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Teachers' Perception Of Student Academic Success

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.405.1 - 1.405.10

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Paper Authors

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Ph.D., J.G. Shiber

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H.R. Bogale

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2666

Teachers' Perception of Student Academic Success

Authors: H.R. Bogale(@), P.E. and J.G. Shiber, Ph.D. University of Kentucky - Prestonsburg Community College

Abstract One hundred eighty faculty members from eight (8) community colleges were questioned on their perception of what students believe is important for academic success. The teachers' responses were then compared with those of 975 students in an earlier (1993) survey. One striking difference between the two groups was their perception of student confidence in their academic ability. Forty percent of the teachers believed that most of their students were incapable of getting anything above a C in their courses and that most students agree with this. Ninety-four percent of the students believed they were capable of getting a higher grade (i.e., 49% an A, 45% a B). Further, a much higher percentage of teachers (66%) than students (22%) believed students are under pressure to get A's at the expense of learning the material. Another difference was seen in the attitude towards tests. Seventy-seven percent of teachers said test scores should not be the sole determinant of final grades, but 98% of students believed they should. Both groups did agree about the type of question students prefer: multiple choice. This was also favored by 25% of teachers, whereas 24% preferred problem-solving, 22% essay, 10% short answer, and 19% combinations of types. The majority chose essay, problem-solving, and a combination, in that order. While students showed a strong preference for lectures and note-taking, teachers thought they prefer handling real things. With respect to teacher preference, a combination of instructional approaches was first choice, class participation second, then handling real things. Only 10% of teachers expressed preference for lectures and note-taking. Fifty-eight percent of teachers and 79% of students believe that learning & retaining course material, irrespective of grades, best reflects student success, but 21% of students thought getting A's & B's was the primary indicator, irrespective of learning. Also, 38% did not seem to think that interest in a course is vital for success, while 84% of teachers did. Despite the differences, most students and teachers agreed that a serious but enthusiastic & optimistic student attitude, good personal discipline, and a knowledgeable teacher who explains things well are essential to student success. It is suggested, however, that student success initiatives cannot be fully effective unless student and faculty opinions and perceptions are known and seriously considered. Introduction There is little question that the community college is a unique academic entity. Unlike 4-year colleges and universities, there are few criteria which can prevent the academically unprepared or under qualified student from being admitted. The community college is neither solely for the young nor the mature, the poor nor the well-off, the academically talented nor the academically impoverished. Hence, community college teachers find themselves in the very difficult position of having to choose instructional, testing, and grading techniques which will accommodate the various backgrounds (or lack thereof) of their students and have them leave the course having truly and successfully learned something. Sometimes, during this initially sincere effort, we might, unwittingly, find ourselves over-generalizing about our students' academic needs and capabilities, often to their disadvantage. In an effort to find out how students perceive their success, a survey was conducted during the 1992-93 academic year, the results of which were presented at the 1993 KAS meeting (Shiber, 1993). The survey questioned students about their definition of success, their feelings towards tests, grades, and instructional techniques. They were asked about their preference in teachers' behavior in the classroom. The survey results were interesting, but incomplete. How well can we assess the effectiveness of what we are doing as teachers if we only question students? Faculty and students are, ideally, working together for a common goal: achievement of student success in a subject area. How teachers perceive their students' attitudes and opinions, as well as understand their needs and capabilities, is very important to how successfully they perform their task. With this in mind,

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Shiber, P. J., & Bogale, H. (1996, June), Teachers' Perception Of Student Academic Success Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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