Research Annotations

Records: 239

A Conceptual Model of Nontraditional Undergraduate Student Attrition

John P. Bean     Barbara S. Metzner    

APA Citation

Bean, J. P., & Metzner, B. S. (1985). A conceptual model of nontraditional undergraduate student attrition. Review of educational Research, 55(4), 485-540.

Annotation

This paper reviewed and significantly expanded on the work of Tinto (1975) and others to make it more applicable to distance learners in higher education. Specifically, Bean and Metzner identified four sets of variables influencing a student’s decision to persist: personal background variables, academic variables, environmental variables, and social integration variables. Background variables include various demographic variables, high school performance, and the student’s educational goals. . . . Academic variables include the student’s study habits, the availability of academic advising, course availability, etc. Environmental variables include the student’s financial situation, employment status, family responsibilities, outside encouragement, and others. Unlike previous literature, social integration variables Bean and Metzner deemphasized the importance of social integration for distance learners, noting several studies indicating that distance learners were less interested in social integration and that increased social integration was not convincingly correlated with increased persistence.
This paper was the first to tune models of persistence in higher education to the unique experience of distance learners and other non-traditional students, by acknowledging the importance of environmental variables in influencing the decision to persist. This paper also defined many of its variables much more explicitly than previous papers, allowing for more explicit testing of the hypothesis. This paper continues to be very influential in persistence literature up to the present day (Rovai, 2003, Park and Choi, 2009).

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Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods: The search for meanings

Taylor Steven     R. Bogdan    

APA Citation

Steven, T., & Bogdan, R. (1984). Introduction to qualitative research methods: the search for meanings.

Annotation

Not available

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Measuring the Quality of College Student Experiences: An account of the development and use of the college student experiences questionnaire

Robert Pace    

APA Citation

Pace, C. R. (1984). Measuring the Quality of College Student Experiences. An Account of the Development and Use of the College Student Experiences Questionnaire.

Annotation

Students believed that they made the most progress in intellectual competencies and self-understanding.
Study focused on the quality of effort as a predictor of students' progress toward the attainment of important educational goals.
All of the activities are voluntary.
If you to go college and make the effort to use the facilities and opportunities it provides you can get a very good education.

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Social Psychological Aspects of Computer-Mediated Communication

Sara Kiesler     Jane Siegel     Timothy McGuire    

APA Citation

Kiesler, S., Siegel, J., & McGuire, T. W. (1984). Social psychological aspects of computer mediated communication. American Psychologist, 39, 1123-1134.

Annotation

Many of the findings of this article should be taken with a grain of salt given the different CMC contexts between 1984 and 2012. Essentially, the authors intended to bridge the gap in literature at the time concerning social psychological traits of CMC. They suggest that “computer-mediated communication differs in many ways, both technically and culturally, from more traditional communication technologies. Technically, it has the speed (including simultaneity, if desired) and energy efficiency, . . . but not the aural or visual feedback of telephoning and face-to-face communication. It has the adaptability of written text” (p. 1125). Results indicate that CMC affected communication efficiency, participation, interpersonal behavior, and decision making. In addition to adding time through the use of the keyboard, CMC groups “took longer to reach consensus than did face-to-face groups, and they exchanged fewer remarks in the time allowed them” (p. 1128). Interpersonal participation results suggest that one person tends to dominate discussion in both face-to-face and online discussions but the effect is not as large in CMC groups. The authors suggest, however, that “lack of leadership could have caused difficulties in reaching a group decision efficiently” for “without leadership, a group might ignore social norms, standards and precedents” (p. 1130). Additionally, CMC group participants were less likely to watch their language, as the authors noted more instances of “uninhibited verbal behavior” (p. 1129). This problem, they suggest is due to an absence of “computer etiquette” (p. 1131). Again, many of the issues detailed by this piece have been addressed more thoroughly in more contemporary studies but it does offer an insight into early use of CMC in organizations.

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Student Involvement: A developmental theory for higher education

Alexander Astin    

APA Citation

Astin, A. (1984). Student involvement: a developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25, 297-308.

Annotation

The NSSE definition aligns with Astin’s classic definition of student involvement: “the amount of physical and psychological energy that the student devotes to the academic experience” (1984, p.297?) Therefore, the greater the student involvement, the greater the amount of learning. Astin contents that students’ mental and physical time and energy is finite and that all academic decisions must be based off of this, both pedagogical and administrative. This time and energy is viewed as an . . . institutional resource and we must therefore move our attention away from content and technique towards motivation and student behavior.

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Measuring the Quality of Student Effort

C. R. Pace    

APA Citation

Pace, C. R. Measuring the quality of student effort. Current issues in higher education, 10-16.

Annotation

Noting that accountability for student success is a joint effort between students and the institution, this study looks at how students interact with facilities and academic resources in order to achieve. Using a 14-point scale that measures usage/engage with resources from the library and the classroom to residence halls and the student union, the researchers find that increased engagement correlates with increased academic progress. Likewise, they find that race and background characteristics . . . do not matter as much as effort spent studying or other agency-minded activities.

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Measuring Outcomes of College: Fifty years of findings and recommendations for the future

C. B. Pace    

APA Citation

Pace, C. R. (1979). Measuring outcomes of college: Fifty years of findings and recommendations for the future. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Annotation

This reader outlines a number of higher education studies, surveys, and findings from the early and mid-1900s. Organized in three sections, the first part looks at achievements during college (focusing on undergraduates) with the second part giving a review of alumni achievements. The former includes findings from state-wide (The Pennsylvania Study) and national surveys (GRE results, general education, CLEP). Alumni surveys include institutional, state, and national findings. Further, survey . . . results from liberal arts colleges are utilized. The section ends by comparing all studies noted as well as alumni surveys on their future. The last section gives a brief overview of institutions, with one chapter focused on self-studies and another chapter on comparing cross-institutional and inter- institutional studies.

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The Social Psychology of Telecommunications

J. Short     E. Williams     B. Christie    

APA Citation

Short, J., Williams, E., & Christie, B. (1976). The social psychology of telecommunications. London: John Wiley & Sons.

Annotation

This 1976 book explores telecommunitions in 10 chapters. The first chapter looks at issues and impacts of telecommunition, including how technologies impact communication, economic influences, energy and environmental impacts, and social organization and relationships.
The book continues by examining telecommunication impact models and a classification of communication episodes. It also looks at theoretical approaches to varying medias as well as conflicts within them. The book concludes by . . . discussing decisions to telecommunicate and the implications of the field.

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Dropout from Higher Education: A theoretical synthesis of recent research

Vincent Tinto    

APA Citation

Tinto, V. (1975). Dropout from higher education: A theoretical synthesis of recent research. Review of educational research, 45(1), 89-125.

Annotation

This paper is one of the first systematic attempts to explain student persistence in higher education. Drawing on theories of suicide and cost-benefit analysis, Tinto’s theory explains persistence as a function of the student’s perceived benefit in continuing to pursue their academic goals as well as the student’s commitment to the social life of the institution. These commitments are influenced by the student’s level of integration into the academic and social life of the institution as well as . . . upon the student’s family background and other individual attributes.
While these ideas remain influential in the persistence literature, they are seen to overlook several important factors influencing non-traditional and distance learners. Most importantly, Tinto does not focus on external issues affecting a student’s life during their course of studies such as outside family or work commitments. This theory was further developed by Bean and Metzner (1985), Rovai (2002), and Park and Choi (2009).

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