Search results

1 – 2 of 2
Open Access
Article
Publication date: 28 January 2019

Bothaina A. Al-Sheeb, A.M. Hamouda and Galal M. Abdella

The retention and success of engineering undergraduates are increasing concern for higher-education institutions. The study of success determinants are initial steps in…

Downloads
3401

Abstract

Purpose

The retention and success of engineering undergraduates are increasing concern for higher-education institutions. The study of success determinants are initial steps in any remedial initiative targeted to enhance student success and prevent any immature withdrawals. This study provides a comprehensive approach toward the prediction of student academic performance through the lens of the knowledge, attitudes and behavioral skills (KAB) model. The purpose of this paper is to aim to improve the modeling accuracy of students’ performance by introducing two methodologies based on variable selection and dimensionality reduction.

Design/methodology/approach

The performance of the proposed methodologies was evaluated using a real data set of ten critical-to-success factors on both attitude and skill-related behaviors of 320 first-year students. The study used two models. In the first model, exploratory factor analysis is used. The second model uses regression model selection. Ridge regression is used as a second step in each model. The efficiency of each model is discussed in the Results section of this paper.

Findings

The two methods were powerful in providing small mean-squared errors and hence, in improving the prediction of student performance. The results show that the quality of both methods is sensitive to the size of the reduced model and to the magnitude of the penalization parameter.

Research limitations/implications

First, the survey could have been conducted in two parts; students needed more time than expected to complete it. Second, if the study is to be carried out for second-year students, grades of general engineering courses can be included in the model for better estimation of students’ grade point averages. Third, the study only applies to first-year and second-year students because factors covered are those that are essential for students’ survival through the first few years of study.

Practical implications

The study proposes that vulnerable students could be identified as early as possible in the academic year. These students could be encouraged to engage more in their learning process. Carrying out such measurement at the beginning of the college year can provide professional and college administration with valuable insight on students perception of their own skills and attitudes toward engineering.

Originality/value

This study employs the KAB model as a comprehensive approach to the study of success predictors. The implementation of two new methodologies to improve the prediction accuracy of student success.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Bothaina A. Al-Sheeb, Mahmoud Samir Abdulwahed and Abdel Magid Hamouda

This study intends to add to the existing body of literature on the impact of a newly implemented first year seminar in the College of Law and Business. The purpose of…

Downloads
7339

Abstract

Purpose

This study intends to add to the existing body of literature on the impact of a newly implemented first year seminar in the College of Law and Business. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effects the course have on students in regard to three aspects: student awareness and utilization of resources, interaction patterns, as well as, general interests and attitudes toward higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology of the assessment included analysis of a survey that has been conducted by the end of Spring 2014 semester. A quasi-experimental design was implemented to measure the impact of the intervention on students’ awareness and utilization of resources, interactions, general interests, and attitudes toward higher education. Through the SPSS application, the Mann Whitney U Test, and χ2 tests were used to check for significant differences while comparing the means or frequencies for both groups. For the three questions, the authors have used the 90 percent confidence level and the standard significance level p-value of 0.05 or less for statistical analysis.

Findings

The results indicated that the course had a highly significant positive impact on student attitudes and awareness of campus resources but had less significant impact on student interactions and utilization of resources. The results in this study reveal a positive impact for the first-year seminar course on student satisfaction and attitudes toward higher education as well as their awareness of campus resources. However, in terms of the course impact on student interaction, results conveyed that students who have participated in the first-year seminar course show a slightly better interaction rate with instructors, academic advisors, and close friends than those in the control group.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of this study was that the sample was small. Nonetheless, it has provided valuable insights into the understanding of the social and academic impact of first-year seminars on student engagement; through the use of comparison groups, this study increased the validity of prior research.

Practical implications

The first-year seminar course evaluated in this study demonstrated the potential to support and enhance student social and academic engagement during the first year of college. Based on the results in this study, the study team recommended some revisions to the current first-year seminar model (UNIV P100 Skills for University Success). The team proposed three models for subsequent first-year seminars at this university.

Originality/value

This study adds to the existing literature by examining the impact of a newly implemented first-year seminar course at the College of Law and Business at this university on both academic and non-academic aspects from the students’ perspective. These aspects were selected as retention and GPA effects have been widely explored; therefore, the focus is on the less studied emotional and social factors associated with student success and retention. The results from this study can act as a guide for universities intending to introduce a first-year seminar course as it gives clear guidelines on design, content, and course implementation, which can be useful in enhancing general student motivation and attitudes toward academic study and higher education in general.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

1 – 2 of 2