Research Article Analysis Worksheet

Research Article Analysis Worksheet
Name: Jordon von Helf
Howard, Heather E., and W. Paul Jones. "Effectiveness of a Freshman Seminar in an Urban
University: Measurement of Selected Indicators." College Student Journal 34.4 (2000): n. pag.
Introduction – The Research Question:
The research question is: “How effective are freshmen seminars offered by universities for
students?” The researchers measured the effectiveness of the seminars with factors such as
preparation, the selection of a college major, student confidence, knowledge of campus
resources, and study skill competence.
Method – The Study:
118 college students of different ages, genders and academic backgrounds participated in the
research. They were asked to take a pre-test and post-test that tested the five categories I
mentioned previously. To insure that the test accurately explained the data, the researchers split
the students into three groups based on their GPA scores with the highest scoring group in one
section, the lowest scoring in another, and the middle group in the third.
Results – The Findings:
The researchers found that the freshmen seminar had a positive impact on most of the tested
categories for all three groups of students; there were significantly better results for the
categories college preparedness, confidence, and awareness of campus resources. As expected,
the group with the lowest GPA had the highest improvement in study skills while the other two
groups did not show as much gain in the study skills area. However, there was an overall
positive impact for all three groups for the study skills category, meaning all three groups grew
at least a little in this area. Surprising to the researchers, students felt less satisfied or certain
about their college majors after the seminar than before the seminar. A possible explanation for
this startling find is that many of the students may have felt overwhelmed by the vast number of
degrees and career options that the seminar brought awareness to. Although this appears to be a
negative, it may not be. Many high school grads enter college with a hope of entering a field that
they unfortunately don’t know much about. Also, many students may be unaware of the many
options available to them. So, it could be a good thing that the seminar made the students
reevaluate their choice of a college major.
I found the study to be interesting and I agree with the results; the more direction colleges give to
new students, the better those students will adapt to the college life and succeed in their
endeavors. As a student, I often avoid any extracurricular activities or any “unnecessary”
seminars and/or counseling. This study, along with the CHC-099 class, has shown me that I
need to take a more proactive role in planning my education and in getting the most out of my
college experience. I have been taking school as it comes and I now realize that this is not an
ideal way of getting a degree. This research is telling me that I must be much more long term
minded and create a much more concrete academic plan if I am to get the most out of my time
and money.