Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Survey says

From an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Only about 11 percent of full-time students say they spend more than 25 hours per week preparing for their classes—the amount of time that faculty members say is necessary to succeed in college. Forty-four percent spend 10 hours or less studying.

Yet students’ grades do not suggest that they are unprepared for their academic work: About 40 percent of students say they earn mostly A’s, with 41 percent reporting that they earn mostly B’s.

Those are among the major findings of the latest National Survey of Student Engagement, a summary of which is being released today. In its fifth year, the survey covered 163,000 freshmen and seniors at 472 four-year colleges and universities.

Some of the survey's findings . . . suggest that many students are not taking full advantage of their academic opportunities. Two-fifths of freshmen and a quarter of seniors said that they never discussed ideas from their classes or readings with a faculty member outside of class.

The survey also found that:

About 90 percent of students rated their college experience as “good” or “excellent.”

Approximately 60 percent of seniors and 37 percent of freshmen did volunteer work.

Only 10 percent of students said that newspapers or magazines were their primary source for local and national news, while more than half said they relied on television for such information.

More than 25 percent of students said they had not attended an art exhibit or play during the current academic year.

Twenty percent of students spent no time exercising.

Among the new items in this year's survey was an assessment of “deep learning”: the extent to which students engage in self-reflection, the integration of knowledge and different skills, and activities that require higher levels of mental activity than rote memorization. Students who scored higher on this scale spent more time preparing for class, working on campus, and participating in co-curricular activities than students with lower scores.

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