Mesa, AZ

MCC's professors received Developmental Education Endowment Award for their contextualized English learning course

Scott Murdoch

MESA, AZ - The MCC Developmental Education Endowment Award goes to Mesa Community College English professors, Stacy Wilson and Alex Arreguin for contextualizing teaching and learning in English courses, specifically ENG101 and ENG102.

Contextual teaching and learning are done by involving students in active learning through hands-on experiences and the utilization of relevant real-world examples to teach abstract concepts or ideas.

"Contextualized teaching and learning asks instructors to help students build bridges between prior knowledge, course concepts and sites of future application," said Wilson.

Examples and exercises that students can connect to, such as rhetoric and composition to circumstances and locations they're currently or will soon occupy are tailored into the courses.

Contextualization helps students to connect academic information with real-world applications, resulting in deeper learning.

"We are excited to share this framework with faculty and utilize it in our courses as it has been shown to activate student engagement which in turn influences performance, effort and persistence," added Wilson.

In order to improve student engagement and learning, the group spent more than $4,440 ($2,220.72 each) to create a framework for contextualizing First-Year Composition courses. Prior learning will be incorporated in the framework, along with the alignment of content with skills, knowledge, and habits of the mind, as well as the application of future writing contexts.

The award committee selected the project, in part, for its support of Guided Pathways. Guided Pathways is an evidence-based, comprehensive educational approach meant to deliver cognitively cohesive learning experiences.

It explicitly specifies courses that must be completed to achieve an educational goal. The Pathway Maps are designed to match industry demands and college criteria in order to get a degree, certificate, or university transfer credit in the quickest period possible at the lowest cost.

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