Practices for Supporting Students’ Affective Needs

By: CAP Central Staff
June 2016

When students aren’t successful in their classes, the core issue is often not their ability to handle the course content. As long-time community college teachers, we’ve seen that when students encounter a difficult task, or receive critical feedback, or feel afraid that they’re not cut out for college, they will often disengage, avoid turning in work, and even disappear from class. 

Being an effective teacher requires that we understand these dynamics and that we have intentional practices in place to help students be successful. The two attached handouts were developed for faculty participating in the CAP Community of Practice.

In the first, we define six broad strategies for addressing the affective domain, with sample practices for each. Participants are invited to choose 1-2 practices that are not currently part of their teaching, commit to using them throughout the semester, and observe the results.

In the second, we offer strategies for what we call “growth-oriented grading.” They focus on grading in an English composition classroom, but math faculty may find it useful to consider counterpart practices for their own discipline.