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Faculty Training: From Group Process to Collaborative Learning

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While lecturing is an authoritarian teaching style, the group process that is found in most freshman seminars can be guided by either authoritarian or democratic teaching styles. This article first contrasts these two styles by comparing how a faculty facilitator using each style would approach the standard teaching requirements of interaction, policy, task development, and feedback and evaluation. The democratic style is likely to produce greater student satisfaction by addressing the issues and interests of the students. Collaborative learning is the logical extension of a group process freshman seminar. Collaborative learning projects can organize freshmen into study teams that investigate problems or issues of their choosing. These groups work together throughout the semester - mostly outside of class. Thus, a facilitator can add an in-depth learning component to a freshman seminar without giving up the group process that provides orientation and social integration.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1990

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  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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