FIRST YEAR SEMINAR FOSTERING 21ST CENTURY SKILLS: A STUDY OF QATAR UNIVERSITY FRESHMEN PERSPECTIVES
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The overarching purpose of the present study was to investigate the perspectives of first-year students who are enrolled in First-Year Seminar (UNIV 100) course offered at Qatar University, with regard to the successfulness of the course in fostering 21st century skills; namely, study skills, critical thinking, problem solving, personal growth, collaboration, communication, digital information literacy, and civic engagement skills. A quantitative method design was utilized. A questionnaire including close-ended items was developed and administered online to all first-year students enrolled in the course during Fall 2018 semester. The close-ended questions comprised Likert-scale and rating scale multiple-choice items. A number of 307 first-year students voluntarily completed the questionnaire. SPSS V. 25 was used to run data analysis. Frequencies, percentages, means, standard deviation, Welch's test and ANOVA were used to analyze the data. The findings yielded that the majority of participants agreed that the course was successful in fostering the set of the 21st century skills being investigated. Results show statistical significant differences attributed to the variable of gender; in particular, differences among means of gender groups were significant for study skills, personal growth, collaboration and communication, digital information literacy, and social responsibility. However, no statistically significant differences among gender groups were reported in problem solving skills. It was noticed that the differences among means of students’ groups based on their nationality or college were not significant for all the skills. The study also revealed that the majority of first-year students perceived that the course was useful to them. Overall, the findings of this study suggest that the course was successful in fostering the 21st century skills. Implications and recommendations for further practice and future research are presented.
- Educational Sciences [9 items ]