girl-reading-book-high-res (1)Grit, determination,  and resilience–these are traits strongly associated with higher college graduation rates, as well as increased success in the workplace. Increasingly, the responsibility for teaching resilience falls to colleges and universities. Students may enter college afraid of failure and lacking the ability to appropriately manage the college workload. New technological tools, like YuJa, can help to maximize student success and can even offer opportunities to teach grit and resilience to students. Many of the resources out there address teaching these skills to children. While that’s important, colleges can’t turn back time, but can address these skills with incoming freshmen and non-traditional students.

Understanding Grit

What do we mean when we talk about these traits? What exactly is “grit”? University of Pennsylvania professor Angela Duckworth defines grit as “sticking with things over the very long term until you master them”. This trait, perhaps even more than intelligence or other advantages, may be connected to success. Scores on Duckworth’s grit scale correlate closely with achievement, even in very difficult circumstances. In many cases, the most intelligent students have the lowest grit scores. Since learning comes easily to these students, they may not learn resilience. Qualities specifically associated with grit include:
  • Optimism
  • Self-control
  • Perseverance

Five Ways YuJa Can Help

YuJa is a tool for educators, but is also an effective way for student services personnel to engage with students.
  1. Optimize student services efforts by creating quizzes, polls and assessments that test grit, resilience and optimism. This allows you to direct services to the students that need them most.
  2. Use YuJa to create specialized courses for incoming freshmen, struggling students, or non-traditional students.  Lecture capture technology makes it simple to create a course teaching the skills associated with grit, while quiz tools allow you to assess your overall success.
  3. Encourage incoming, struggling and non-traditional students to use the multimedia discussion forums to create a social support network.
  4. Integrate social learning into the classroom to create a supportive atmosphere for students to work together, develop beneficial collaborative relationships and move forward in their learning.
  5. Emphasize connection and relationships with instructors through online office hours, chats and live video conferencing with YuJa.

Hanford, Emily. “Angela Duckworth and the Research on Grit.” American Radioworks. Web. Accessed on 30 June 2015.
Lyon, Amy. “Grit Curriculum Overview.” Edutopia. Web. Accessed on 30 June 2015.
Richter, Beth J. “Building ‘Grit’ and Determination for College Completion.” Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Web. Accessed on 30 June 2015