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The Effects of Engaged Learning on Student Academic, Personal, & Civic Development. Dana Natale Assistant Director, Center for Career Development and Community-Based Learning Courtney Hopkins Graduate Student, Department of Psychology Valerie Sessa

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the effects of engaged learning on student academic personal civic development

The Effects of Engaged Learning on Student Academic, Personal, & Civic Development

Dana NataleAssistant Director, Center for Career Development

and Community-Based Learning

Courtney Hopkins

Graduate Student, Department of Psychology

Valerie Sessa

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Montclair State University

Bringing Theory to Practice

4th Annual National Working ConferenceJanuary 18-19, 2007New Orleans, Louisiana

research questions
Research Questions:
  • Does engaged learning, in the form of service- learning, impact the academic and civic development, and well- being of students?
  • What is it about engaged learning that impacts the academic and civic development, and well-being of students?
research design measures
Research Design/Measures

Quantitative Data

  • Quasi-experimental, non-equivalent control group design
  • Freshman students
  • Pre-Test & Post-Test Measures consisting of standardized questions about participant’s well-being, as well as their academic and civic development
    • CES-D: Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression
    • Satisfaction with Life
    • AUDIT: Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test

Qualitative Data

  • Will use critical reflections-experimental group only
  • Will offer insight into any changes we see in the experimental group as a result of the service-learning
sample
Experimental

Total student=80/176

Consented=68/153

Completed=63/132 (lost 5 btw pre & post)

Final sample=63

Control

Total students=96/176

Consented=85/153

Completed=69/132 (lost 16 btw pre & post)

Final Sample=69

Sample
sample demographics
Experimental Group

Race

W=30

NW=33

Sex*

M=17

F=46

Average Age=18.5

Average H.S. GPA=3.12

Average SAT=1408

Living Arrangements*

Campus=41

Off-Campus=21

Missing=1

Note 2/3 of this group did not meet MSU admission standards.

