I attended a Re-Imagining the First Year webinar last week at UCF called Integrating Noncognitive Skills into the First Year Experience. Since I run first-year programs for STEM majors, I thought it would be an interesting spin on the transition pieces I teach in the Introduction to Research courses required by the scholarship program. I took a lot away from the webinar, mostly how to categorize a “non-cognitive skill” into sections of skills and interventions.
According to Dr. Ross Markle at ETS, non-cognitive skills can be categorized in 4 categories:
- Academic Skills
- Social Support
To be frank, some of these categories lends itself more towards the retention efforts of a First Year Experience (FYE) program, as described by University of South Carolina UNV 101 – Course Learning Outcomes. Retention can be two-fold, and depending on the side you fall on, it will balance out with the other skill categories. The skill categories above, can then be broken into specific skills, or outcomes, you would like your students to learn and the types of interventions that work with the specific skills. The big catcher, though, is the psychosocial development of the student and whether or not the student is ready for the type of intervention you plan/have with them for the specific skill you would like them to learn. Have I lost you yet? Don’t worry! I made sure the source was shown below for your viewing pleasure!
This is why I believe my skills and knowledge base are perfect to break into this new realm of teaching “non-cognitive skills” using educational technology tools and principles.
Specifically for the program I coordinate at UCF, I categorized the needed non-cognitive skills for the first-year, transfer, STEM students wanting to potentially continue onto graduate school after a bachelor’s degree. From the skill categories provided by ETS, I will be able to create a non-cognitive skill curriculum to align with the transition of the students and the coursework of the Introduction to Research courses. This is all the in the works, and I hope to post about the actual plan to share with others later in the summer.
The plan is to then take the possible interventions and translate them into a technical or online capacity. I’m envisioning a website of multiple modules, activities, or reflections students can be directed towards and can explore freely when they experience the harder knocks of their transitions to a 4-year university. I hope to flesh topic areas, pathways and ask our peer mentors to help contribute to the knowledge base for our students to take advantage of while in their first year at UCF.
Until then, I will do some light reading with some of the resources I found today:
- Noncognitive Skills in the Classroom: New Perspectives on Educational Research
- Measures of students’ ‘non-cognitive’ skills for teacher evaluation, school accountability, or student diagnosis
- Non-cognitive Skills and Factors in Educational Attainment
- Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education: 2017 National Education Technology Plan Update
What else would you recommend me to look into? Please send sources my way!