Informational Environments and College Student Dropout

  • Steffen Hillmert
  • Martin Groß
  • Bernhard Schmidt-Hertha
  • Hannes Weber
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, an interdisciplinary research group of sociologists and educational scientists discusses how the informational environments of college students influence potential and actual dropout behavior. Previous research has identified academic performance and social integration as the key predictors of student dropout. Our focus is on a further explication of these aspects using information-related factors: media-related competency and information behavior, perceptions of fairness at college, and social integration into university life. Empirical analyses are based on data from a large online survey. We focus on both dropout intentions, as stated in the survey, as well as actual dropouts, as shown in administrative records around 1.5 years after the survey. We find that several factors related to information behavior, justice perceptions as well as social integration, significantly affect dropout intentions. These findings are surprisingly stable across fields of study groups as well as academic performance levels. On the other hand, actual dropouts are much harder to predict in comparison to stated preferences.

Keywords

Information Informational environments Higher education College dropout Dropout intention Transitions Information behavior Media competencies Justice perceptions Social integration 

References

  1. Baacke, D. (1996). Medienkompetenz–Begrifflichkeit und sozialer Wandel. In A. v. Rein (Ed.), Medienkompetenz als Schlüsselbegriff (pp. 122–124). Klinkhardt: Bad Heilbrunn.Google Scholar
  2. Baacke, D. (1997). Medienpädagogik. Tübingen: Niemeyer.Google Scholar
  3. Baeten, M., Kyndt, E., Struyven, K., & Dochy, F. (2010). Using student-centred learning environments to stimulate deep approaches to learning: Factors encouraging or discouraging their effectiveness. Educational Research Review, 5(3), 243–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bean, J. P. (1980). Dropouts and turnover: The synthesis and test of a causal model of student attrition. Research in Higher Education, 12(2), 155–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bourdieu, P. (1996). The state nobility: Elite schools in the field of power. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Burger, R. (2015). CampusPanel user handbook: Documentation for the Student Panel of the ScienceCampus Tübingen (wave ‘b’). Tübingen: University of Tübingen.Google Scholar
  7. Burger, R., & Groß, M. (2016). Gerechtigkeit und Studienabbruch. Die Rolle der wahrgenommenen Fairness von Benotungsverfahren bei der Entstehung von Abbruchsintentionen. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft. doi: 10.1007/s11618-016-0672-8
  8. Calvó-Armengol, A., Patacchini, E., & Zenou, Y. (2009). Peer effects and social networks in education. The Review of Economic Studies, 76(4), 1239–1267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Castells, M. (2011). The rise of the network society: The information age: Economy, society, and culture (Vol. 1). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  10. Coleman, J. S. (1961). The adolescent society. Glencoe: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  11. Coleman, J. S. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology, 94, S95–S120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Colquitt, J. A. (2001). On the dimensionality of organizational justice: A construct validation of a measure. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(3), 386–400.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Cox, M. J., & Marshall, G. (2007). Effects of ICT: Do we know what we should know? Education and Information Technologies, 12(2), 59–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Delaney, L., Harmon, C., & Redmond, C. (2011). Parental education, grade attainment and earnings expectations among university students. Economics of Education Review, 30(6), 1136–1152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Engels, T. C., Ossenblok, T. L., & Spruyt, E. H. (2012). Changing publication patterns in the social sciences and humanities, 2000–2009. Scientometrics, 93(2), 373–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Granovetter, M. S. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360–1380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Greeno, J. G. (1998). The situativity of knowing, learning, and research. American Psychologist, 53(1), 5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Grosch, M., & Gidion, G. (2011). Mediennutzungsgewohnheiten im Wandel: Ergebnisse einer Befragung zur studiumsbezogenen Mediennutzung. Karlsruhe: KIT Scientific Publishing.Google Scholar
