Proposal Title

Graduate Student Belonging: The Influence of Research Commons on Academic Self-Concept

Start Date

22-3-2018 2:30 PM

End Date

22-3-2018 3:00 PM

Location

RM 400

Author(s) Bio

Sarah Madsen, M.S.Ed. Sarah Madsen is a current doctoral student in the Higher Education Studies and Leadership program at Baylor University. Sarah holds a M.S.Ed. from Baylor University, as well as a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from Pepperdine University. In addition to her studies, Sarah serves as the Graduate Apprentice in the Graduate Research Center at Baylor. Sarah’s research interests include graduate student success, the moral and faith development of college students, and access to higher education. Jonathan Tomes, M.Div. Jonathan Tomes is the Operations Manager for the Graduate Research Center at the Baylor University Libraries. Jonathan is a Master of Library Science student at the University of North Texas, and holds a B.A. in Psychology from Angelo State University, as well as Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Presenter Status

Library Administrator

Presentation Type

30 minutes (e.g. Individual)

Description

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The varied functions of graduate research commons, which may include academic study space, collaborative meeting space, and communal engagement space, foster graduate student interaction at the peer and faculty levels. Moreover, these research commons exist as a symbolic home for graduate students who may otherwise feel overlooked on campuses. Given the unique nature of research commons as both functional and symbolic spaces, as well as the diverse engagement that takes place within the commons, the Graduate Research Center (GRC) at Baylor University studied the potential effects of the GRC on graduate students’ academic self-concept, an umbrella term that captures individuals’ confidence, sense of belonging, and motivation related to their institution and graduate program.

This presentation will feature the definition and applicability of academic self-concept, connections between graduate students’ academic self-concept scores and levels of engagement in the GRC – as evidenced by data gathered from master’s and doctoral students at Baylor – and implications for programming, the development of research commons, and graduate student success in light of these findings.

SESSION OVERVIEW

- Introductions and ice-breaker activity that introduces audience to academic self-concept (5 minutes)

- Review of relevant literature (2 minutes)

- Study methodology and survey overview (3 minutes)

- Research findings (10 minutes)

- Implications for learning commons and future research (5 minutes)

- Question and answer with audience (5 minutes)

KEYWORDS

Learning commons; research commons; academic self-concept; fit; belonging; success

LEARNING OUTCOMES

After participating in our conference session, our hope is that participants will:

- Recognize the need for research or learning commons;

- Be able to define and apply academic self-concept, especially in relation to graduate students;

- Understand the relationship between academic self-concept, institutional fit, and sense of belonging, through the lens of graduate student achievement;

- Appreciate the role of a research commons in influencing graduate students’ academic self-concept;

- And acknowledge the greater implications of environment on student success in higher education.

Comments

STUDY DESCRIPTION

The Graduate Research Center (GRC) at Baylor University is in the initial stages of implementing a mixed methods research project to better understand graduate students’ academic self-concept in the context of research commons. Our central research question, therefore, is to what extent does engagement in a graduate research commons affect graduate students’ academic self-concept. Notably, we are interested in three forms of student engagement, namely usage of the GRC to study or work, attendance at programs and events that are hosted in the GRC, and usage of the GRC for communal purposes (including meals, conversations, and group meetings).

To measure the effects of such engagement on academic self-concept, both users and non-users of the GRC (n=50) will be given an online survey that records general demographic data, GRC usage information, and academic self-concept scores. Academic self-concept captures individuals “knowledge and perceptions about themselves in achievement situations” (Bong & Skaalvik, 2003, p. 6). Academic self-concept, then, is both cognitive and affective in nature. Moreover, academic self-concept focuses on students’ perceived competence in a general academic sense, whereas academic self-efficacy highlights students’ perceived confidence toward specific tasks or subjects (Bong & Skaalvik, 2003). Importantly, a student’s academic self-concept is conceptualized in relation to, and has an effect on, their environment, faculty interactions, gender, ethnicity, motivation, and academic achievement (see Jackson, 2003; Komarraju, Musulkin, & Bhattacharya, 2010; Cokley, 2000; Bong & Skaalvik, 2003).

To best score graduate students reported academic self-concept, we will utilize rigorously tested items from previous studies, including the Academic Self-Concept Scale (ASCS) (Reynolds, 1988). Additionally, the survey will feature open-ended questions, the responses to which will be coded and themed. We ultimately believe a mixed methods approach will capture more fully any relationship between graduate students’ academic self-concept and engagement in our research commons.

Data collection and analysis will take place from late fall 2017 to early spring 2018. As such, preliminary findings, conclusions, and implications will be available by the time of the Transforming Libraries Conference in March.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

Import Event to Google Calendar

COinS
 
Mar 22nd, 2:30 PM Mar 22nd, 3:00 PM

Graduate Student Belonging: The Influence of Research Commons on Academic Self-Concept

RM 400

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The varied functions of graduate research commons, which may include academic study space, collaborative meeting space, and communal engagement space, foster graduate student interaction at the peer and faculty levels. Moreover, these research commons exist as a symbolic home for graduate students who may otherwise feel overlooked on campuses. Given the unique nature of research commons as both functional and symbolic spaces, as well as the diverse engagement that takes place within the commons, the Graduate Research Center (GRC) at Baylor University studied the potential effects of the GRC on graduate students’ academic self-concept, an umbrella term that captures individuals’ confidence, sense of belonging, and motivation related to their institution and graduate program.

This presentation will feature the definition and applicability of academic self-concept, connections between graduate students’ academic self-concept scores and levels of engagement in the GRC – as evidenced by data gathered from master’s and doctoral students at Baylor – and implications for programming, the development of research commons, and graduate student success in light of these findings.

SESSION OVERVIEW

- Introductions and ice-breaker activity that introduces audience to academic self-concept (5 minutes)

- Review of relevant literature (2 minutes)

- Study methodology and survey overview (3 minutes)

- Research findings (10 minutes)

- Implications for learning commons and future research (5 minutes)

- Question and answer with audience (5 minutes)

KEYWORDS

Learning commons; research commons; academic self-concept; fit; belonging; success

LEARNING OUTCOMES

After participating in our conference session, our hope is that participants will:

- Recognize the need for research or learning commons;

- Be able to define and apply academic self-concept, especially in relation to graduate students;

- Understand the relationship between academic self-concept, institutional fit, and sense of belonging, through the lens of graduate student achievement;

- Appreciate the role of a research commons in influencing graduate students’ academic self-concept;

- And acknowledge the greater implications of environment on student success in higher education.