Presentation on theme: "FRESHMEN : FRESH MEAT? JENNIFER BEATTIE, FRESHMAN SEMINAR COORDINATOR."— Presentation transcript:
FRESHMEN : FRESH MEAT? JENNIFER BEATTIE, FRESHMAN SEMINAR COORDINATOR
FRESHMEN: WHAT YOU KNOW How would you describe your first- year students? What has the greatest impact on their success?
FRESHMEN: WHAT WE KNOW Today’s first-year students are… Increasingly diverse (demographic characteristics). More transient—moving from institution to institution, but often not “through” any institution. At many levels of academic preparation or readiness. Expectations don’t match ours Study time, esp!!
TO SUCCEED OR NOT TO SUCCEED Profound changes Inability to adapt = withdrawal Best predictors for success/persistence Student input variables vs. Institutional variable vs. Environmental variables
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION TECHNIQUES Small Group Discussion Opportunities: participate actively Encourage deep processing of information and ideas Small groups, constant membership Assign at beginning of course, sit together during classes, may meet outside of class Assign a variety of support tasks Minimize isolation and anonymity TCTC = Success Teams w/ Contracts
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION TECHNIQUES Study Groups Encourage and even help form Suggest what groups should do Design homework with study groups in mind Meet with study groups during office hours
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION TECHNIQUES Project Groups Complete one or more outside-of-class projects Most work done out of class, periodic meetings in class to monitor Recommendations: 1.Carefully explain rationale for project groups 2.Describe how student work will be evaluated 3.Outline responsibilities of individuals to their groups 4.Alert students to potential problems and ask groups to define ground rules for themselves 5.Provide strategies for groups to deal with uncooperative members, and 6.Periodically invite students to evaluate the effectiveness of their own and others’ contributions to the group
WRITING-TO-LEARN ACTIVITIES Different than traditional writing assignments: Write to and for themselves To collect thoughts and get them on paper for examination and revision Short: a few sentences, maybe a paragraph or two Not graded
OTHER INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNIQUES Variety is the Spice of Life! learning styles—expand repertoire of instructional techniques Effective instruction = both concrete and abstract MBTI research shows 2/3 to ¾ of population prefer inductive approaches that move from concrete to abstract Most college instruction—abstract Need different approaches Case Studies/scenarios/problem- based learning provide grounding in a human context
CASE STUDIES AND SCENARIOS Case studies tell stories Scenarios present situations characters, and actions Tensions and conflicts Problems and question Promote empathy w/ central characters Raise questions students care about, have no clear-cut answers Start w/ shorter, focused case studies scenarios for freshmen! There are websites for help in different disciplines!