An Examination of Student Learning in Introductory Sociology at a Commuter Campus

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2005

Publication Title

Teaching Sociology


The article focuses on involvement theory, which suggests that students learn by becoming involved. Thus, to promote greater student learning, instructors should focus on what students are actually doing, that is the amount of time and energy students devote to the learning process. A report from the National Survey of Student Engagement suggests that students are not living up to faculty expectations, spending only about half as much time preparing for class as their instructors believe is appropriate. Likewise, 22 percent of all students reported they frequently come to class unprepared. Both assessment of learning and instructional technology have been discussed in the pages of Teaching Sociology. However, relatively few attempts have been made to assess the impact of student behaviors--including study time, reading of assignments, and use of learning technologies-on learning in sociology courses.