Using a Common First-Year Book to Promote Reading, Connections, and Critical Thinking
Author(s): Goldfine, R., Mixson-Brookshire, D., Hoerrner, K., & Morrissey, J.
Citation: Goldfine, R., Mixson-Brookshire, D., Hoerrner, K., & Morrissey, J. (2011). Using a Common First-Year Book to Promote Reading, Connections, and Critical Thinking. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 23(2), 93-108.
A large, suburban, Southeastern university conducted a multi-method study on the effectiveness of its common reader program in meeting multiple learning objectives. Data from approximately 700 respondents, all of whom were first-year students enrolled in 37 sections of the university’s traditional first-year seminar course, revealed that the common reader program promoted greater appreciation for reading; encouraged social and academic connections among students, faculty, and the book’s author; and enhanced students’ critical thinking. While many results were predictable, challenging and somewhat unexpected findings emerged when respondents in independent sections of the seminar were compared to those in thematic learning communities.