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ERIC Number: ED368269
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Dec-28
Reference Count: N/A
A Longitudinal Study of Freshman Interest Groups at the University of Washington.
Tinto, Vincent; Goodsell, Anne
This paper reports on two studies, one quantitative and the other qualitative, on the effectiveness and influence of Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs) at the University of Washington. A quantitative panel study compared 442 freshmen participating in 21 FIGs with 1818 non-participating freshmen. Findings indicated that the FIG program provided a modest, though non-trivial benefit to participants including higher grade point averages and increased persistence into the second year. Participation in the Writing Link FIGs appeared most beneficial. The qualitative study findings are presented in three sections. The first section emphasizes that much of the influence of the FIGs was in the realm of social relationships among students. The second section describes the predominant view of students that large classes, combined with a lecture style of teaching, tended to discourage classroom participation or attendance. The third section reports that students viewed learning primarily as collecting information, as related to talking, and in relation to grades. FIGs were viewed as ways of networking with peers in gathering information and as a means of learning through personal interaction. Appendices, comprising half the report, provide the survey questionnaires and extensive tables of descriptive data. (Contains 23 references.) (GLR)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, University Park, PA.
Identifiers: Freshman Interest Groups; University of Washington