ERIC Number: ED209629
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Peer Support Networks in a Large Introductory Psychology Class.
Slotnick, Robert S.; And Others
Networks have emerged as a major topic of interest in the behavioral sciences, and network concepts have recently been extended by community psychologists to higher education. To examine the effectiveness of peer networks within an introductory psychology class, networks of four students each met weekly in place of a lecture to review material and prepare for exams. Participants were encouraged to seek mutual help in addition to classroom meetings. A comparable, traditional class with the same instructor, syllabus and exams served as a control group. The networking class improved in three areas: (1) academic, i.e., quizzes, midterm and final exams; (2) networking, i.e., number of students known by name; and (3) social climate assessment, i.e., students' perceived classroom social climate. Although the networking generally received favorable reviews, end of the semester discussions indicated that some students experienced anxiety in the group interactions, and viewed networking as a failure of teacher responsibility. The findings indicate that future plans should include development of a more structured network experience to reduce stress, and an increase in out-of-classroom meetings. (Author/MCF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: New York Inst. of Tech., Old Westbury.
Identifiers: Networks (Persons)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 24-26, 1981).