  19. Gross, M., & Latham, D. (2012). What’s skill got to do with it? Information literacy skills and self-views of ability among first-year college students. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 63(3), 574–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gutiérrez, A., & Tyner, K. (2011). Media education, media literacy and digital competence. Comunicar. doi: 10.3916/C38-2011-02-03
  21. Hasan, S., & Bagde, S. (2013). The mechanics of social capital and academic performance in an Indian college. American Sociological Review, 78(6), 1009–1032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hanushek, E. A., Kain, J. F., Markman, J. M., & Rivkin, S. G. (2003). Does peer ability affect student achievement? Journal of Applied Econometrics, 18(5), 527–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hesse, F. W., Gaiser, B., & Reinhardt, J. (2006). e-teaching.org: Das Lehren mit digitalen Medien lernen. In K. Solbach & W. Spiegel (Eds.), Entwicklung von Medienkompetenz im Hochschulbereich: Perspektiven, Kompetenzen und Anwendungsbeispiele (pp. 55–70). Düsseldorf: kopaed.Google Scholar
  24. Heublein, U., & Wolter, A. (2011). Studienabbruch in Deutschland. Definition, Häufigkeit, Ursachen, Maßnahmen. Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, 57(2), 214–236.Google Scholar
  25. Hillmert, S., & Jacob, M. (2010). Selections and social selectivity on the academic track: A life-course analysis of educational attainment in Germany. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 28(1), 59–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. HRK. (2012). Hochschule im digitalen Zeitalter: Informationskompetenz neu begreifen—Prozesse anders steuern. Bonn: Hochschulrektorenkonferenz. Retrieved from https://www.hrk.de/uploads/media/Entschliessung_Informationskompetenz_20112012.pdf Google Scholar
  27. Kerres, M., & Voß, B. (2006). Kompetenzentwicklung für E-Learning: Support-Dienstleistungen lernförderlich gestalten. In K. Solbach & W. Spiegel (Eds.), Entwicklung von Medienkompetenz im Hochschulbereich: Perspektiven, Kompetenzen und Anwendungsbeispiele (pp. 35–54). Düsseldorf: kopaed.Google Scholar
  28. Kleimann, B., Göcks, M., & Özkilic, M. (2008). Studieren im Web 2.0. Studienbezogene Web-und E-Learning-Dienste. Hannover: HIS GmbH. Retrieved from https://hisbus.his.de/hisbus/docs/hisbus21.pdf Google Scholar
  29. Kolb, M., Kraus, M., Pixner, J., & Schüpbach, H. (2006). Analyse von Studienverlaufsdaten zur Identifikation von studienabbruchgefährdeten Studierenden. Das Hochschulwesen, 54(6), 196–201.Google Scholar
  30. Lang, V., & Hillmert, S. (2014). CampusPanel user handbook: Documentation for the Student Panel of the ScienceCampus Tübingen (wave ‘a’). Tübingen: University of Tübingen.Google Scholar
  31. Lavy, V., Paserman, M. D., & Schlosser, A. (2012). Inside the black box of ability peer effects: Evidence from variation in the proportion of low achievers in the classroom. The Economic Journal, 122(559), 208–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Leventhal, G. S. (1980). What should be done with equity theory? In K. Gergen, M. Greenberg, & R. Willis (Eds.), Social exchange: Advances in theory and research (pp. 27–55). New York, NY: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lomi, A., Snijders, T. A., Steglich, C. E., & Torló, V. J. (2011). Why are some more peer than others? Evidence from a longitudinal study of social networks and individual academic performance. Social Science Research, 40(6), 1506–1520.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  34. Madge, C., Meek, J., Wellens, J., & Hooley, T. (2009). Facebook, social integration and informal learning at university: ‘It is more for socialising and talking to friends about work than for actually doing work’. Learning, Media and Technology, 34(2), 141–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Margaryan, A., Littlejohn, A., & Vojt, G. (2011). Are digital natives a myth or reality? University students’ use of digital technologies. Computers & Education, 56(2), 429–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Meister, D. M., & Meise, B. (2010). Emergenz neuer Lernkulturen: Bildungsaneignungsperspektiven im Web 2.0. In B. Herzig, D. M. Meister, H. Moser, & H. Niesyto (Eds.), Jahrbuch Medienpädagogik 8 (pp. 183–199). Wiesbaden: VS Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (1983). Predicting voluntary freshman year persistence/withdrawal behavior in a residential university: A path analytic validation of Tinto’s model. Journal of Educational Psychology, 75(2), 215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. R Core Team. (2013). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Retrieved from http://www.R-project.org Google Scholar
