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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

Experiencing first-year university in a problem-based learning context

Author(s): Roderick, C., & Carusetta, E.

Citation: Roderick, C., & Carusetta, E. (2006). Experiencing first-year university in a problem-based learning context. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 18(1), 9-27.



This qualitative study provides insight into the first-year university experiences of students in a problem-based learning context, an area that has received little attention in the literature. Data collection consisted of one-on-one interviews with students throughout their first year and of participant observation of students in the classroom at Renaissance College at the University of New Brunswick. Major challenges for students included reconciling the discrepancy between their perceptions of the university and their actual experiences, time management, and adjusting to new grading schemes. Students' sense of support and community evolved from relationships with peers and faculty at the college and friendships developed in the larger university setting.


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