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Directed Learning Activities (DLAs)

A Directed Learning Activity (DLA) is an exercise developed by a faculty member or Learning Center staff that students complete in the Learning Center. A DLA allows the students to gain more practice on a concept or skill introduced in class. A DLA differs from a homework assignment in that a DLA 1) usually has a short time limit – 30 to 45 minutes, and 2) requires a follow-up session with a tutor after completion.

Though DLAs are not graded, some instructors assign the completion of a certain number of DLAs per semester as a percentage of the students’ overall grade. Assigning DLAs assures that the students are getting extra practice and receiving face-to-face assistance from tutors. Ideally, DLAs are created in close collaboration with instructional departments so as to ensure consensus among the faculty on what skills and concepts are crucial for particular courses.

student discussing a homework problem

DLA Resources

For more information or to request a new DLA, contact David Reed at reedd@smccd.edu or (650) 738-7164.

English DLAs

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL):

  • Appositives
  • Conditionals
  • Contractions
  • Coordinators
  • Dangling Modifiers
  • Passive Voice
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • The Past Progressive Tense
  • Possessives
  • Definitive and Indefinite Articles
  • Fragments
  • Future, Future Perfect, Present Perfect and Past Perfect Progressive Tenses
  • Paraphrasing and Summarizing
  • Simple Verb Tense
  • Subject, Verb and Direct Object
  • Thesis Statements
  • Present Perfect Tense

English Composition:

  • PIE Paragraph
  • Punctuation
  • Reverse Contractions
  • Subject, Object Transitivity

Study Skills:

  • Annotation and Talking to the Text
  • Double-Entry Journal
  • Note Taking
  • Time Management
  • Plagiarism
  • Pre-reading KWL+
  • Print and Web Researching
  • Test Prep
  • Times Essay 

Math DLAs

Math 811:

  • Intro to Fractions
  • Visualizing Equivalent Fractions
  • Decomposing Fractions
  • Adding and Subtracting Fractions with Common Denominator
  • Equivalent Fractions
  • Adding Mixed Numbers
  • Percent with Proportion
  • Comparing Fractions
  • Negative Times Negative
  • Simplifying Fractions
  • Distributive Property
  • Rounding Using Number Line
  • Fraction of a Fraction
  • Basic Ideas of Division
  • Intro to Square Roots
  • Subtracting Fractions with Unlike Denominator
  • Order of Operation

Math 110:

  • Identifying Solutions of an Equation
  • Sketching a Line Given a Point and a Slope
  • Finding the Slope of a Line Using a Graph
  • Finding equation of a Line from a Table
  • Solutions to Equations
  • Solving equation

Math 120:

  • Exponential Growth
  • Arithmetic Sequence
  • Evaluating Functions
  • Fractional Exponents
  • Function Inverses
  • Geometric Sequence