‘Academic Enabler’ Observational Checklists: Measuring Students’ Ability to Manage Their Own Learning
Student academic success requires more than content knowledge or mastery of a collection of cognitive strategies. Academic accomplishment depends also on a set of ancillary skills and attributes called ‘academic enablers’ (DiPerna, 2006).
Examples of academic enablers include:
- Study skills
- Homework completion
- Cooperative learning skills
- Independent seatwork
- The student takes complete, organized class notes in legible form and maintains them in one accessible note book
- The student reviews class notes frequently (e.g., after each class) to ensure understanding
- When reviewing notes, the student uses highlighters, margin notes, or other strategies to note questions or areas of confusion for later review with teacher or tutor
- The student follows an efficient strategy to study for tests and quizzes
- The student allocates enough time to study for tests and quizzes
- The student is willing to seek help from the teacher to answer questions or clear up areas of confusion
- Classroom teachers can use these skills checklists as convenient tools to assess whether a student possesses the minimum ‘starter set’ of academic enabling skills needed for classroom success.
- Teachers or tutors can share examples of academic-enabler skills checklists with students, training them in each of the sub-skills and encouraging them to use the checklists independently to take greater responsibility for their own learning.
- Teachers or other observers can use the academic enabler checklists periodically to monitor student progress during interventions--assessing formatively whether the student is using more of the sub-skills.
DiPerna, J. C. (2006). Academic enablers and student achievement: Implications for assessment and intervention services in the schools. Psychology in the Schools, 43, 7-17.
Kazdin, A. E. (1989). Behavior modification in applied settings (4th ed.). Pacific Gove, CA: Brooks/Cole.