Docstoc

First Year Seminar for International Students

Document Sample
First Year Seminar for International Students Powered By Docstoc
					A First-Year Seminar for
International Students
Maureen Andrade
BYU-Hawaii
Overview
   The Institution – BYU Hawaii
   International Students in the U.S.
       Quick Facts
       Adjustment: Language, Education System, Social, Financial
   Course Development
       Needs Analysis
       Curriculum Development
   Course Assessment
       Small Group Instructional Diagnosis
       Course Evaluations
       Student & Faculty Surveys
   Conclusions & Implications
The Institution – BYU Hawaii
   Private, religiously-affiliated, 4-year
   2,400 students, 45% international
   Asia, South Pacific
   Admitted with a 475 TOEFL
   Tested to determine need for further English
    language support (credit-bearing courses in
    EIL program)
International Students in the U.S.
Quick Facts
   580,000 in 2001-2002
   4% of the total enrollment; 13.7% graduate student
    enrollment
   56% Asian
   Primarily concentrated in metropolitan areas
   Research I, Master’s I, Community Colleges
   6 year graduation rates – nonresident aliens 56.7%
    compared to 56% all students (NCAA)
   One-year retention rate – nonresident aliens 76%
    (CSRDE) compared to 72% all students (ACT)
International Students in the U.S.
Adjustment: Language Skills
   Excellent English skills by standards of home countries
   TOEFL scores do not guarantee sufficient competency
   Sensitivity to language ability hinders class participation,
    social interaction
   Vocabulary challenging; native-speaker discourse
   Difficulties understanding lectures & reading materials,
    completing writing assignments, taking tests
   Expressing opinions, asking questions
   More time needed to complete assignments and tests
International Students in the U.S.
Adjustment: Educational System
     Often best educated in home countries
     Accustomed to passive learning (i.e. lectures)
     Don’t engage in academic discourse; receive truth from,
      agree with & respect professor
     American classrooms informal; freedom of expression
      discourteous
     Unfamiliar classroom customs – attendance, frequent
      testing & assignments, grading, self-directed learning,
      academic honesty
     Collectivist or individualist cultures – discomfort with
      group work or independent work
International Students in the U.S.
Adjustment: Social
     Minority in a majority culture
     Social isolation (communal living, extended
      families)
     Less social support than American students
     More lonely & homesick than American students
     Focus on studies & exclude social life
     Difficulties communicating in English
     Views of friendship differ
International Students in the U.S.
Adjustment: Financial
   Fewer sources of financial support
   Little or no access to welfare, loans,
    scholarships
   Must be enrolled full-time
   Pay out-of-state tuition
   Financial support from home may be unstable
   Pressure to graduate as soon as possible
Course Development
Needs Analysis: Process
   Self-study of the EIL program
   Participants included EIL faculty, other
    faculty, administrators, support service staff,
    students
   Weekly meetings, focus groups, surveys,
    retreat over one-year period
   Data compiled & analyzed by a 6-member
    curriculum committee
Course Development
Needs Analysis: Findings
   Address student transition
   Current orientation not meeting needs of
    international students
   Information provided in EIL program varied & was
    inconsistently provided
   Semester-long course; 2 credits
       Specific needs
       Appropriate level of language
       More time to interact with materials
Course Development
Needs Analysis: Themes
   Policies & procedures of the EIL program
   Policies & procedures of the University
   Campus resources, time management,
    computer & study skills
   American university classroom culture
   American culture; appreciation for diversity
   Knowledge of regional history & culture
Course Development
Needs Analysis: EIL
   EIL course requirement
   Curriculum
   Advancement & completion
   Length of time to complete
   Credit
   Policies – absence & complaint
Course Development
Needs Analysis: University
   Graduation requirements
       General education
       Major & minor
       Electives
   Credit hours
   Grading system
       Letter grades
       Grade point average
       Academic standing
   Academic advising
       Registration (online)
       Major academic plan
Course Development
Needs Analysis: Campus Resources
   Academic Support
       Labs & Tutoring – reading, writing, listening, speaking, math, computer
       Computer, study, time management skills
       Library
   Physical Well-Being
       Recreation centers
       Health Center
       Security
   Student Development
       International Student Services
       Career Services
       Counseling
   Social Interaction
       Student Association
       Religious Activities
Course Development
Needs Analysis: Education System
   Active learning
   Assignments
   Course syllabus
   Academic honesty
   Attendance, punctuality
   Levels of formality
Course Development
Needs Analysis: Culture
   Friendship
   Dating
   Appropriate questions
   Gestures / Body language
   Stages of cultural adjustment
   Cultural values
Course Development
Needs Analysis: Hawaii/Community
   History
   Language
   Customs
   Places of significance
   Using the bus
   Getting a driver’s license
Course Development
Curriculum: Materials
   Reviewed available texts & materials
   University catalog & website
   Rotation system to develop materials
       Four instructors divided up objectives
       Created materials & taught to four different
        sections
       Revised & refined
Course Development
Curriculum: Activities
   Pair & group work
   Surveys, interviews, observations
   Presentations
   Guests
   Orientations to support services
   Learner journal – emphasize English skills
   E-mail, internet sites
Course Assessment
Small Group Instructional Diagnosis
   Facilitator visits class mid-semester
   What do you like about the class, what needs
    improvement, what suggestions do you have
    for bringing about the improvement?
   Group discussion followed by whole class
   Ideas recorded & given to instructor
   Instructor follows up with class & facilitator
Course Assessment
SGID: Findings
   Too easy
       Learner journal assignment introduced
       Focus on language
       Helped teachers identify what needed to be
        reviewed
       Attendance important
   Students liked rotation
       Good for course development
       Logistic problems with more sections
Course Assessment
Course Evaluations
   Objectives, organization, homework, content,
    texts & materials, exams, grading, knowledge
    or skills
   7 point scale (strongly disagree to very
    strongly agree)
   340 students over 5 year period
   Average for all questions 5.6
Course Assessment
Student Surveys
   60 students; 93% response rate; administered in class
   Questions
       What do you like about the course?
       What types of information were most valuable to you as a
        new student?
       Is there anything missing from the course that you would
        like to see included?
       What suggestions do you have for improvement of the
        course?
       Do you feel the course will have a positive effect on you
        as a student at the university?
What do you like about the course?
                5%

