Recent years have seen the emergence of a trend where students without basic academic ability can enter university. This trend, which is seen in all majors, is due to a decrease in the number of 18-year-olds in the general population and the diversification of university entrance exams. It poses a serious problem in higher education. The number of students who cannot keep up with university courses is increasing. There are large disparities in the abilities and skills of students in the same university, faculty, and even department.
To ensure effective higher education, the objective assessment of freshmen’s basic knowledge and skills and the provision of remedial education when necessary are essential. However, there has not been sufficient research on this subject, and support for such students is scarce despite the increased difficulty of higher education.
Although the extent of research on developmental and remedial education has expanded in recent years, it will become more crucial to conduct organizational research and to share concrete strategies based upon this research. Previous studies revealed that students attained new outcomes and transformed their feelings of inferiority into confidence when they learned with appropriate materials and organizational support.
There are many students who need remedial education, but step-by-step learning materials can offer adaptive and appropriate developmental education to these individuals. Content based on remedial education is limited because of guidelines for secondary education issued by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology in Japan. E-learning is suitable for teaching content in steps, and remedial education using e-learning is becoming more widespread. However, because such students have generally not studied very hard in middle and high school, their computer literacy may be low, and they may not have good learning habits. Thus, in order to bolster their efficiency and academic ability, cooperation with university management is indispensable for securing classrooms and arranging mentorship as well as providing proper teaching materials.
Therefore, we believe that an academic society should play an important role as a place to study for concrete and practical success, to promote education activities, to recommend effective strategies to society, and more. The Japan Association for Developmental Education was thus established. We welcome the faculty members and stakeholders of universities who are interested in this issue. Please join us and contribute to future development in this field.
Founders of the Japan Association for Developmental Education