An Open Educational Resource for Teaching Revision: Flesch-Kincaid Readability Statistics.

Author: Beth Counihan
Department of English, Queensborough Community College-CUNY

Author Note:
I have no known conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to:
Beth Counihan, Queensborough Community College-CUNY, 222-05 56 Ave, Humanities 428, Bayside, NY 11364. Email:


As the world begins to emerge from the Covid-19 Pandemic, college faculty are ever more mindful of the high cost of textbooks and other necessities of student life.  Assigning open educational resource (OER) texts lightens the financial burden and helps contribute to a more equitable campus.  Faculty also need to have in our pedagogical tool boxes strategies that work well both in the traditional and virtual classrooms, as we now know we must be prepared for any situation.  With this in mind, I would like to share the promising findings of a qualitative study a colleague and I conducted pre-pandemic, in Fall 2018 with our ENGL101: Freshman Composition students, one that suggests further inquiry.  We assigned an open educational resource, Flesh-Kincaid Readability Statistics, to complement our work teaching college reading and writing skills. Our limited data, the students’ own writing, indicated that using Readability Statistics supported the skill of revision in particular. 

At our urban public community college, seventy-three percent of our students received full financial aid the semester of our study (QCC Fact Book 2020).  We serve a highly diverse student body with no one dominant group.   In addition, our community college is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution and HETS member institution, with Hispanic students or their families largely from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Ecuador.  Our students each have access to a free subscription to the New York Times–paid through student activity fees, so there is no out-of-pocket expense.   I assign the New York Times as a required text in all levels of my English courses.  We read articles pertaining to our course topics, but also I assign students to read and write summaries of articles of their own choice, each according to their own interests.  Students interested in video games and smart phone technology read and summarize articles in the Times Personal Tech section, for exampleStudents concerned about equity and social justice read and summarize articles about racial reckoning and immigration issues.

To reinforce our classroom work on academic writing revision strategies, I assign students to use OER sites like (although not all features on the site are no-cost)Students paste their summaries into a text box on the site and the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Statistics program is applied, giving students an immediate measurement of the grade level of their writing.  As students revise their New York Times article summaries in, they can see the grade level rise in real time. They see how the grade level rises when they are strategic and mindful about revision, with most students who participated in our study in Fall 2018 seeing an increase of two grade levels in their revised summaries.

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Comparison of Connectedness in Online, Blended, and Face-to-Face Research Methods Courses among Hispanic and Low-Income Students.

Authors: Kristen Faye Linton, MSW, Ph.D., Lydia Dixon, Ph.D., Jaime Hannans, RN, Ph.D., & Megan Eberhardt-Alstot
California State University, Channel Islands


When students feel connected to the instructor, they are more likely to remain motivated, engaged, and persist toward completing an online course. Rarely have studies compared connectedness in three modalities: online only, blended, and face-to-face. This study compared perceptions of connectedness among students (N = 27) from an Hispanic Serving Institution with their instructor and peers in a research methods course. The sample of students took the same course in three different sections- each taught in a different modality by the same white instructor. Connectedness and students’ grades were lower for students who took the course fully online. However, student ratings of teachings were highest for those who took the online-only section. Latinx students reported less connectedness in the online-only section than others. The results inform decisions about teaching modalities during the pandemic and in the future; synchronous learning is critical to obtain equitable connectedness among Latinx students.


Teaching modality; connectedness; social presence; Latinx; Hispanic Serving Institution; online teaching; blended learning

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Developing a Graduate Student Workshops at a Predominantly Hispanic Serving Institution.

Corresponding Author:

Amanda M. Giust, Ed.D.
Albizu University – Miami Campus
2173 NW 99th Ave
Doral, FL 33166

Diana M. Valle-Riestra, Ph.D.
Albizu University – Miami Campus
2173 NW 99th Ave
Doral, FL 33166


This study examines the pre-test and post-test outcomes of newly developed graduate student workshops covering topics in the area of writing and research. A total of two (2) workshops were completed by 102 graduate students at a predominantly Hispanic serving institution in the southeastern United States. T-test analyses indicated that there was a combined significant difference between pre-test and post-test outcomes, t(101) = -9.63, p < .001, suggesting that both workshops were effective in increasing graduate students’ knowledge base.

