ERIC Number: ED418672
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Improving First Year Science Education in a Commuter University. [Working Paper].
Grayson, J. Paul
This study examined the academic and social experiences of first-year science students at "Big U," a large multi-cultural and multi-racial commuter university located in a large Canadian city. A total of 498 incoming science students were surveyed in September, November, and February-March of the first year. Response rates for the surveys were 89 percent, 84 percent, and 68 percent, respectively. Data were also gathered through focus groups and administrative records. The study found that students who were satisfied with the quality of instruction, and students who felt that topics covered in classes were important to future career success, were more likely than others to score high on a number of desired outcome variables, such as increased intellectual development, science knowledge, and the likelihood that students would continue in science in their second year. The results also indicated an increased level of tolerance toward females, gays, and members of minority groups, along with an increased preference for learning on one's own. Overall, experiences in the classroom rather than out-of-class contacts with faculty were particularly important in explanations of desirable outcomes. As a result, it is argued that improvements in curriculum and teaching would have significant positive effects on both students and the institution. (Contains 32 references.) (MDM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Classroom Environment, College Freshmen, Commuter Colleges, Educational Attitudes, Educational Experience, Educational Improvement, Extracurricular Activities, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Minority Groups, Outcomes of Education, Satisfaction, Science Education, Student Attitudes, Teacher Student Relationship
Institute for Social Research, York University, 4700 Keele St., North York, Ontario, M3J 1P3, Canada; phone: 416-736-5061; fax: 416-736-5749 ($12.50).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: York Univ., Toronto (Ontario). Inst. for Social Research.
Identifiers: Canada; York University ON