The influence of classroom baed social integration and active teaching methods on the integration of first year students to persist in higher education
The influence of classroom based socialintegration and active teaching methodson the intentions of first year students to persist in higher education Tomás Dwyer
Literature ContextVolume of literature is staggering (Pascarella andTerenzini, 2005)Multitude of factors that have been linked to studentpersistence (Jones, 2008; Harvey et al., 2006; Astin andOseguera, 2005; Yorke, 1999; Bean and Metzner, 1985).Including in an Irish context (Mooney at al., 2010; Blaneyand Mulkeen, 2008; Kinsella and Roe, 2006; Flanagan andMorgan, 2004; Eivers et al., 2002; Morgan et al., 2001;Flanagan et al., 2000; Healy et al., 1999).Two main perspectives to solving this ‘puzzle’(Braxton, 2000).
Literature Focus1. Tinto’s (2003,1975) integrationist model in which “college students are more likely to withdraw if they are insufficiently integrated” (Christie and Dinham, 1991:412).2. The organisational adaptation approach puts the onus on the HEI adapting to the diversity of students (Thomas, 2002; Kuh and Love, 2000) including through the use of active teaching methodologies (Zepke and Leach, 2005).
Research Question Themes1. Classroom based social integration theme:Will the experiences of social integration with classmatesand teaching staff influence students’ intentions to persist?2. Organisational Adaptation theme:Will the organisational adaptation experiences influencestudents’ intentions to persist?Will the teaching experiences influence students’ intentionsto persist?Will the experience of active teaching methods influencestudents’ intentions to persist?
Mixed-Methods Case Study • Induction questionnaire (n=126)Start-of-year • Staff and student interviews (4 staff and 10 student interviews)Concurrent • Focus groups (5 focus groups) • End of year questionnaire (n=84)End-of -year • Withdrawn student interviews (14 telephone interviews)
Findings (1): Classroom based social integration• Social integration with classmates (rS=.35 )and teaching staff (rS=.53). correlated with educational commitment, a measure of a students intentions to persist.• Lack of social integration with classmates and teaching staff was a ‘reason’ for a number of students to consider leaving college (11% and 13%).• Qualitative data analysis provides additional evidence that social integration with classmates and teaching staff had a motivating impact on students persisting in college.
Findings (2): Organisational Adaptation• The ‘culture of the college’ valuing students needs (rS=.33), satisfaction with the teaching experiences (rS=.56) and active teaching experiences correlated with educational commitment (rS=.27; rS=.29).• Limited organisational adaptation, dissatisfaction with the teaching and limited active teaching experiences were a ‘reason’ for a number of students to consider leaving college (24%; 14% and 20%).• Qualitative data analysis identified efforts the college made in adapting to students’ needs were not a simple solution to the ‘departure puzzle’. However, a failure of the college to adapt to students’ needs was linked to student withdrawal.
Conclusions• Classroom based social integration influences persistence intentions.• Teaching experiences and active teaching experiences were found to be associated with students’ intentions to persist.• Classroom based social integration and active teaching methods provide a reinforcing persistence cycle.
So What? Individual context Classroom context Educational institutional context Societal context Adapted from Yorke and Longden (2004)