Leveling the Playing Field Inside the Classroom

Frankel & Smith / Journal of First-generation Student Success / August 2022

male teacher in front of the classroom talking

In their experience as mathematics professors at an open-access branch campus where first-generation students comprise more than half of the student population, the authors have found that, in general, first-generation students “don’t know what they don’t know.” Therefore, they have developed a number of classroom teaching strategies to level the playing field. These strategies include going over a well-organized, concise syllabus, introducing students to the learning management system, email, and required online resources, teaching students scaffolding using distributed lecture notes, building community through ice breakers and group work, and incentivizing the use of college wide resources to aid student success.

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