Dr. Cassandre Alvarado works to help teachers better understand student success. Her most recent paper, “Using Early Warning Signs to Predict Academic Risk in Interactive Teaching Environments,” was selected as best paper at the 2013 Higher Education Teaching and Learning Conference. Co-authors Julie Schell and Brian Lukoff are part of the Mazur Group, a research group in the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Department of Physics at Harvard University under the direction of Eric Mazur.
The paper addresses the problem of student underachievement in interactive teaching environments. “Studies like this give us greater insight into how we predict risk and provide support to students, both inside and outside of the classroom,” Dr. Alvarado explains. By offering instructors simple methods to predict student achievement, it directly addresses student underachievement in the classroom. The ultimate goal is for faculty to use these methods and intervene early with students at risk of underachieving. The paper also addresses the gender gap and self-efficacy, the belief that one is capable of completing tasks and reaching goals. It outlines a process to help faculty implement a process for tracking and intervention. The paper is currently under review for publication.