Connecting First Year Students to Formal and Informal Learning Experiences

Connecting First Year Students to Formal and Informal Learning Experiences

Melissa L. Johnson (University of Florida, USA), Laura Pasquini (University of North Texas, USA) and Michelle R. Rodems (University of Louisville, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1930-2.ch003

Abstract

This case study, an honors first year seminar from the University of Florida, USA, demonstrates the benefits and challenges of these developments in education. The case expands the definition of formal, informal, and online learning communities in the context of a first year seminar.
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Organization Background

Introduction to First-Year Experience

In the US context, First-Year Experience (FYE) programs are designed to help transition students from high school to college/university. Typical program varies between institutions of higher education; however, the first-year experience program can include summer orientation programs, first year seminars, living learning communities, designated housing assignments, and themed learning environments. Although first-year students have been the focus of programmatic efforts in higher education for some time, educational contexts have shifted, as have expectations of college students today. One type of program that has spanned the changing contexts of the first year experience is learning communities.

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