A-TECH

Athletics and Technology

at Virginia Tech

May, 1998

 

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

PURPOSE AND SCOPE

STUDENTS IN THE STUDY

Spring 1997: Pilot Project

Fall 1997: Transitions classes

Comparison group: Center for Innovation in Learning Study

Demographics: Student-athletes in the Study

COMPUTER BACKGROUND

Computer experience before beginning the program

Computer Ownership

Computer attitudes

ATTITUDES TOWARD DIFFERENT WAYS OF LEARNING

STUDENT USE OF TECHNOLOGY

UNIQUE PRESSURES ON STUDENT-ATHLETES

Introduction

1. Time pressures & management

2. Rigor of being a student-athlete

3. Athletics vs. studies

4. Faculty-student interaction, isolation

5. Other academic topics

Executive Summary

This report primarily examines characteristics of incoming student-athletes for Fall 1997. We administered two surveys (in early September and December) to 117 students in the "Transitions" classes, which is a Freshman Year Experience course that enrolled approximately half of all the 240 incoming athletes. When considering the survey results, please note that the first criteria for selecting students for the Transitions classes was their "at-risk" status. Although there were a few special A-Tech classes for student-athletes, their small enrollment meant that surveys would not have been appropriate. However, several students in these classes were interviewed on videotape in order to capture their impressions of the experience.

In analyzing the results and preparing this report, we compared the A-Tech students with freshman students from another project (Center for Innovation in Learning, CIL), who were drawn from all parts of the university. Our office (Educational Technologies) is conducting a similar study of CIL and we used many of the same survey items for that assessment.

The surveys covered five main topics:

 

Computer Background of incoming students

Student-athletes rated themselves significantly less familiar with six key computer applications (word processing, e-mail, the internet, listservs, online discussions and dowloading software) than did CIL freshmen. Following a typical national pattern, males were significantly more familiar with these computer applications than females, and white athletes were significantly more familiar than the "non-white" group (87% of whom were African-American).

There were large differences in computer ownership between athletes and CIL freshmen, a fact that could pose a challenge given the new freshman computer requirement at Virginia Tech. 88% of CIL freshmen owned computers, but only 42% of this group of student-athletes owned their own computers. Again, breakdowns by gender were significant: 49% of males owned, but only 25% of females; 49% of whites and 29% of non-whites owned their own computers.

As part of the two surveys, we included a scale measuring attitude toward computers (specifically anxiety and alienation toward computers). The athletes' computer attitude, though positive, was less favorable than that of CIL freshmen in both surveys. Interestingly, the athletes' computer attitude stayed the same across the semester, while that of CIL freshmen became significantly more positive, a shift we have found in most of the other technologically-enhanced classes we have examined (see the ACCESS Final Report, July 1997). Again, males expressed less anxiety/alienation than females, but there was no difference between whites and non-whites on this measure.

 

Attitudes toward different ways of learning

At the beginning and end of the semester, student-athletes and CIL students were asked about their feelings toward different approaches to learning and study in order to gauge their willingness to adapt to the greater demands of university academic life.

Student-athletes were generally positive toward working in small groups. During their first semester the attitude of A-Tech students became significantly more negative (p<.05), but nevertheless remained positive. Both student-athletes and CIL students were neutral to positive at the beginning of the semester regarding the importance of discussion to really understanding a new topic. By the end of the semester, their attitudes had moved in opposite directions: CIL students were decidedly neutral, while the student-athletes were more positive. At the beginning of the semester, both CIL students and student-athletes students felt that having the instructor available to answer questions was fairly important. By the end of the semester both groups still considered it important, but less so for A-Tech and much less so for CIL freshman.

Both student-athletes and CIL students disagreed with the assertion that the lecture is more important than the lab in learning science, with student-athletes disagreeing more. Both groups thought that understanding the "big picture" was more important than learning a lot of facts, but the CIL freshmen were more positive toward this statement.

At the first of the semester, student-athletes were neutral toward taking an independent study course, although they were significantly more positive than the CIL freshmen. However, by the end of the semester, both groups were decidedly negative toward independent studies and self-paced learning. Both groups were decidedly negative toward the idea of taking a distance learning summer school course using computers.

In rating the adequacy of their own computer skills for classes at Virginia Tech, the groups differed considerably. Student-athletes were less than positive about their skills, while CIL students were decidedly more confident in their abilities. This finding re-affirms the students' self-assessment of their computer skills described previously in the report.

