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Implications for Staff Members

The discussion section of the cross-case analysis contains a particularly rich set of recommendations that come from a series of discussions that included both student researchers and staff members who provide curricular support.  These recommendations come out of careful analyses of each case paired with deep institutional understandings. 

The staff survey analysis is particularly helpful in identifying diverse sources of support.  For the purposes of this study, curricular support is defined as "resources and assistance made available to students that facilitate their completion of assignments."  While this report is focused on curricular support that relates to visual materials, the survey instrument is broader in scope and actually asks about support for a variety of modes of expression students may be called upon to produce as part of an assignment. 

Additionally, the study conclusions include a list of implications of the study findings for staff members providing curricular support.

Identify and Advertise Sources of Support

Identify the kinds of curricular support currently available at Carleton. Make the list of support publicly available. Facilitate understanding among support professionals so that individuals can make expert references across support organizations while consulting with faculty members or students.  (Cross-Case Analysis, p.58)

Scope of Curricular Support

The staff survey employs a particularly focused definition of curricular support and, while well suited to this research project, functions to result in a conservative estimate of the curricular support available at the College. Even using this restrictive definition, almost half of staff respondents report providing curricular support. These staff members come from every organizational division of the College. The diverse sources of support underscore the importance of engaging in campus-wide conversations about curricular support.  (Staff Survey Analysis, p. 91-92)

 A Common Theme

If there is a common theme to the recommendations for staff members, it is for them to become increasingly aware of the work and resources of colleagues on campus and to establish effective methods for coordinating support efforts. Curricular support will be all the more effective if the overhead associated with navigating organizational structures is assumed by those providing support services rather than by students and faculty members working to complete or create assignments.  (Conclusions, p. 96)

  A full version of the study is freely available here.