Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (NETHERLANDS)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 1348-1353
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
In this article I will discuss theories on students’ success in higher education and the need for adjustments of these theories in the contemporary, information and media saturated world. The integration theory on student retention, founded by Tinto and further developed by him and many others, lies at the base of most studies on student success. In line with Tinto’s theory the majority of studies measure both social and academic integration of a student, alongside background variables. Social integration is shaped by the personal contact with fellow students and staff and whether or not a student enjoys being at the institute. Academic integration has more to do with academic achievement and sharing the academic norms and values. Although the distinction of these types of integration has been experienced as an artificial one and has been abandoned in more recent studies, the conclusion of most studies remains the same: the higher the level of integration, the greater the level of commitment, which in turn has a positive affect on the likelihood of student persistence in college and the success of a student. More recent studies use ‘engagement’ to embed the various factors of integration to avoid the rigid distinction between social and academic and to include new forms of communication between students for social, academic and other purposes. Furthermore the world has changed since the origin of Tinto’s integration theory in the early eighties, especially if you look at the changes in society under the influence of technology in general and in particular the Internet. New ways of communicating has emerged which brought along new possibilities. The emergence of smart phones has played a big part in the various ways we communicate. The new devices and communication tools have made it possible to employ integrating social and academic activities without the necessity of physical presence. The central question of the article is: Should online communities or engaging platforms like Facebook, be taken into account when investigating the influential facors of student success?
Student success, engagement, integration, Facebook, Internet.