 

Student Use of Technology (at end of semester)

The most striking differences between the groups were in the use of e-mail to send notes to a professor and to contact other students about a class. Student-athletes reported using e-mail for class purposes on average between once a month and twice a week, while CIL students said they used e-mail once or maybe twice a semester for these purposes, on average. However, both groups were heavy users of e-mail for other purposes (e.g., personal correspondence), averaging between several times per week to once per day.

Both groups used the Internet (Worldwide Web) fairly often, both for class (slightly less than once/week) and for any purpose (from 1 to several times per week), with the student-athletes using the web slightly more often. Both groups were heavy users of computers for any purpose. CIL students averaged using computers more than once per day, while student-athletes used computers significantly less (p<.045), between once per day and several times per week.

Neither group seems to have used computer technical support (4-HELP) much at all on average, slightly less than once per semester.

It is impressive that the student-athletes' lack of knowledge and skills (as reported in the first survey) does not seem to have hampered their eventual heavy use of e-mail, the internet and computers in general. Remarkably, the Transitions student-athletes report using computers for class purposes significantly more often than CIL students. One possible explanation for this increased use of e-mail is that athletes, because they must miss classes due to travel, tend to introduce themselves to faculty and must contact faculty to make up missed assignments and tests.

Unique Pressures on Student-athletes

On both surveys (September and December, 1997), student-athletes were asked "What is your greatest concern about doing well in your studies?", and 62% of the students wrote something in the small space provided on the form. Time management was by far the largest single issue mentioned from the beginning to the end of the semester. Doing well in their studies ("General performance") was the only area to show a significant increase in concern during the semester. 12 students (10.3%) mentioned self-motivation in September, but only 1 student mentioned that as a concern in December. Interestingly, none of the students seemed to be concerned about their capability with computers by the end of the semester.

A series of questions were asked in the second survey concerning 5 topics:

When asked about their ability to handle time pressures, students seemed to be evenly split over their ability to cope adequately with this problem.

The student-athletes were adamant in asserting that they had to work harder than other students. They were also sensitive to prejudice from other students that athletes "had it easier" than regular students. It should be noted that two-thirds of these freshman athletes reported that emotional stress connected with their sport had interfered with their schoolwork.

A majority of athletes rate studies as more important than their sport; most expressed strong agreement with the greater importance of studies. However, a substantial number were neutral when asked if they had to choose between sports and studies.

Most student-athletes seem to have made significant out-of-class contact with their professors, although they seem to be less certain whether their teachers know them personally. This group of student-athletes seemed to be ambivalent about feeling "left out or left behind" in their classes.

At the end of their first semester, a significant majority of these students felt that their high schools had prepared them adequately for college work. They seemed to appreciate strongly the tutorial program provided for them by the athletic department. As a group, these students seemed to recognize that learning about computers was important to their future.

 

A-Tech: Athletics and Technology at Virginia Tech

 

Purpose and Scope

This section of the report primairly covers data gathered from surveys of student-athletes in the Fall 1997 "Transitions" classes, which enrolled approximately half of all incoming student-athletes. The topics include:

Computer background of incoming student-athletes

How did athletes' knowledge and experience with computers and computer applications compare to that of other Virginia Tech freshmen? How comfortable are freshman athletes with computer technology? These are important considerations for students at Virginia Tech, given the computer-intensive environment in many programs.

Student use of the technology

By the end of the semester, how frequently were student-athletes using computer technology and the network? For what purposes? How do their usage patterns compare with a comparable group of freshmen who are enrolled in technologically-enhanced classes?

Learning attitudes of student-athletes

What are student-athletes' attitudes towards new and different ways of learning? The demands of university academic pressures require incoming freshmen to adapt to different methods of teaching and learning, and this problem can be acute for the student-athlete, who also faces pressure to excel in his or her sport. Their incoming attitudes may have a bearing on their eventual academic success.

Unique pressures on student-athletes

The pressures on the student-athlete at the Division 1 level can be considerable. Do the demands of their sport interfere with their studies? How do athletes feel about the lack of time? How well do they fit in with "regular" students? What is their relationship with the faculty? Do they feel isolated from the larger university community?