  39. Rubin, D. B. (1987). Multiple imputation for nonresponse in surveys. New York, NY: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Robbins, S. B., Lauver, K., Le, H., Davis, D., Langley, R., & Carlstrom, A. (2004). Do psychosocial and study skill factors predict college outcomes? A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 130(2), 261–288.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Sacerdote, B. (2001). Peer effects with random assignment: Results for Dartmouth roommates. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 116(2), 681–704.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sarcletti, A., & Müller, S. (2011). Zum Stand der Studienabbruchforschung. Theoretische Perspektiven, zentrale Ergebnisse und methodische Anforderungen an künftige Studien. Zeitschrift für Bildungsforschung, 1(3), 235–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schäffer, D. (2015). E-Learning als Teil des persönlichen, intentionalen Lernraumes im Studium. Eine explorative Studie an Studierenden an der Fakultät für Erziehungswissenschaft an der Universität Bielefeld. Berlin: epubli GmbH.Google Scholar
  44. Scherfer, M., & Weber, H. (2014). Methoden zur Analyse von Studienabbruch und-wechsel am Beispiel der Abbrecherstudie der Universität Stuttgart. Qualität in der Wissenschaft (QiW), 1(2014), 17–22.Google Scholar
  45. Schmidt-Hertha, B., & Strobel-Dümer, C. (2014). Computer literacy among the generations: How can older adults participate in digital society? In G. K. Zafiris & M. N. Gravani (Eds.), Challenging the ‘European area of lifelong learning’ (pp. 31–40). Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Smith, S. D., Salaway, G., & Caruso, J. B. (2009). The ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology 2009. ECAR. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/Resources/TheECARStudyofUndergraduateStu/187215.Google Scholar
  47. Stauder, A. (2013). 2012 survey of the preservation, management, and use of audiovisual media in European higher education institutions. OCLC Systems & Services, 29(4), 218–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stinebrickner, R., & Stinebrickner, T. (2014). Academic performance and college dropout: Using longitudinal expectations data to estimate a learning model. Journal of Labor Economics, 32(3), 601–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tien, F. F., & Fu, T. T. (2008). The correlates of the digital divide and their impact on college student learning. Computers & Education, 50(1), 421–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Timmers, C. F., & Glas, C. A. (2010). Developing scales for information-seeking behaviour. Journal of Documentation, 66(1), 46–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Thibaut, J. W., & Walker, L. (1975). Procedural justice: A psychological analysis. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  52. Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  53. Tippelt, R., & Schmidt, B. (2006). Zur beruflichen Weiterbildungs-und Erwachsenenbildungsforschung: Forschungsthemen und Trends. In Datenreport Erziehungswissenschaft 2006 (pp. 81–100). VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.Google Scholar
  54. Van Buuren, S., & Groothuis-Oudshoorn, K. (2011). Mice: Multivariate imputation by chained equations in R. Journal of Statistical Software, 45(3).Google Scholar
  55. Wilson, T. D. (1999). Models in information behaviour research. Journal of Documentation, 55(3), 249–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wolter, S. C., Diem, A., & Messer, D. (2014). Drop-outs from Swiss universities: An empirical analysis of data on all students between 1975 and 2008. European Journal of Education, 49(4), 471–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zimmerman, D. J. (2003). Peer effects in academic outcomes: Evidence from a natural experiment. Review of Economics and Statistics, 85(1), 9–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Zylka, J., Müller, W., & Martins, S.W. (2011). Media literacy worldwide. Similarities and differences of theoretical approaches. 2011 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON). doi: 10.1109/EDUCON.2011.5773219.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steffen Hillmert
    • 1
    • 2
  • Martin Groß
    • 1
  • Bernhard Schmidt-Hertha
    • 3
  • Hannes Weber
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Institut für Soziologie, Eberhard Karls Universität TübingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Institute of EducationUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany

Personalised recommendations