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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of student-faculty interaction, supportive environment, and effective teaching practices on students’ perceived learning gains at the Faculty of Science in a francophone university in Lebanon.
Approach/Methodology/Design: This study used a mixed research method design, including semi-structured interviews with five administrators, and a student engagement survey based on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The sample consisted of one Dean, four Chairpersons, and two-hundred eighty-six undergraduate students. We conducted thematic analysis for the qualitative data obtained from interviews, and Spearman’s rank correlation analysis on the quantitative data obtained from the survey.
Findings: The interview results with the dean and chairpersons revealed that having clear communication with students about their learning outcomes, offering a supportive environment and a structured advisory system were important elements to engage them in their learning experience. Findings from the students’ survey showed that clearly explaining course objectives and giving feedback on tests or homework are essential teaching practices that enhance students’ learning gains. Responses also showed the significant influence of a supportive environment measures on students’ academic and personal development, in particular, encouraging social interaction and helping students handle their non-academic responsibilities.
Practical Implications: This study can be a reference for other Francophone universities that are not acquainted with the NSSE survey, widely used in Anglophone universities to promote student learning. It could contribute in reviewing the effectiveness of teaching practices, student-faculty interaction, or other academic and social support services.
Originality/Value: This research paves the way for further research that could include other disciplines in the selected university or include other Francophone universities in Lebanon with emphasis on interactive teaching practices that effectively engage students in the University’s life.
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