IMG_2396While attending the 2014 Association of Colleges for Tutoring and Learning Assistance (ACTLA) conference, Learning Center Manager David Reed participated in a workshop on directed learning activities that has led to a successful launch this semester in the Learning Center. The DLA project provides a great example of individual faculty and their respective departments working collaboratively with the Learning Center to provide timely academic support for students.

A Directed Learning Activity (DLA) is an exercise developed by faculty and Learning Center staff that students complete in the Learning Center. DLA’s allow students to gain more practice on a concept or skill introduced in class and they differ from homework assignments in that a DLA 1) usually has a shorter time limit of 45 minutes to one hour, and 2) requires a follow-up session with a tutor after completion to verify that the student has mastered the desired outcome(s).

DLA’s are proving to be popular with students because they provide a clear, step-by-step process to grasp a concept such as how to approach a writing assignment or how to complete math equations. DLA’s are popular with faculty because they are constructed from the same curricular content they already use, and in this way they can feel confident that the student is getting consistent direction towards succeeding in their class.

For fall 2014, DLA’s have been created for Math 811, and English and ESOL composition and comprehension. Going forward, the Learning Center will continue to expand the depth and breadth of DLA’s across the curriculum while reaching out to interested faculty to add their expertise to this valuable supplemental academic support for Skyline College students.

If you are interested in learning more about DLA’s or want to see them added for a particular area, please contact David Reed at

Article by David Reed