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First Generation Learners’ Experience of Collaborative Learning

Joseph Roberson and Carina Kleynhans
Tshwane University of Technology Department of Hospitality Management

Abstract—Entering the higher education environment is problematic for most students, but even more so for first-generation learners who have more challenges to face. Due to changes in student characteristics and the need to accommodate a more diverse student body, conventional teaching methods have lost its favour. The primary objective of this study was to identify first-generation learners’ perceptions of collaborative learning. A descriptive survey design was used and data were collected through questionnaires following a quantitative approach. Data were collected from 220 Hospitality Financial Management students registered at the Tshwane University of Technology. Descriptive data analysis was conducted. Most of the first-generation students had a positive attitude towards the collaborative learning exercise and perceived it to have contributed to their learning experience. They expressed a preference to work in a group. While the first-generation students had difficulty with the interaction aspects of the collaborative exercises, this could be attributed to the diversity of the group. Higher education institutions should establish ways to enrich the experience and increase success rate of first generation students.
Index Terms—first-generation learners, collaborative learning, higher education

Cite: Joseph Roberson and Carina Kleynhans, "First Generation Learners’ Experience of Collaborative Learning," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 150-154, June 2019. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.5.2.150-154