First-Year Experience Courses

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First-Year Experience Courses

EYE, HON, RSP

Survey Results of Fall 2011 Semester

Data Compiled by:

Office of Academic Assessment

University of Southern Maine

February 2012

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Introduction

The freshmen students who enrolled in one of the EYE courses (N=740), or the HON 101 course (N=50), or those enrolled in the RSP 103 course (N=46) during the fall 2011 were asked to complete an online survey at the end of the semester (as part of the general education assessment). The items on the online assessment survey were developed by a group of faculty who currently teach the EYE courses. More specifically, the questions asked students about their experiences in their first-year experience course and about their perspectives on the importance of college in their life. The survey was intended to be brief and included nine (9) likert-type items and five (5) open-ended questions. Students were emailed the survey during the last week of classes and given three weeks to provide their feedback about their course. To encourage students to respond, it was made clear to students that all individual responses were

anonymous, and that the information was being used for course improvement.

This report consists of a summary of the student survey responses (N=226), in addition to a quick

overview of some of the SIR-II course evaluation responses (N=486). Due to many similar responses on the open-ended questions, the responses were organized around themes mentioned by students.

Fall 2011 Cohort: First-Year Experience Course Enrollments and Student Responses

EYE Courses No. Enrolled No. Survey Responses

EYE 102: Sustainability, Culture, and the Environment 23 13

EYE 103: Shopping, Consumerism in America 24 8

EYE 105: Life is a Matrix 23 12

EYE 107: HIV-AIDS 50 16

EYE 109: Gender, Representation, Resistance 47 13

EYE 112: Built Environment 125 24

EYE 113: Pleasure of Eating/Animals 23 8

EYE 116: Nature/Nurture 96 27

EYE 117: Thoreau: Nature, Society and Self 25 5

EYE 118: Musician’s Health 46 21

EYE 125: Getting Down to Business 82 10

EYE 128: Getting Down to Business Lab 79 5

EYE 126: What is Race 22 7

EYE 127: Friendship 52 14

EYE 180: Create Innovation Engineering 23 5

HON 101: Myth, Monsters and Metamorphoses 15 4

HON 101: Power, Corruption and Founding 14 3

HON 101: Violence, Wisdom and Dialogue 12 5

HON 101: Language of Spiritual Text 9 2

RSP 103: Culture, Community, Environment 46 24

Total = 836 Students Total Responses=226

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Survey Questions and Responses of First-Year Students (Fall 2011)

*How often did you seek help in your EYE, HON, or RSP course this semester?

Very Often/Often Sometimes Rarely/Never

a.

Sought help from other students

32%

26%

42%

b.

Sought help from my professor

18%

22%

61%

c.

Sought help from my advisor

9%

10%

81%

d.

Sought help from my teaching asst

8%

9%

84%

e.

Sought help from a tutor/learning ctr

6%

4%

91%

*In relation to your EYE, HON, or RSP course, how well did you do the following things

during this semester?

Very Well/Well Sometimes Poor/Not Well

a.

Completed all the assignments

77%

17%

6%

b.

Paid attention/participated

68%

21%

11%

c.

Attended all classes

66%

26%

8%

d.

Managed my time effectively

66%

26%

3%

e.

Took advantage of any extra help

32%

30%

37%

*How much time did you spend preparing for your classes each week (i.e. doing class

readings, homework, assignments, etc)?

a.

1-5 hours per week

76%

b.

5-10 hours per week

18%

c.

10-20 hours per week

5%

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*What factors affect whether or not, and in what order, you do your assignments for a

course?

Usually True Sometimes True Never True

a.

Most interesting course first

39%

49%

13%

b.

Course of my (desired) major first

34%

47%

19%

c.

Hardest course first

31%

45%

23%

d.

Depends upon my work schedule

22%

32%

46%

This semester, I usually did the work for the following class first:

(number of student responses listed by course)

Accounting/Business Class (1) Philosophy (3)

Art (1) Physics (1)

Biology Class (1) Political Science (2)

Chemistry (1) Psychology (5)

Classics/ Language Class (6) ROTC (1)

Computer Science (5) Russell Scholars (1)

Economics (4) Sociology (3)

Education/ Human Development (2) Theatre Class (1) English/Literature Class (34) EYE Class (15) FRS 180 (1) History (1) Honors (4) Math class (21) Media/Communications (2) Music class (6) Nursing (2)

*From your perspective, which of the following is plagiarism?

Yes No Depends Not Sure

a. Using someone else’s words w/o quoting or citing 92% 3% 4% 2% b. Submitting a copyrighted paper from an online source 88% 3% 3% 7% c. Submitting a non-copyrighted paper from a source 77% 3% 10% 11%

d. Copying an answer on an exam 75% 8% 11% 6%

e. Helping someone else write their paper 13% 44% 40% 3%

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*How true are the following statements for you?

