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Wednesday, December 9 • 1:00pm - 1:30pm
Building a Sense of Belonging: The Impact of a University-wide Exam Prep Initiative

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Students who feel a sense of belonging in their educational environment have greater academic engagement and success (Freeman et al., 2007). Exam Jam is a campus-wide initiative at the University of Toronto Mississauga that aims to foster these positive educational outcomes by reducing student stress and promoting productive study habits.  Exam Jam brings together the campus community in wellness activities (e.g., therapy dogs, massages, healthy food, crafts) and academic support programming (e.g., instructor-led course specific exam review sessions, study workshops, and peer-facilitated groups). This study examined the academic success of an Exam Jam review session for an introductory course in Anthropology (N = 726).  Term and exam grades of Exam Jam participants (N = 239) were compared to the rest of the students in the course (N = 474). Independent t-tests (p< 0.05) revealed that Exam Jam students had significantly higher grades in all categories.  Exam Jam participants with term grades of >80% (N = 116) performed significantly higher on the final exam than other students in this cohort (N = 185).  Self-selection resulted in the highest performing students overwhelmingly attending Exam Jam.  Students who were low performers were less likely to attend. This supports the findings of Lukes & McConnell (2014) who found that students with interior motivation and self-regulatory study habits utilize academic support systems. Exam Jam participants positively ranked the wellness activities in post-session surveys.  Students felt that Exam Jam activities and the participation of instructors in particular created a caring campus environment.


Sherry Fukuzawa

University of Toronto - Mississauga

Jackie Goodman

University of Toronto - Mississauga

Chad Jankowski

University of Toronto - Mississauga

Wednesday December 9, 2015 1:00pm - 1:30pm EST
Meeting Room A

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