        15%          25%    University Life

                            Involvement /
                            Course Activities
                            General

                            Culture
  16%
                            Regional Culture

                      20%   English Skills

              19%
What types of information were most
valuable to you as a new student?

                 4% 3%
            7%                 University Life

                               Regional
                               Culture
     12%                       Culture
                         45%
                               EIL Program

                               Academic
                               Skills
      13%                      Other

                               General

                  16%
Anything missing from the course that
you would like to see included?
                      1%
              5% 1%
         7%
                                 Nothing Missing

    7%                           Culture

                                 University Life

                                 Field Trips

   15%                           English / Academic
                           64%   Skills
                                 Regional Culture

                                 Other
What suggestions do you have for
improving the course?
                 5%   3%
           5%
                                 No suggestions
      8%                         Course Content /
                                 Activities
                           42%   Field Trip

                                 Class Logistics
    10%
                                 Instructor

                                 Culture

                                 English Skills

                27%
Do you feel the course will have a
positive effect on you as a student?
                  6%
             8%                University Life
                         28%
                               Culture

     14%                       General

                               Regional Culture

                               English / Academic
                               Skills
                               Suggestions
           20%
                       24%
Course Assessment
Faculty Survey
   Do you focus on some objectives more than others?
    If so, which ones and why?
   Briefly describe some of your most successful
    activities & lessons.
   Summarize information from learner journals about
    student reactions to the course.
   Do you see the course as valuable to international
    students? Why or why not?
   What percentage of time, if any, do you spend
    focusing on language skills?
Do you focus on some of the
objectives more than others?
   Not really
   EIL program
   University policies & resources
   Varied some depending on student needs &
    interests
       Submitting late assignments, coming unprepared
        – time management, expectations
Briefly describe some of your most
successful activities or lessons.
   Question period – first five minutes of class
   Puzzle of U. S. – diversity & size
   Library tour
   Media lab
   Bank representative
   Dating panel
   Group presentations
Summarize information from learner
journals about student reactions.
   Similar to survey responses
   Overall, students satisfied
   “I expected most of the course material to be
    taken as officious and superfluous, but none
    of it was so taken. Perhaps my sparkling
    presentations made everything interesting, or
    perhaps students are simply hungry for good,
    accurate, reliable info - presented in a form
    that is simple and easy to take.”
Do you see the course as valuable to
international students?
   “As a former international student, I teach
    things that I wish someone had told me
    before. Students understand that and they are
    appreciative of what I teach in this class.”
   “As I see it, [name of course] is a useful
    venue for students to relax a bit and talk about
    real, new-student issues with a semi-
    authoritative information source.”
How does the course need
improvement?
   Standardized & updated materials
   Class excursions
What percentage of time do you spend
focusing on language skills?
   Language not taught explicitly but learned
    through course activities
       Reading skills
       Presentations
       Summaries
       New vocabulary
       Class participation
       Listening to lectures & presentations
Conclusions & Implications
   Initiative is successful in aiding transition
   More thorough treatment of orientation materials; appropriate
    to audience
   Involvement behaviors identified
   Limitations:
       Data self-reported but students not self-selected
       No control group; actual adjustment not measured
       No measures of academic achievement or persistence
   Objective is adjustment, not persistence
   Further research:
       Determine if benefits long-lasting (involvement, active learning)
       Investigate ways to provide further support after first semester

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:5
posted:7/8/2012
language:
pages:36