Faculty Spotlight – Kacie Tartt

Kacie Tartt – Department of Modern Languages and Literatures 

In fall 2018 my colleague, Anne Prucha, and I had the privilege of redesigning our SPN1121C & SPN1121C online Elementary Spanish Language & Civilization courses incorporating Personalized Adaptive Learning as part of the Pegasus iLab Course Redesign Initiative (CRI). The redesigned courses piloted in spring and fall 2019 and continue this semester, spring 2020.

Describe the impact PAL has had on your teaching and/or students’ learning

The delivery of these redesigned courses allows students to progress through the material at a pace and level that are comfortable for them and that reflects their actual prior knowledge, and the use of OER resources allows me to curate and incorporate appropriate, relevant, and engaging content, while creating and delivering meaningful practice and assessment. In the past, our students have not been stimulated or motivated by “canned” publisher content. PAL and OER content have allowed us to design the courses to be more personal, more appealing, and more meaningful to students.  

Using Realizeit has also allowed me to monitor student progress more closely and supplement when necessary. We can more successfully guide students based on the results generated by Realizeit and help them with strategies for success, whereas with publisher content this was possible, but limited, and challenging to determine students’ need for individualized attention.  

The students interacted with PAL content, frequently repeating modules and doing extra practice, and they reported how intuitive and helpful they found it.  

Many students in language classes face challenges with the online delivery mode because it is new to them or because publisher content and LMS platforms are not user friendly or have frustrating technical problems and glitches. These obstacles negatively impact student DFW rates, student success, and overall satisfaction. These barriers also make it challenging for us to encourage our students to continue in Spanish – to pursue a major or minor. While using Realizeit, I have seen a significant decrease in DFW rates, resulting in an increased number of students who have earned an A, B, or, C as their final grade.  

This preliminary data is so encouraging, and I can’t wait to see what future semesters show! 

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