Keywords: Graduate Students, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Student Support

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Integración del Aprendizaje Móvil en la Educación a Distancia en Puerto Rico.

Yubelkys Montalvo Carrión, Ed.D.


Este artículo describe y resume los resultados de un estudio cualitativo exploratorio sobre el aprendizaje móvil en la educación a distancia en Puerto Rico, realizado en cuatro universidades privadas. El propósito del estudio fue precisar si se considera el aprendizaje móvil como parte del diseño instruccional de los cursos en línea, si la integración se hace con un modelo instruccional definido y determinar cómo las plataformas de aprendizaje contribuyen a esta integración. Para el estudio se desarrolló un marco conceptual propio sustentados en una amplia revisión de literatura y se creó un instrumento con preguntas enfocadas a dos aspectos: el pedagógico y el tecnológico con sus respectivas dimensiones que permitió recopilar la información a través de una entrevista semiestructurada a 15 participantes seleccionados intencionalmente de cuatro instituciones privadas de educación superior. Las conclusiones más relevantes del estudio fueron que la mayoría de los participantes indicaron que se integra el aprendizaje móvil en diferentes fases del diseño instruccional de los cursos en línea, pero esto no responde a una planificación pedagógica enfocada al aprendizaje móvil por parte de los profesores o administradores involucrados. Por otro lado, se investigó sobre las herramientas tecnológicas de las plataformas y cómo contribuyen a la integración del aprendizaje móvil. En este caso, el estudio encontró que estas herramientas pueden lograr una experiencia paralela a la computadora. Los resultados del estudio y su marco teórico pueden ayudar a clarificar el concepto de aprendizaje móvil y lo que conlleva la integración en los cursos en línea. Igualmente, pueden ayudar a subsanar la carencia de la literatura sobre aprendizaje móvil en Puerto Rico y colaborar con instrumentos de investigación.

Palabras claves: Aprendizaje móvil, educación a distancia, diseño instruccional, plataformas de aprendizaje, modelos de diseño instruccional y modelos de aprendizaje móvil.

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Relación entre el nivel de liderazgo del profesor y la retención estudiantil de una institución de educación superior.

Frances Marie Vázquez Padilla Ed.D.
NUC University


Este estudio de diseño descriptivo correlacional, longitudinal y por cohortes investigó la relación entre el nivel de liderazgo del profesor y la retención estudiantil. El estudio fue basado en los planteamientos teóricos del modelo de liderazgo completo de Bass y Avolio (1994) y el modelo de partida institucional (Tinto, 1993). Se administró un cuestionario para la determinación del nivel de liderazgo del profesor y se utilizó el sistema de información estudiantil de la institución para determinar la retención estudiantil. El cuestionario Nivel de liderazgo del profesor, fue validado y sometido a análisis de confiabilidad arrojando 0.92 en la prueba Alpha de Cronbach.

El nivel predominante entre los docentes fue el nivel En desarrollo. En términos de la tasa de retención de los facultativos, la muestra obtuvo una tasa de retención general de 88.5%. El análisis del coeficiente de correlación Spearman’s arrojó un 0.039 rs con un valor p >0.05 determinando que no existe relación entre el nivel de liderazgo del profesor y la retención estudiantil. Los hallazgos de este estudio validan la retención como fenómeno multifactorial donde el nivel de liderazgo de facultad y la retención estudiantil no se asocian como factores que inciden en la retención estudiantil.


This cohort, longitudinal, correlational descriptive design study investigated the relationship between faculty leadership level and student retention. The study was based on the theoretical approaches of the complete leadership model of Bass and Avolio (1994) and the institutional departure model (Tinto, 1993). A questionnaire was administered to determine faculty level of leadership and the institution’s student information system was used to determine student retention. Faculty Leadership Level questionnaire was validated and submitted to reliability analysis, resulting 0.92 in Cronbach’s Alpha test.