 

Students in the Study

 

Spring 1997: Pilot Project

The pilot group consisted of 40 student-athletes who participated in a wide variety of sports. However, only a small percentage of the athletes selected for the program were able to take an A-Tech course, either because they could not fit the courses into their schedules, or because they did not need the courses offered. The small size of the group obviated the use of surveys. Therefore, data collection was primarily qualitative, i.e., interviews and in-class observation. Students were interviewed in three classes

 

Fall 1997: Transitions classes

We administered two 48-item surveys (in September and December) to the four fall semester Transitions classes, which were composed almost exclusively of incoming freshman athletes. Due to resource limitations, only 120 students about half of the 219 freshman athletes -- were enrolled in the classes, and 97 completed the 1 credit-hour course. Of these, we gathered complete surveys from approximately 117 students for the first survey (September), and 65 matching second surveys (December)

Note: We were unable to administer the second survey to one of the four Transitions classes, which resulted in a much smaller sample size for the second survey. A power failure on the last day of class, when we were scheduled to give the survey, caused the class to be cancelled and we were unable to reach students thereafter.

Important information about this sample of students:

The first criteria for selecting students for the Transitions classes was their "at-risk" status. Dr. Jerry Via, head of athletic advising, noted that his staff examined the profiles of incoming student-athletes and those most at risk were placed in the Transitions classes; secondary consideration was given to students transferring from community and other schools; the remaining slots were filled with a balance from other sports. Although the at-risk status of many of these students might influence their responses, it should be kept in mind that this group nevertheless does comprise half of all incoming athletes.

The consensus of the advisors is that the Transitions course has been a success, and they hope to expand the program so that all incoming athletes can take the class. A few other departments offer a Freshman Year Experience (FYE) course, similar in scope to Transitions, but a university-wide course for all incoming freshmen remains an unrealized goal.

Comparison group: Center for Innovation in Learning Study

Simultaneously with the A-Tech assessment, our office (Educational Technologies) is conducting an assessment and evaluation of the projects sponsored by the Center for Innovation in Learning (CIL). The CIL project is comprised of a much larger group of students, but the surveys use many of the same items as those in the A-Tech surveys. In preparing this report, it seemed useful to compare the A-Tech students with a sample of students drawn from all parts of the university. In most cases, we compared the Transitions students, who were primarily first-semester freshmen, with first-semester CIL students (i.e., those with 0-15 credit hours). In some few cases we compared the A-Tech students with all CIL students for whom we had data (total approximately 2200) but those cases are noted.

Although the CIL students are not randomly selected, a case could be made that they do represent the "average" Virginia Tech student. Note the preponderance of students studying science and quantitative subjects (e.g., chemistry, economics), and the large lecture classes. Most CIL courses were not advertised in any special way (i.e., specifically as cybercourses or "technologically enhanced"), so students were not likely to select those sections for that reason.

Demographics: Student-athletes in the Study

91% of Transitions students responding to our survey were first-semester freshmen.

 

 

Computer Background

Computer experience before beginning the program

Students entering the Transitions and CIL classes were asked to rate their familiarity with various computer and network applications, using the following 7-point scale:

1...............2...............3...............4...............5...............6...............7

Completely Somewhat Completely

UNfamiliar Familiar Familiar

 

The applications were:

Word Processing (WP)

Electronic mail (Email)

Accessing the Worldwide web (www)

List servers (lists)

Interactive discussions (chats)

Downloading software (ftp)

All categories were combined into a Combined Familiarity Index ("Overall") by averaging all the mean scores.

 

WP

Email

www

lists

chats

ftp

Overall

A-Tech

5.15

4.91

4.98

2.27

2.78

2.97

3.84

CIL Freshmen

5.64

5.40

5.32

2.61

3.45

3.81

4.38

Finally, t-tests were computed to determine differences between groups on all categories. ATech students rated themselves significantly less familiar than the CIL students on all six categories of computer applications, which is reflected in the Overall index (p < .001).

 

Familiarity with computers, "Overall" score by gender and ethnicity

 

n

Mean

p

By Gender

     

A-Tech MALES

86

3.9496

 

A-Tech FEMALES

29

3.3494

.006

By Ethnicity

     

A-Tech Whites

80

4.0371

 

A-Tech Non-whites

33

3.2424

.001

Note: the "nonwhite" group is 87% African-American (27 of 31 who responded to the question on ethnicity), 2% Asian and 4% who listed themselves as "other".

 

Computer Ownership

Do you own a computer?

 

n

Own

Don't Own

A-Tech

107

42%

58%

CIL freshman (hours <15)

462

87.5%

12.5%

CIL (All)

2194

81%

19%

 

Of the 44 A-Tech computer owners, 41 had computers running Windows 95; one owned a Macintosh, one had a DOS machine and one didn't know the type of operating system.

