Surveying the Freshman Class

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Surveying the Freshman Class. Eva Fern ndez Center for Teaching & Learning September 16, 2011. Freshman Year Initiative. New model, fall 2010 : Two classes: English 110 (College Writing) linked to a general education Perspectives course - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Surveying the Freshman ClassEva FernndezCenter for Teaching & LearningSeptember 16, 2011

Freshman Year InitiativeNew model, fall 2010 :Two classes: English 110 (College Writing) linked to a general education Perspectives courseLearning communities sometimes also involved a thematic links: e.g., EnvironmentEnglish 110 courses standardized with carefully selected readings and sets of assignments (assessment currently underway)Technology infused curriculum: blogs, netbooks, video assignments, etc.Fall 2011: almost all freshmen in FYIFreshman Survey11 questions on demographics75 questions, 7 different question types, on: active/collaborative learning, general education, home life and values, quantitative reasoning, student-faculty contact, study skills, supportive and diverse campus community, use of technology, writing2 questions on long-term plans for degree

September: 46 sections, 766 respondentsDecember: 42 sections, 556 respondents365 respondents completed survey twice (311 FYI, 54 non-FYI)Demographics very similar to QC population at large and to larger samples3For 75 scalar-response questions, mean difference between answers in September and December

Negative changePositive changeHow important to you is? Learning process,contact with others, specific skills, etc. (20 questions)

Developing strong critical thinking and analytic skillsMaking a life-long commitment to learningDeveloping time management and organizational skillsAttending campus events and activitiesHaving contact with people from different backgroundsBecoming a community leaderHS-college comparison: in high school/during the current semester, how often did you?

Making a class presentationComing to class having read assignmentsWorking with others on projects in / out of classDiscussing assignments with facultyTalking about career plansParticipating in co-curricular activitiesWriting long papers or reportsUsing e-medium for an assignmentIncluding diverse perspectivesDiscussing ideas outside of class

Evidence of impact?

Questions about writing (N=6)

Questions about technology (N=4)

7Next movesePortfolios to address the negatives:Second semester seminars: general education courses, where gen ed ePortfolios are introducedSupport group beyond class:student ePortfolio showcasesLinkage to majors that use ePortfoliosLimitationsNot enough non-FYI respondents (54 out of 365)No identifying information collected, so not possible to correlate responses to survey with indicators of academic achievement (past and future grades, e.g.)Design including eclectic question types; scales too narrow to elicit fine-grained judgmentsProcedure to administer very labor-intensive

RecommendationsUse data like this, and other data we routinely collect (NSSE, alum surveys, evaluations, etc.) to learn more about our studentsContinue to build well-supported and coherent institutional programmingFoster engagement in our future freshmen by continuing to pay attention to their diversity and through the development of programs with experiential education components

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