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Surveying the Freshman Class. Eva Fern ández 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

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surveying the freshman class

Surveying the Freshman Class

Eva FernándezCenter forTeaching& LearningSeptember 16, 2011

freshman year initiative
Freshman Year Initiative

New model, fall 2010 :

  • Two classes: English 110 (College Writing) linked to a general education Perspectives course
  • Learning communities sometimes also involved a thematic links: e.g., Environment
  • English 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 FYI

freshman survey
Freshman Survey
  • 11 questions on demographics
  • 75 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, writing
  • 2 questions on long-term plans for degree
  • September: 46 sections, 766 respondents
  • December: 42 sections, 556 respondents
  • 365 respondents completed survey twice (311 FYI, 54 non-FYI)
    • Demographics very similar to QC population at large and to larger samples
for 75 scalar response questions mean difference between answers in september and december
For 75 scalar-response questions, mean difference between answers in September and December

Negative change

Positive change

how important to you is learning process contact with others specific skills etc 20 questions
How important to you is…? Learning process,contact with others, specific skills, etc. (20 questions)

Developing strong critical thinking and analytic skills

Making a life-long commitment to learning

Developing time management and organizational skills

Attending campus events and activities

Having contact with people from different backgrounds

Becoming a community leader

hs college comparison in high school during the current semester how often did you
HS-college comparison: in high school/during the current semester, how often did you…?

Making a class presentation

Coming to class having read assignments

Working with others on projectsin / out of class

Discussing assignments with faculty

Talking about career plans

Participating in co-curricular activities

Writing long papers or reports

Using e-medium for an assignment

Including diverse perspectives

Discussing ideas outside of class

evidence of impact
Evidence of impact?

Questions about writing (N=6)

Questions about technology (N=4)

next moves
Next moves…
  • ePortfolios to address the negatives:
    • Second semester seminars: general education courses, where gen edePortfolios are introduced
    • Support group beyond class:student ePortfolio showcases
    • Linkage to majors that use ePortfolios
  • Not 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 judgments
  • Procedure to administer very labor-intensive
  • Use data like this, and other data we routinely collect (NSSE, alum surveys, evaluations, etc.) to learn more about our students
  • Continue to build well-supported and coherent institutional programming
  • Foster engagement in our future freshmen by continuing to pay attention to their diversity and through the development of programs with experiential education components