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Thursday, November 20, 2014

higher ed study


Quick Takes
• While aggregate results generally reveal that underrepresented
and underprepared students rate the quality of their interactions
with others on campus lower relative to their peers, these groups
evidenced no relative disadvantage at an appreciable subset
of institutions.
• Average levels of students’ experiences with faculty—effective
teaching practices and student-faculty interaction—varied notably
from one institution to the next, even when examined within
selectivity strata.
• When examined at the institutional level, engineering was highest in
collaborative learning overall and showed relatively little variability
among institutions—suggesting that collaborative learning is a widely
adopted pedagogy in engineering education. Considerably greater
variability among institutions in collaborative learning resulted for
business and social service professions, suggesting less influence
of disciplinary norms.
• The number of meetings with an academic advisor was positively
linked with perceptions of a supportive campus environment.
This finding was remarkably consistent across racial/ethnic
groups, indicating that all student groups benefit from the
advising relationship.
• One in three first-year students rarely met with an advisor. The
proportion who rarely sought advice was higher among commuting,
nontraditional-aged, and part-time students—suggesting the need
for special outreach efforts for such students.
• Information literacy instruction varied by institutional type, and these
differences corresponded with students’ information-use behaviors.
• While it was common for institutions to use social media to help
students connect with student groups, organizations, and other
students, institutions less often used social media to provide
students information about educational or career opportunities,
financial aid, or to help students connect with faculty.
• About two in five first-year students and a third of seniors said
social media substantially distracted them from coursework.
• First-year students who earned higher grades than they had
expected were more engaged in learning strategies, reported
greater faculty use of effective teaching practices, and studied more
compared to students who performed below their expectations.
• The more time faculty spent trying to improve their teaching, the
less time they spent lecturing in their courses and the more time
they spent engaging students in discussion, small-group activities,
student presentations or performances, and experiential activities.
• Faculty who spent more time working to improve their teaching
interacted more with students and attached greater value to a
supportive campus environment. They also had significantly higher
learning expectations for their students and more often used
effective teaching practices.

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