An Evaluation of Cyber Orientation: A Web-Based Academic Orientation Program for Transfer Students

by Mowery, Barbara Jane

Abstract (Summary)
According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project (2002), The Internet Goes to College, all college students began using a computer between the ages of 16-18 and 85% of those college students owned their own computer and had gone online. The Internet had become a staple of college students educational experiencea functional tool (p. 2). In the Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, Cyber Orientation was implemented to provide transfer students the option of participating in an academic orientation using a web-based program rather than attending an on-campus program. Transfer students were chosen for the pilot because they already had experienced college and possessed a cognitive structure to assimilate the information. Most transfer students admitted to Arts and Sciences have already completed 48 credits or two years of college experience. The assumption was made that transfer students either own computers or have access to computers at their current institutions. The participants of Cyber Orientation were self-selected. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate Cyber Orientation, the website and process, to determine whether the students and academic advisors have been satisfied with this option and to make recommendations for improvement. The study used responses from a mandatory survey completed by student participants and information gathered from advisors in an informal discussion. The significance of this study was to determine whether a web-based academic orientation program could be implemented successfully to better serve the students and the institution. As the Arts and Sciences Advising Center prides itself in the service it provides to all students, and especially in the human contact, which is at the core of its mission, successful implementation of this web-based program is an innovative approach to a traditional process. Information regarding web-based academic orientation also contributes to the body of literature in the field of academic advising and exemplifies the integration of technology while upholding traditional processes and maintaining the student at the center of the focus.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Diane Davis; Louis Berry; Glenn Nelson; Louis Pingel

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:instruction and learning


Date of Publication:04/26/2006

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