excuse) and University sponsored events such as games for athletes or tournaments for the debate team. You must bring an original written notice the day after your absence in order for the absence to be counted as excused. This would include doctor's notes, notes from the athletic director, etc. I reserve the right to verify excuses with the Student Health Center. Assignments are due on the day you return from an excused absence. Whenever possible, please give me advance notice of an excused absence.

Late work and make-up exams: I will accept late assignments and make accommodations for make-up exams when students are absent from class due to a university recognized excuse (e.g., illness with doctor�s excuse.) I will not make accommodations for make-up exams for students who do not have officially recognized excuses. Work submitted late without an official excuse will only be eligible for up to half credit. If you miss an assignment due to an excused absence, you must contact the instructor within 24-48 hours of the absence to arrange for submission of the missed assignment(s), or face a late penalty.

Communication: Check your Crimson mail regularly; I will often use it to clarify instructions and/or provide important class updates. If you do not use Crimson mail as your primary email address, be sure to arrange for forwarding so that you do not miss important University-related communications. Also, it is in your best interest to keep up with the Course Schedule below (which corresponds with the e-L Calendar and Assignments sections.) The e-L MyGrades section contains important feedback on assignments as well as a mechanism for keeping up with your progress in the class.
 
Academic Misconduct: All acts of dishonesty in any work constitute academic misconduct. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to cheating, plagiarism, fabrication of information, misrepresentations, and abetting any of the above. Students are expected to follow the Alabama Academic Honor Code as it is published in the Schedule of Classes and Information Guide for Fall 2010. You can also find it on the University website (http://catalogs.ua.edu/catalog08/502000.html)
 
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: If you are registered with the Office of Disability Services, please see me to discuss any course accommodations that may be necessary. If you have a disability but have not contacted the Office of Disability Services, please call 348- 4285 or visit the Office of Disability Services located at 133B Martha Parham East to obtain more information.
 
UA Diversity Statement
UA attaches great value to freedom of speech and open debate, but it also attaches great importance to the principles of civility and respect which govern an academic community. Harassment or other illegal discrimination against individuals or groups not only is a violation of University policy and subject to disciplinary action, but is also inconsistent with the values and ideals of the University.
 
Severe Weather Guidelines: In case of severe weather, check the UA homepage for information about potential class cancellations and/or university closings. I also encourage you to sign up for UA text alerts (see prepare.ua.edu for more information.)
 
Resources to help you succeed
● The SOURCE (home for UA student organizations; under the �Campus Life� tab in myBama)
http://slpro.ua.edu: clearinghouse for volunteering in and around Tuscaloosa. For more info, call or stop by the Community Service Center, 348-2865 (346 Ferg.)
● Career Center, 330 Ferguson (http://career.ua.edu)
● UA Directories: (http://directory.ua.edu) Fastest way to find contact info
● OIT Service Desk website: http://oit.ua.edu/oit/services/it-service-desk/; email itsd@ua.edu
● Center for Academic Success (formerly known as the Center for Teaching & Learning; http://www.cas.ua.edu) FREE tutoring, study skills help
● Writing Center (http://www.as.ua.edu/writingcenter/) FREE help with writing for any class
● Counseling Center (http://www.sa.ua.edu/counseling/) Inexpensive, confidential services for a variety of issues including depression, homesickness, etc.
● Women�s Resource Center (http://wrc.ua.edu) Provides support for victims of dating and domestic violence and much more.
 
Course Schedule (subject to change as needed)
DATE TOPICS COVERED ASSIGNMENTS DUE
Aug 25 Introduction to BEP 110/Syllabus  
Aug 26 Review syllabus and module requirements; Intro to Strategic Learning  
Aug 29 Strategic Learning continued; Guest Speaker, Judicial Affairs  
Aug 31 Prediction activity; discuss S/W assignment; (last day to Drop/Add courses)  
Sep 2 Take LASSI Pre-test at CAS (124 Osband Hall) Keep LASSI pre-test results and student key for future use
Sep 5 Classes Cancelled: Labor Day  
Sep 7 Discuss LASSI results; introduce Strengths Quest & Goal-Setting Strengths/Weaknesses Assignment due; Take StrengthsQuest inventory for next class
Sep 9 Discovering Your Strengths; review module requirements; distribute Pre-survey Bring StrengthsQuest results; start TM log & activities
Sep 12 Attitude; Intro to Hope Plans Attitude Module & Pre-survey due
Sep 14 Utilizing Your Strengths in the Academic Environment; Go over Time Management activities in class  
Sep 16 Time Management; assignment of teaching topics Time Management Module Activities (Part 1, incl. Hope Plan) due
Sep 19 Time Management cont�d Time Management Module Activities (Part 2, incl. log) due
Sep 21 Information Processing & Learning Styles Information Processing Module due
Sep 23 Information Processing & Note Taking  
Sep 26 Selecting Main Ideas Selecting Main Ideas Module due
Sep 28 Selecting Main Ideas cont�d  
Sep 30 Concentration Concentration Module due
Oct 3 Concentration cont�d  
Oct 5 Test-Taking Strategies; Review for Test #1 Test Strategies Module due
Oct 7 Test #1  
Oct 10 Guest Speaker: University Libraries; Go over Motivation activities in class Start Motivation activities
Oct 12 Developing Talents into Strengths  
Oct 14
Developing Talents into Strengths  
Oct 17
Comprehension & Self-Testing Self-Testing Module due
Oct 19
Comprehension & Self-Testing, cont�d  
Oct 21
Goals and Motivation, Part I Motivation Module Part 1 activities due
Oct 24 Goals and Motivation, Part II Motivation Module Part 2 activities due (incl. Hope Plan #2)
Oct 26 Study Aids; Degree Works speaker Study Aids Module due (or substitute Strengths assignment)
Oct 28 No Class: Fall Break  
Oct 31 Anxiety  
Nov 2 Anxiety cont�d (last day to drop with a �W�)  
Nov 4 Guest Speaker: UA Counseling Center Anxiety Module due
Nov 7 Guest Speaker: UA Career Center  
Nov 9 No Class: Research Day for Teaching Project. (I will be available to answer questions about the projects or about grades, absences, etc.)  
Nov 11 Teaching Projects  
Nov 14
Teaching Projects  
Nov 16
Teaching Projects  
Nov 18
Teaching Projects  
Nov 21
Teaching Projects  
Nov 23-25 Classes Cancelled: Thanksgiving Break  
Nov 28 Revisiting Goals & Strengths  
Nov 30 Final Hope Plan; Review for Test #2 Hope Plan #3
Dec 2 Test #2 and LASSI post-test predictions; Discuss Integrative Paper assignment  
Dec 5 LASSI Post-test at CAS (124 Osband Hall)  
Dec 7 Discuss LASSI Post-test results  
Dec 9 Course Wrap-up (including Post-survey) Integrative Paper due

The Capstone Creed: As a member of the University of Alabama community, I will pursue knowledge; act with fairness, honesty, and respect; foster individual and civic responsibility; and strive for excellence.