Professor in English, Cerritos College
At Cerritos College, the implementation of Hypothesis in English and drama courses, spearheaded by Professor Francie Quaas-Berryman, has marked a significant shift in teaching and student engagement. This case study explores how Hypothesis has been seamlessly integrated into the curriculum by Professor Quaas-Berryman, transforming the literary and dramatic studies at the college.
Before Hypothesis, Cerritos College’s English department faced challenges in creating a cohesive online learning experience. As Professor Quaas-Berryman noted, “I have never really liked online discussion boards when we’re trying to talk about something specific, like a piece of literature or plays, because it feels very disconnected.”
The introduction of Hypothesis brought a radical change. Professor Quaas-Berryman embraced the platform for its ability to merge reading and discussion. The tool allowed her to embed rich multimedia resources and provide detailed guidance on interpreting texts.
“The thing I absolutely love about Hypothesis is that it’s not that anymore. The reading and the dialogue is all right there together in those layers.”
– Professor Quaas-Berryman
Enhanced Class Experience
During the pandemic, the transition to online learning for the readings in drama class was initially challenging. Quaas-Berryman described the first experience as a “hot mess,” with resources, plays, and discussions being separated over different documents and platforms. Hypothesis enabled her to layer different elements into the text, turning reading a play into a rich, coached experience. It also allowed a seamless online learning experience as Hypothesis followed them over each document and their conversations continued. Students were able to add their own video clips and images, creating a dynamic and engaging learning environment.
Impact on Student Success and Grades
The first semester after implementing Hypothesis in her drama class, Quaas-Berryman achieved an unprecedented 100% success rate. “It was insane to me, the difference. I had never had a class with a 100% success rate” she noted, emphasizing the tool’s transformative impact.
Increased Retention in the Courses
The adoption of Hypothesis led to a significant improvement in student engagement and retention rates. Professor Quaas-Berryman observed a transformation in her classes, especially in drama: “The retention shot up in that class in particular, it was transformative.” The freshman composition classes also witnessed a positive change.
- 12 completed successfully
- 7 dropped
- 18 completed successfully
- 1 dropped
Reinvigorating the Teaching Experience
Reflecting on the impact of Hypothesis, Professor Quaas-Berryman shared her enthusiasm: “Prepping for that class became my favorite activity of the week.” She highlighted the enriched learning experience she could provide. The students’ feedback was overwhelmingly positive, appreciating the collaborative and interactive environment facilitated by Hypothesis.
The case of Cerritos College, under Professor Francie Quaas-Berryman’s innovative use of Hypothesis, stands as a testament to the transformative power of integrating Hypothesis into courses. Hypothesis didn’t just enhance the learning experience; it redefined it, making it more engaging, interactive, and effective for both students and educators. This resulted in better grades for students and increased retention in the course. Hypothesis’s ability to contextualize and enrich learning materials has proven to be a game-changer in the way courses are taught and experienced.
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