88% of A-Tech computer owners were connected to the campus network and 88% intended to use their own computers for participation in their classes.

Computer Ownership: by Gender and Ethnicity

 

n

Own

Don't Own

p

By Gender

       

A-Tech MALES

77

49.4%

51.6%

 

A-Tech FEMALES

28

25%

75%

.020

By Ethnicity

       

A-Tech Whites

75

49.3%

50.7%

 

A-Tech Non-whites

28

28.6%

71.4%

.052

Note: the "nonwhite" group is 87% African-American (27 of 31 who responded to the question on ethnicity), 2% Asian and 4% who listed themselves as "other".

 

 

Computer attitudes

A nationally validated attitude scale that measures computer user anxiety and alienation was administered as part of the surveys. The developers of this scale, Nina M. Ray and Robert P. Minch of Boise State University, have spent a great deal of time in testing and refining this instrument (Ray & Minch, 1991). They note that in our society, computer alienation and computer anxiety have potentially negative consequences, both in education and on the job. Ray and Minch (1991) define alienation as generalized feelings of despair, discontent and frustration, while computer anxiety is a "fear of impending interaction with a computer that is disproportionate to the actual threat presented by the computer". They point out that the two constructs overlap to a large extent, and their efforts in refining this scale have resulted in a single instrument of 14 items that can accurately measure both constructs.

Students used a 1-7 Likert-type scale to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with 14 statements, such as "I like to use computers" or "Computers are changing the world too rapidly" (see Appendix for scale, items 25-38). A very low score (approaching 1) would indicate high alienation and anxiety about using computers, 4 is neutral, and a high score (approaching 7) would indicate a favorable attitude.

It is interesting to compare the changes in the computer attitude scale from the beginning to the end of the semester for CIL freshmen and the ATech group. A t-test was performed to determine if the change was significant from beginning to the end of the semester:

Computer Anxiety/Alienation across semester

 

n

September

December

p

A-Tech

64

4.8668

4.8371

.755

         

CIL Freshmen

288

5.1239

5.3675

.000

 

 

The mean results for the computer attitude scale administered at the beginning and end of the semester were virtually the same for the Transitions students. In contrast, the attitude scores increased significantly (p<.000) and positively by the end of the semester for CIL freshmen. This significant positive change has also been observed in many other classes into which instructional technology has been integrated (i.e., the ACCESS project), so it is noteworthy to find no change in the A-Tech classes.

It is helpful to look at this a slightly different way, as the differences between the A-Tech and CIL groups at the beginning and end of the semester. T-tests were used again, this time to compare the September and December mean responses:

Computer Anxiety/Alienation between A-Tech and CIL freshmen

 

n

Sept

p

n

Dec

p

Change

A-Tech

65

4.8579

 

64

4.8371

 

-.0298

CIL (fr)

293

5.1209

.061

288

5.3675

.000

+.2435

Both groups showed a positive attitude toward computers, but CIL students express less anxiety and alienation toward their use. Note that the small but significant (p<.10) attitudinal difference between the Transitions students and CIL freshmen at the beginning of the semester has widened considerably by the end of the semester (p<.001).

 

Computer Anxiety/Alienation by gender and ethnicity

 

n

Sept

p

n

Dec

p

By Gender

           

A-Tech MALES

86

5.0706

 

44

4.9724

 

A-Tech FEMALES

29

4.4396

.003

19

4.4586

.053

By Ethnicity

           

A-Tech Whites

80

4.9600

 

47

4.7599

 

A-Tech Non-whites

33

4.8714

.627

15

4.8810

.672

When scores are separated and compared by gender, the results follow a typical pattern, i.e., males are more favorably disposed toward computers than females. However, there is virtually no difference between whites and non-whites in regard to anxiety and alienation toward computers.

 

Attitudes toward different ways of learning

Students in the Transitions and CIL classes were asked to respond to a series of statements about different ways of learning. Some items were used in both surveys, and t-tests were used to compare the changes in attitude means during students' first semester at Virginia Tech. Students were asked to respond using the following 7-point scale:

1..............2..............3..............4..............5..............6..............7

Strongly Neither Agree Strongly

Disagree nor Disagree Agree

 

Questions on both Surveys (September and December, 1997)

"Working in pairs or small groups is an effective learning situation for me."

 

n

Sept

p

n

Dec

p

A-Tech

117

5.3675

 

63

4.8730

 

CIL (fr)

452

5.3695

.991

287

5.1951

.187

 

"I dont feel like Ive really understood a new topic until Ive discussed it with someone."

