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Review of First-Year Seminar: An Academic Success Guide to Your First Year

First-Year Seminar: An Academic Success Guide to Your First Year by Carey Miller, Brittany Richmond, Lakeisha Mathews, and Jeremy Boettinger is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

For this review, I am focusing on Chapter 1: Defining Success: Why Are You Here? by Alise Lamoreaux and Dave Dillon. The chapter concentrates on non-traditional students, providing a brief overview of the demographics, asking students personal inventory questions, and addressing the different needs of non-traditional students. While the overview of non-traditional student demographics is interesting, it didn’t seem particularly engaging to the students (in our own textbook, I think we should highlight the “Why are you here?” right away in a more personal way, addressing LaGuardia students, including student voices).

Coverage/Context/Comprehensiveness

The chapter provides detailed information on non-traditional students, but I think it could take a bit more time to provide context and explain how this matters to the question “Why Are You Here?”

Quality/Reliability/Currency

Most of the numbers referred to in the overview of non-traditional student demographics were between 10 and 20 years old, so they would need to be updated. The greatest challenge of the chapter is its lack of organization (which creates a lack of clarity): it starts with non-traditional students, continues with personal inventory questions, and ends with reflections on the usability and purpose of websites, without any transitions. I was rather confused about the purpose of this chapter.

Appropriateness

The language seems fine and the focus on non-traditional students may be inclusive in itself, but I think including multiple student perspectives would make the content more relatable. The exploration of the question “Why Are you Here?” could be more successful if students we addressed more directly and received more information on what being “Here” actually means (so more concrete information on the college environment and how students can benefit).

Access

The content is easy to download as a searchable PDF. It contains a single image and no tables. I’m not sure about the formatting.

Adaptable, Customizable

Content is adaptable. After review, I’m not sure how relevant this will be to our FYS OER “Orientation” chapter. Some version of the personal inventory questions might be interesting to include.

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