Control Group

Race

W=42

NW=27

Sex*

M=27

F=42

Average Age=18.5

Average H.S. GPA=3.04

Average SAT=1482

Living Arrangements*

Campus=26

Off-Campus=42

Missing=1

Sample Demographics
caveats regarding analyses
Caveats Regarding Analyses
  • Received post-test data right before winter break
    • These are “preliminary analyses.” We plan to add more data and proceed much more slowly before drawing any firm conclusions.
    • Concentrated on Well-being and Civic Development measures (not Academic development).
student well being
Student Well-being
  • CES-D
  • Life Satisfaction Survey
  • AUDIT
does service learning impact the level of depression of students
Does service-learning impact thelevel of depression of students?
  • No, it does not appear to
  • CES-D
    • Step-wise regression equation
      • Step 1: Regressed CES-D post-test on control variables (Sex, living arrangements, CES-D pre-test): R2=.40, p=.000; only CES-D pretest was significant (ß=.62, p=.000).
      • Step 2: Entered group type (experimental vs control): ΔR2=.01, n.s.
  • Service-learning during the semester did not appear to make a difference in the level of depression of the students surveyed.
does service learning impact the life satisfaction of students
Does service-learning impact thelife satisfaction of students?
  • No, it did not appear to
  • Life Satisfaction
    • Step-wise regression equation
      • Step 1: Regressed Life Satisfaction post-test on control variables (sex, living arrangements, Life Satisfaction pre-test): R2=.41, p=.000; only Life Satisfaction pretest was significant (ß=.64, p=.000).
      • Step 2: Entered group type (experimental vs control): ΔR2=.00, n.s.
  • Service-learning during the semester did not appear to make a difference in the life satisfaction of the students surveyed.
does service learning impact the drinking habits of students
Does service-learning impact thedrinking habits of students?
  • Yes, to a small extent
  • AUDIT
    • Step-wise regression equation
      • Step 1: Regressed AUDIT post-test on control variables (Sex, ethnicity, living arrangements, AUDIT pre-test): R2=.75, p=.000; only AUDIT pretest was significant (ß=.86, p=.000).
      • Step 2: Entered group type (experimental vs control): ΔR2=.01, p=.01, ß=.111, p=.01).
    • Service learning during the semester did appear to make a difference in the drinking habits of the students surveyed. Drinking among students engaged in service learning slightly increased over the course of the semester.
student civic development
Student Civic Development
  • Created 3 sets of scales (from survey, using principle components analysis)
  • Behavior:
    • General volunteering
    • Child-centered volunteering
    • Health Education volunteering
    • Engaged in discussion
    • Religious-based volunteering
    • Vulnerable population volunteering
  • Attitudes:
    • General positive/negative
    • “Blame the Victim”
  • Perceived Importance:
    • Social justice
    • Socio-economic
    • Education
does service learning impact student civic behavior
Does service-learning impact student civic behavior?
  • Yes.
  • 6 behavior variables: General, Child-centered, Health Ed., Discussion, Religious-based, Vulnerable populations.
  • 6 separate stepwise regression equations
    • Step 1: Regressed post-test behavior variables on control variables (Sex, living arrangements, and pre-test scores).
    • Step 2: Entered group type (experimental vs control)
does service learning impact student civic behavior continued
Does service-learning impact student civic behavior? (continued)
  • General volunteering*
    • Step 1: R2=.62, p=.000; only pretest was significant, ß=.76, p=.000
    • Step 2: ΔR2=.17, p=.000; ß=.44, p=.000
  • Child-centered volunteering*
    • Step 1: R2=.21, p=.000; only pretest was significant, ß=.41, p=.000
    • Step 2: ΔR2=.25, p=.000; ß=.51, p=.000
  • Health Education volunteering*
    • Step 1: R2=.15, p=.000; living arrangement and pretest were significant, ßs=.18, p=.03 and .37, p=.000
    • Step 2: ΔR2=.12, p=.000; ß=.35, p=.000
  • Engaged in discussion
    • Step 1: R2=.44, p=.000; only pretest was significant, ß=.65, p=.000
    • Step 2: ΔR2=n.s.
  • Religious-based volunteering
    • Step 1: R2=.44, p=.000; only pretest was significant, ß=.67, p=.000
    • Step 2: ΔR2=n.s.
  • Vulnerable population volunteering
    • Step 1: R2=.32, p=.000; only pretest was significant, ß=.57, p=.000
    • Step 2: ΔR2=n.s.
does service learning impact the student attitudes toward civic issues
Does service-learning impact the student attitudes toward civic issues?
  • No, it does not appear to
  • 2 attitude variables: General positive/negative and “Blame the Victim.”
  • 2 separate stepwise regression equations
    • Step 1: Regressed post-test attitude variables on control variables (Sex, Ethnicity, living arrangements, and pre-test scores).
    • Step 2: Entered group type (experimental vs. control)
  • Neither of the 2 regressions were significant.
does service learning impact the perceived importance of civic issues
Does service-learning impact the perceived importance of civic issues?
  • No, it does not appear to
  • 3 importance variables: Social justice, Education, and Socio-Economic.
  • 3 separate stepwise regression equations
    • Step 1: Regressed post-test importance variables on control variables (Sex, Ethnicity, living arrangements, and pre-test scores).
    • Step 2: Entered group type (experimental vs control)
  • None of the 3 regressions were significant.
discussion
Discussion
  • In our students, we saw clear changes in behaviors:
    • Well-being: Slight increase in drinking (AUDIT).
    • Civic Development: Increase in volunteering behaviors including general, child-centered, and health education.
  • In our students, we did not see changes in “psychic” measures:
    • Well-being: No changes in Depression (CES-D) or Life Satisfaction.
    • Civic Development: No changes in attitudes or perceived importance.
discussion continued
Discussion (continued)
  • Data “makes sense.”
  • Leads us to additional questions:
    • Will the behavior changes continue/evolve/progress/increase over time?
    • Will behavior changes lead to attitudinal changes?
learnings
Learnings
  • Inclusion of the IRB in all phases of project development greatly improved research design and facilitated IRB approval.
  • Providing invited faculty members with sufficient information regarding the study and how it would benefit both the institution and the students facilitated recruitment of students.
  • Data was collected during class time, contributing to our high response rate. We had the biggest loss of students (6 students refused) in the one class where we collected data after class time.
  • A total incentivization of $20 ($10 for pre & $10 for post) greatly increased participation.
  • Multiple reminders of the date on which the post-test would be distributed (flyers, class visits, emails) decreased attrition.
  • We were surprised, and a bit disappointed, to learn students were not as interested as we expected in self-scoring the AUDIT, CES-D, and Satisfaction with Life measures.
for more information
For More Information
  • Contact:
    • Dana Natale
      • nataled@mail.montclair.edu
    • Courtney Hopkins
      • hopkinsc1@mail.montclair.edu
    • Valerie Sessa
      • sessav@mail.montclair.edu