My research centers on the effects of shyness, attachment style, and shame on students’ persistence and achievement in college. A student’s personal characteristics and academic ability play a role in a student’s commitment to a university. The higher the level of engagement and commitment, the more likely the student will succeed. Therefore, focusing on psychological characteristics promotes student engagement and commitment (Braxton et al. 2014). In addition, student perceptions of their teacher as effective, knowledgeable, and caring reflect an emphasis on teacher development and student success. Effective teachers have a positive influence on students’ perceptions of their own ability to be academically successful. This poster will focus on the questions that arise when teaching shy, avoidant, and shame prone students. How can we approach a shy, avoidant, or shame-prone college student to develop a trusting relationship that is conducive to learning? How do we identify a student who suffers from shame or shyness leading to disengagement? What are the overt behaviors of these types of students? How can we tell the difference between someone who is shy versus introverted? How could we approach an avoidant or shy student when he or she does not want to join a group? What are some teaching techniques to promote participation from these types of students? What class activities appeal to these types of students? The more we understand and respond to the effects of psychological constructs on our students’ behavior, the more likely they will persist and succeed in our classroom.
Braxton, J.M., Doyle, W. R., Hartley, H.V., Herschy, A.S., Jones, W.A., & McLendon, M. K. (2014). Rethinking College Student Retention. San Francisco, CA: Wiley & Sons.
Issues faced by non-traditional HE students are well-documented in the literature (Chen, 2017; Croziera & Reay, 2011; Wyness, 2017), but issues faced by more traditional students progressing from full-time compulsory education are less well understood. Students entering HE from traditional FE routes have usually developed the basic skills to be able to acquire and accurately demonstrate understanding of knowledge, but may struggle to navigate the more HE driven study skills of analysis, synthesis and application of knowledge, along with academic writing and referencing skills. If the development of HE study skills is not smooth, it can negatively impact on academic self-efficacy (Dorit, 2015) and lead to poor retention and attainment (Honicke & Broadbent, 2016).
To facilitate the development of these HE study skills, an entry level Social Psychology course was developed in which the academic content was front loaded with knowledge tested by Multiple Choice Test mid-semester, followed by sequential blog writing to apply the learning to real world issues and develop academic writing and referencing skills.
Students were paired-up and invited to create a blog on any subject, but it needed to incorporate academic content from Social Psychology, along with credible external sources and references. Blogs were posted live and students were required to engage in online discussion using relevant theory to support their statements. A second blog was created using developmental feedback and the process was repeated.
Pairing students increased the safety for nervous learners and the process of tutor and student feedback created a collaborative learning environment where the student voice was valued, and provided opportunities for immediate application of feedback and peer learning. The development of HE study skills became a natural part of the process, which was reflected in the improvements in grades as the semester progressed.
Chen, J. C. (2017). Nontraditional adult learners: The neglected diversity in postsecondary education. Special Issue, Student Diversity, Sage Open, 1-12, https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244017697161
Crozier, G., & Reay, D. (2011). Capital accumulation: working-class students learning how to learn in HE. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(2), 145-155.
Dorit, A. (2015). Assessing the contribution of a constructivist learning environment to academic self-efficacy in higher education. Learning Environments Research, 18(1), 47-67.
Honicke, T., & Broadbent, J. (2016). The relation of academic self-efficacy to university student academic performance: A systematic review. Educational Research Review, 17, 63-84.
Wyness, G. (2017, December). Rules of the game. Disadvantaged students and the university admissions process. The Sutton Trust. http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/30754/1/Rules%20of%20the%20Game.pdf