Very/Mostly True Somewhat Rarely/Not True

a. Expect to complete my degree at USM 72% 16% 12%

b. Enjoyed my first semester at USM 71% 14% 15%

c. Learned a lot my first semester at USM 64% 25% 5%

d. Took my EYE, HON, RSP course seriously 62% 15% 22%

e. My EYE, HON, or RSP course was enjoyable 39% 22% 39%

*Which of the following best explain why you are in college?

Very Important Somewhat Not Important a. Improving my chances of getting a good job 92% 5% 4%

b. Planning to go to graduate school 68% 28% 19%

c. Parents want me to go to college 59% 21% 20%

d. Not sure what else to do 25% 13% 62%

*Why did you decide to attend USM and not another university or college?

(check all that apply) a. USM was more affordable than other schools I looked at. 68%

b. USM is close to where my family lives. 62%

c. USM had the degree program that I was interested in. 52% d. After visiting USM, I wanted to attend here. 27% e. USM was not my first choice, but I got accepted here. 24% f. My spouse/family/friends are taking courses here at USM. 24% g. USM has a lot of friendly faculty and staff members. 17%

*What are the most important things in your life right now?

Very Important Somewhat Not Important

a. Increasing my knowledge and skills 93% 6% 1%

b. Completing my college degree 91% 7% 2%

c. Preparing for a career 87% 10% 3%

d. Being with friends and family 83% 13% 4%

e. Meeting new people and trying new things 71% 18% 11%

f. Finding a job 71% 17% 12%

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What components of your EYE, HON, RSP course were most effective in enhancing your understanding of course content and your strategies for being a successful college student? (number of student responses by theme)

• Class/Group discussions (19)

• Slideshows/ movies/demonstrations/visual aids (18)

• Group projects/working with other students (14)

• Instructor/Professor (12)

• Engaging lectures (11)

• Specific assignments (11)

• Time management (9)

• Instructor’s teaching style (5)

• Hands-on activities and Labs (4)

• Projects, Research stuff (3)

• Feedback on assignments/text reading (2)

• Writing and critical thinking skills (2)

• Frequency of readings (2)

• Nothing (18)

What components of your EYE, HON, RSP course were least effective in enhancing your understanding of course content and your strategies for being a successful college student?

(number of student responses by theme)

• Lectures/ Power-Points (20)

• Readings (14)

• Poor course, textbooks, course interest, class length, crowded (13)

• Instructor/Professor style (11)

• Group assignments/discussions/debates (8)

• Confusing content and unclear homework assignments (7)

• Difficult course, too fast at times, too much information (6)

• Lack of student interaction, ineffective class discussions (4)

• Unorganized class (3)

• Quizzes (2)

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What was the most important thing you learned in your EYE, HON, RSP course this semester? (number of student responses by theme)

Answers related to content:

• Staying healthy (7)

• AIDS/HIV (7)

• Alternative energy (6)

• Nature (5)

• Gender roles and Race issues (4)

• Friendship issues (4)

• Business management and labor unions (3)

• Global issues (3)

• Sustainable and Going green (2)

• Hearing protection (2) • Gear ratios (2) • Mental functioning/Intelligence (2) General answers: • Time management (13) • Writing skills (3)

• How to read and analyze articles (2)

• Working on a team (2)

• Resources that are available (2)

• Problem-solving (2)

• Self-expression (2)

Which assignment or experience was most important in teaching you this (listed above)?

(number of student responses by theme)

• Essays and specific writing assignments (23)

• Group activities/final project/experiences (18)

• Research paper (13)

• Reading assignments/homework (12)

• Movies/videos/slide shows (11)

• Class discussions (9)

• In-class/power-point presentations/guest lecturers (8)

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SIR-II Evaluations: Responses from First-Year Experience Students (N=486)

Course Organization/Communication Effective to Very Effective (range 1-5)

% mean

• Instructor’s preparation for course 70% 4.00

• Instructor ‘s clear/understandable presentations 59% 3.64

• Instructor ‘s use of class time 61% 3.75

• Instructor’s enthusiasm for subject 70% 4.11

• Overall evaluation (quality instruction) 50% 3.50

Faculty-Student Interaction

• Instructor ‘s helpfulness to students 60% 3.72

• Instructor’s respect for students 72% 4.10

• Instructor’s concern for student progress 59% 3.79

• Instructor’s willingness to listen to student opinions 68% 4.01

Course Outcomes/Student Effort

More than Most (range 1-5)

% mean

• My learning increased in this course 38% 3.25

• I made progress in achieving course objectives 38% 3.36

• The course actively involved me in what I was learning 42% 3.38

• I studied and put effort into the course 36% 3.32

• I was challenged by this course 40% 3.32

Course Difficulty/Work Load/ Pace Somewhat to Very--Than Other Courses (range 1-5)

% mean

• Course level of difficulty (somewhat to very difficult) 80% 3.28

• Course work load (somewhat to very heavy) 76% 3.15

• Course pace (somewhat to very fast) 85% 3.14

Student Information Section

%

• Gender: 47% -- Female

42% -- Male

• Grade Expected 25% -- A

50% -- B 11% -- C

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