P63 – Using “reading rooms” to encourage departmental affiliation.

Auditorium – TUESDAY 16:15-17:15

Inger Nilsen

Department of Informatics, University of Bergen

Cand.philol with a thesis in history, and a postgraduate certificate in Education. Since 1999, administrative tasks and coordination of various research projects at the department of General Practise. Students advisor at the Department of Informatics, and now, I’m working on a project regarding the dropoutproblem at the department of Informatics.

Summary

As many other departments, we do have ha large number of dropout students after at the first year at the Department of Informatics This article will examine the statistical measurable change that has happened at our department after introducing a designated reading room for our bachelor students, and the students’ perception of the importance the reading room has for their studies. The article will also provide a review of how the reading room is in use today, how it is administered, and what we see as success factors and conditions for this success.

Abstract

As many other departments, we do have ha large number of dropout students after at the first year at the Department of Informatics.  The departments previously research on this subject, initiated various measures to increase the chances that students would continue after the critical first year.

One of the measures we started was to create a separate reading room for bachelor students at our study programmes. We wanted to give our students a sense of belonging to the department from the first day of study. At the University of Bergen there are open reading rooms for all students at undergraduate level, in each faculty, and they are situated in close proximity to the largest lecture halls. This is apparently a very practical and straightforward solution since the first semester courses are common to many study programmes. The downside is that many students do not get proper affiliation feeling to their department before later on during their study. Our department is located at another part of campus than those reading rooms, and the student numbers are always very large for the courses our students take the first semester. Our students could go all first semester without being familiar with their peers in the same study. Now with the new bachelor reading room located at the department, we have seen several good results.

It has been said that we have halved the student dropout as a result of the introduction of the reading room for bachelor students. In this article I will examine the data that has given this statement. It will also succeed to see what other data we have available and what constraints and opportunities inherent in these.

The main sources in this paper are Mandt’s report on dropout from 2008, the available data from our administrative systems, and data collected in various surveys this past year. Data from the administrative system are annually processed and analyzed at the faculty. This past year we have conducted several types of surveys among our students. It has been both discussion groups and online surveys. Students in these studies report the great benefits of utilizing the reading room both academic and social.

This paper will also provide a review of how the reading room is in use today and how it is administered by the students themselves. It is important to highlight the cooperation with our Student Council students and their efforts to build a social foundation among the bachelor students. The department of Informatics has from the opening of the reading room given the students clear guidelines and encouragement to make it a success. In this paper I will present these instruments that we have adopted and what we see as success factors and conditions for this success.

References:

Mandt, H.M. (2008)Frafall, Bachelorprogram i informatikk, Universitetet i Bergen, Våren 2008 Rapport

Sætre, H.Å. (2014) Å tilrettelegge for at studentene skal lykkes. Bergen:@haas1 – forlag S 98 http://pahoyden.no/2012/12/samarbeid-og-nysteikte-vaflar, (read January 15th 2015)

Nilsen, I. (2015)Frafall, Bachelorprogram i informatikk, Universitetet i Bergen, Våren 2015 Rapport(in press)

 

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