The predominant leadership among faculty was developing level. In terms of the retention rate of faculty, the sample obtained an overall retention rate of 88.5%. The analysis of the Spearman’s correlation coefficient yielded 0.039 rs with a p value> 0.05, determining that there is no relationship between the level of faculty leadership and student retention. The findings of this study validate retention as a multifactorial phenomenon where the level of faculty leadership and student retention are not associated as factors that affect student retention.

Palabras claves: retención; educación superior; facultad; liderazgo

Keywords: retention; higher education; faculty; leadership

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Sistema de gestión de aprendizaje para la enseñanza del español como lengua extranjera.

Learning management system (LMS) for online teaching of Spanish as a foreign language

Dra. Brenda Lee Morales González
Prof. Silvia María Ruiz Santiago
Universidad Ana G. Méndez


Identificar como elegir o poner en práctica un sistema de gestión de aprendizaje de un programa de español como lengua extranjera en una institución de educación superior es muy importante. Para ello será primordial identificar la demanda del mercado que el programa está diseñado a satisfacer. La demografía y las características de los estudiantes son partes esenciales para determinar la asignación de una plataforma o realizar algún cambio en ellas. Detectar el proceso utilizado para evaluar la efectividad de la enseñanza y como consecuencia realizar ciertos transformaciones y recomendaciones puede ser primordial para impulsar el aumento de las inscripciones en un programa de español. Aunque existen diversas y diferentes plataformas o tecnologías de aprendizaje se procederá a comparar dos sistemas de gestión de aprendizaje; la plataforma Blackboard y la plataforma Canvas. La elección de una de ellas permitirá realizar cambios oportunos y mejorar el currículo de enseñanza proporcionando así los mejores recursos a los estudiantes consiguiendo tanto el éxito estudiantil como éxito el institucional.

Palabras clave: Sistema de gestión de aprendizaje, español como lengua extranjera, educación en línea, Blackboard, Canvas.


Identifying how to choose or implement a learning management system for a Spanish-as-a-foreign language program in a higher education institution is very important. To do this, it will be essential to identify the market demand that the program is designed to meet. Demographics and student characteristics are essential parts of determining or making any changes to a platform. Detecting the process used to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and as a consequence perform certain transformations and recommendations can be essential to promote the increase of registrations in a Spanish program. Although there are different and different platforms or learning technologies, two learning management systems will be compared; Blackboard platform and Canvas platform. Choosing one of them will allow to make timely changes and improve the teaching curriculum thus providing the best resources to students achieving both student success and institutional success.

Keywords: Learning management system, Spanish as a foreign language, online education, Blackboard, Canvas.

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Understanding the Challenges of Teaching Writing Online during the Pandemic at an Urban Community College

Swan Kim, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of English

Donna Kessler-Eng, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of English

Bronx Community College at the City University of New York (CUNY)     


The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented changes to higher education and left particularly damaging effects for the underprivileged population. Colleges suddenly shifted into online modality in March 2020, forcing both students and faculty to quickly adapt to the new learning environment. While much of the recent literature has focused on the challenges from the student perspectives (Black et al 2020; Malik, 2020), there has been little insight as to how Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) faculty are dealing with the challenges. The purpose of this study is to better understand the impact this major shift has had on the challenges faculty faced in this process. To examine how our faculty rapidly adapted to teaching in distance learning modality, we analyzed a faculty survey conducted by the Writing Across the Curriculum program in Fall 2020. Eighty-six faculty members participated in a survey about pedagogical applications and concerns including responses to two open-ended questions. In response to the study, the recommendation is to expand professional development opportunities for faculty regarding online pedagogy that is systematically integrated into pedagogy in general.

Keywords: Hispanic, Latinx, Higher Education, Writing, Composition, pandemic, COVID-19, teaching online, Bronx Community College, CUNY

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