学修支援を組み込んだ初年次セミナーの意義 : 初年次生のニーズを早期に把握し，移行を支える試み
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Embedding Learning Assistance into First-Year Seminars to Understand Students’ Needs for a Smooth Transition
This article demonstrates the benefits of embedding learning assistance into first-year seminars which will collect information from the students to provide assistance that best meets their learning needs in Japan. Whereas American universities already have demographic and academic data on their students from grade school through high school, Japanese institutions are just beginning to collect this data. Data collected from former student surveys help us understand first-year students as a collective body. However, providing certain students with the specific assistance and support they need is still a challenge. To solve this problem, first the weekly journal entries of the students enrolled in the first-year seminar program at Shinshu University over the last four years were analyzed. Students’ needs were discovered and that they consistently change every three to four weeks throughout their first semester. This suggests that proactively providing assistance to meet students’ needs when they need it is a more preferable strategy than waiting for them to fail and ask for assistance voluntarily. Providing students incentives for utilizing assistance programs is also useful. Second, instructors of first-year seminars meet with all students individually to provide writing assistance. This gives instructors a better understanding of their students other challenges which need addressing, then instructors can direct students to appropriate campus resources. Often times students don’t know what their needs are until it’s too late, but this first-year seminar program helps students recognize their needs early and utilize appropriate assistance programs. At the same time, we can collect individual students’ information for institutional research.
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