 

n

Sept

p

n

Dec

p

A-Tech

117

4.2564

 

63

4.4444

 

CIL (fr)

456

4.1250

.405

287

4.0418

.047

 

"The most important part of a course is having the instructor available to answer questions."

 

n

Sept

p

n

Dec

p

A-Tech

117

5.3248

 

64

5.0938

 

CIL (fr)

453

5.3068

.906

286

5.0140

.686

 

"I would like to take an independent study course, where I could work alone at my own pace."

 

n

Sept

p

n

Dec

p

A-Tech

116

3.9828

 

64

3.2031

 

CIL (fr)

462

3.4784

.005

286

3.3007

.657

 

 

 

Summary comments

 

Questions only on Survey 1 (September 1997)

"In learning science, I feel that the lecture is more important than lab."

 

n

Mean

p

A-Tech

117

3.4103

 

CIL freshmen

444

3.7568

.061

 

"Its more important for me to understand the "big picture" than to learn a lot of specific facts."

 

n

Mean

p

A-Tech

117

4.7692

 

CIL freshmen

457

5.0810

.042

 

"I would be interested in a summer school class taught from a distance, using computers."

 

n

Mean

p

A-Tech

117

3.0171

 

CIL freshmen

460

3.3217

.102

 

"I feel that I have the computer skills needed for my classes at Virginia Tech."

 

n

Mean

p

A-Tech

116

4.3966

 

CIL freshmen

453

5.5143

.000

 

Summary comments

 

Student Use of Technology

In the second survey, students were asked to rate the frequency with which they used computers and network applications during the semester, using the following scale:

During the Fall 1997 semester, how often did you use computer network resources? Use the following scale:

(1) Never (4) Once a month (7) Several times/week

(2) Only once (5) About every (8) Once per day

(3) A couple of times other week (9) Several times/day

during the semester (6) Once per week (10) Not applicable

 

Use e-mail to send a note to a professor or a TA

 

n

Mean

p

A-Tech

65

4.3846

 

CIL freshmen

293

2.5734

.000

 

Use e-mail to contact other students about a class

 

n

Mean

p

A-Tech

65

4.2615

 

CIL freshmen

292

2.1027

.000

 

Access the Internet for any purpose

 

n

Mean

p

A-Tech

65

7.2308

 

CIL freshmen

286

6.6818

.081

 

Use e-mail for instructional purposes (i.e., submit assignments)

 

n

Mean

p

A-Tech

65

3.8000

 

CIL freshmen

286

3.1154

.025

 

Use a computer for any purpose

 

n

Mean

p

A-Tech

65

7.6462

 

CIL freshmen

289

8.2284

.045

 

Summary Chart: Use of Technology

 

Summary comments

 

Summary Indices

Finally, we created two summary indices that combined responses across categories:

Use of computers for class (q's 1,2,3 &5)

 

n

Mean

p

A-Tech

65

4.6077

 

CIL freshmen

293

3.3686

.000

Use of computers for any purpose (q's 4,6&7)

 

n

Mean

p

A-Tech

65

7.3897

 

CIL freshmen

292

7.4897

.671

 

 

Summary and Discussion

It is impressive that the student-athletes' lack of knowledge and skills, which they reported in the first survey, does not seem to have hampered their eventual heavy use of e-mail and the internet and computers in general. Remarkably, the Transitions student-athletes report using computers for class purposes significantly more often than CIL students.

One possible explanation for this increased use of e-mail is that athletes, because they must miss classes due to travel, tend to introduce themselves to faculty and must contact faculty to make up missed assignments and tests. Therefore they may have more of a pressing, direct reason for contact than the average student. In interviews, athletes report using this need as a way to get to know faculty and for faculty to get to know them. In addition, athletes in the Transitions classes may have been instructed on the importance of contacting their professors.

