Many of you are in the process of giving, or have just given, the first exam or paper of the semester. Once you have tallied the final score, you will have a good idea who in your class is headed for academic difficulty.
As you are aware, students perform poorly on exams for many reasons. First year students may assume that introductory classes here will be review. Other students aced high school (and maybe even some college courses) with minimal studying. Their study and time management skills are poor. Others struggle to balance social and academic demands.
What Can You Do?
Don't assume the student appreciates the gravity of his or her academic situation. Students often assume they will score well on the next exam. Many have unrealistic perceptions of their own ability recover after a bad academic performance, or they assume they can earn points through class participation or extra credit.
If at all possible, speak with the student one-on-one. Many struggling students think studying more hours for the next test will bring their grade up substantially, but it may not occur to them to study differently. Discussing course expectations and effective study techniques may help the student develop more effective study methods. Also, students may not realize that a bad performance on an exam can "dog" them for the rest of the semester, especially in courses where new information builds on old. Level with students about their likelihood of success.
Encourage the student to seek help at the Academic Support Assistance Center, either in the form of one-on-one academic counseling or a tutor. Additionally, submitting an early alert form to the counseling department can help your student get the services and help they may need.