• Facilitating Student Achievement Through Contextualization
    This paper is a literature review that explores the nature and effectiveness of contextualization as a way to improve outcomes for academically underprepared college students.

    Two forms of contextualization have been studied: “contextualized” and “integrated” instruction. Qualitative research on the contextualization of basic skills is more common than quantitative research with student outcome data. Furthermore, those quantitative studies that do exist have methodological flaws that limit conclusions. Further, only a small number of studies have been conducted on contextualization in the college context.

    Despite these problems, contextualization seems to be a promising direction for accelerating the progress of academically underprepared college students. The contextualized approach is grounded in a conceptual framework relating to the transfer of skill and student motivation; practitioners who use it observe positive results, and the available quantitative evidence indicates that it has the potential to increase achievement.

    A version of this paper was published as an article, "Facilitating Student Learning Through Contextualization: A Review of the Evidence," in Community College Review, July 2011, and also as a chapter in Teaching Developmental Reading (2nd ed.), edited by Sonya L. Armstrong, Norman A. Stahl, & Hunter R. Boylan.
  • Contextualized Teaching & Learning: A Faculty Primer
    The report offers California community college faculty a closer look at contextualized teaching and learning (CTL) as a promising set of strategies and practices that can be expanded through the state’s Basic Skills Initiative. The report is relevant to a range of instructional and counseling faculty, including academic and career and technical education (CTE), Mathematics, English and English as a Second Language (ESL) instructors, as well as to basic skills staff and administrators. The report is organized into three main sections: (1) a case statement for contextualized teaching and learning that draws on relevant research and learning theory and situates the practice within workforce development, (2) a review of a range of contextualized teaching and learning practices, told from the faculty/program director perspective, and (3) a set of considerations for community college faculty and leaders as well as funders and policy makers interested in the potential of contextualized teaching and learning to strengthen student success.
  • Contextual Learning
    This paper examines the use of Contextual Learning to answer questions about the multiple aspects of any learning environment, whether a classroom, alaboratory and encourages educators to design learning environments to get preferred learning outcomes.