 

Unique Pressures on Student-athletes

Introduction

On both surveys (September and December, 1997), student-athletes were asked "What is your greatest concern about doing well in your studies?". For each survey, 62% of the students wrote something in the small space provided on the form. The responses fell into distinct categories, and are compared in the following table:

Student-athletes Categories of Concerns with Studies

 

Survey One

 

Survey Two

 
 

n

%

n

%

Any response

72

61.5

45

61.6

Time Management/Balancing classes with athletics

41

35

21

28.8

Taking Tests

7

6.0

4

5.5

Maintaining Eligibility

1

.9

3

4.1

Using Computers

4

3.4

0

0

Motivating oneself (i.e., to study)

12

10.3

1

1.4

General Performance (doing well in a class)

8

6.8

13

17.8

Problems with a specific course

3

2.6

3

4.1

Note that time management is by far the largest single issue mentioned from the beginning to the end of the semester. Doing well in their studies ("General performance") was the only area to show a significant increase in concern. 12 students (10.3%) mentioned self-motivation in September, but only 1 student mentioned that as a concern in December. Interestingly, none of the students seemed to be concerned about their using computers by the end of the semester.

To follow up on these topics, we placed 16 items in the December 1997 survey to gather information on the unique pressures with which student-athletes must cope. These items were derived from interviews, conversations with advisors, and the free responses we gathered in survey 1 (above). Students were asked how much they agreed or disagreed with these statements using a 7-part Likert-type scale. The items were grouped into 5 categories:

1. Time pressures & management

2. Rigors of being a student-athlete

3. Athletics vs. studies

4. Faculty-student interaction and isolation

5. Other academic topics

 

1. Time pressures & management

"I manage my time well for studying."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

48%

20%

33%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"My practice schedule has interfered with registering for classes I want."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

44%

20%

35%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Traveling to out-of-town events does NOT interfere with my schoolwork."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

11%

31%

58%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I never have enough time to do my school work."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

40%

22%

39%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary Comments

Students mentioned time management as a significant concern during interviews and free responses on the surveys, and those feelings seem be reflected in these responses. However, students seemed to be evenly split over their ability to cope adequately with time pressures. In the Spring 1997interviews, all students spontaneously mentioned time management and lack of free time as a central problem. On the other hand, the two students who were interviewed in depth seemed pleased with their ability handle the pressure. Perhaps an additional item relating to lack of free or recreational time should be added to surveys.

 

2. Rigor of being a student-athlete

" Athletes must work harder than other students."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

93%

2%

7%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Student-athletes have an easier time in school than other students."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

13%

9%

78%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The emotional stress from my sport can interfere with my schoolwork."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

67%

22%

12%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Most people think athletes have an easier time in school than other students"

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

68%

15%

18%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary Comments

The student-athletes seemed to be adamant in asserting that they had to work harder than other students. They were also sensitive to prejudice from other students that athletes "had it easier" than regular students. It should be noted that two-thirds of these freshman athletes reported that emotional stress connected with their sport had interfered with their schoolwork.

 

3. Athletics vs. studies

 

"Excelling in my studies is more important to me than excelling in sports."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

52%

35%

13%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"If I had to make a choice, I would choose doing well in my sport over my studies."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

22%

25%

53%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary Comments

A majority of athletes rate studies as more important than their sport, with the greatest number expressing the strongest feelings in this regard. However, a substantial number were neutral in their feelingswhen asked to choose between sports and studies.

 

 

4. Faculty-student interaction, isolation

 

"Most of my professors don't know who I am."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

29%

18%

52%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Most of my professors know me personally."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

35%

16%

50%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I have spoken personally to most of my professors (i.e., after class, during office hours."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

61%

17%

14%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I often feel "left out" or "left behind" in my courses."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

30%

35%

35%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary Comments

Most student-athletes seem to have made significant out-of-class contact with their professors, although they seem to be less certain whether their teachers know them personally. This group of students seemed to be ambivalent about feeling left out or left behind in their classes.

 

 

5. Other academic topics

 

"My high school did a good job preparing me for college academic work."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

61%

17%

21%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The tutorial support for student athletes is excellent."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

68%

20%

11%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Learning about computers is important to my future career."

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

65%

28%

9%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary Comments

By the end of their first semester, a significant majority of these students felt that their high schools had prepared them adequately for college work. They seemed to appreciate strongly the tutorial program provided for them. As a group, the students seemed to recognize that learning about computers was important to their future.

 

 

Spare charts and stuff not used:

Access the Internet for a class

 

n

Mean

p

A-Tech

65

5.8923

 

CIL freshmen

293

5.6689

.334

 

Use e-mail for any other purpose (i.e., notes to friends)

 

n

Mean

p

A-Tech

65

7.2923

 

CIL freshmen

287

7.6167

.302

 

 

Call 4-HELP (technical computer support) for computer or network problems.

 

n

Mean

p

A-Tech

65

1.8923

 

CIL freshmen

288

1.9653

.672