The present study identified the differences and similarities between the learning styles, motivating and de-motivating factors and difficulties experienced by students who pursue their studies and those who drop out, and the help and support mechanisms that may mitigate the difficulties experienced by students during their first semester of post-secondary studies.
The study sought to answer two general questions: 1) What learning styles, motivating and de-motivating factors, student difficulties and socio-demographic (gender, age) and academic (type of studies and learning context) variables influence a student’s decision to abandon or persevere during the first semester at university? and 2) Do the help and support mechanisms used by students in their first semester differ according to whether they end up pursuing or abandoning their studies and/or as a function of certain socio-demographic and academic variables?
The motivating and de-motivating factors encountered by students during their first semester of post-secondary studies were identified.
The most significant results of our research have been grouped together in order to highlight the differences and similarities between students who persist and those who drop out in relation to the variables under study. A socio-demographic and academic profile of the population under investigation was established; a differentiated analysis of the socio-demographic and academic variables was also performed according to student persistence or dropout. The motivating and de-motivating factors encountered by students during their first semester of post-secondary studies were identified.
Finally, data were collected in order to assess the level of appreciation of students and one professor regarding the user-friendliness, relevance and usefulness of SAMI-Persévérance, a multimedia support environment for post-secondary persistence.
Louise Sauvé, TÉLUQ
Deposit of the research report: June 2007