American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/education Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2013, 1(7), 230-239
DOI: 10.12691/education-1-7-3
Open AccessArticle

Nurturing Graduate Attributes through a First Year Student Experience Which Promotes the Formation of Effective Learning Communities

Doris Y.P. Leung1, and David Kember2

1The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong

2Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania, Newnham Campus, Tasmania, Australia

Pub. Date: August 05, 2013

Cite this paper:
Doris Y.P. Leung and David Kember. Nurturing Graduate Attributes through a First Year Student Experience Which Promotes the Formation of Effective Learning Communities. American Journal of Educational Research. 2013; 1(7):230-239. doi: 10.12691/education-1-7-3

Abstract

Many students enter university with naïve epistemological beliefs and study approaches incompatible with the goals of higher education or the display of attributes such as critical or creative thinking. This study examines whether a first year experience can promote the formation of effective learning communities, which in turn can provide a mechanism for nurturing a range of graduate attributes. The curriculum encompasses initiatives to assimilate students into the university, prompts the adaptation of appropriate university study behaviour, and contains a general education component to broaden the student experience. The impact of the first year experience was examined by collecting quantitative data which measured students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of assimilation, adaptation of study behaviour, the impact of the broadening component, and the nurturing of attributes. The data were analysed with structural equation modelling. A model in which the curriculum elements impacted on the development of graduate attributes showed a good fit to the data. Effective learning communities played a key role both in assimilation into the university community and the adoption of appropriate study behaviours.

Keywords:
first year experience learning communitie graduate attributes study behaviours general education structural equation modeling

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