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Learning Communities

Learning communities are classes that are linked or clustered, often around an interdisciplinary theme, and enroll a common cadre of students. Consult Faculty Focus regularly for the latest trends in learning communities.


June 22 - Learning Communities: Benefits Across the Board?

By: in Learning Communities

There is no question that higher education tends to get caught up in “fashionable” program innovations, and learning communities could certainly be considered an example. A great deal of research has established that, in terms of retention and persistence, first experiences in college are tremendously important.


November 5 - Learning Communities: Key Elements for Sustainability

By: in Learning Communities

Tuesday’s post discussed the goals and core practices of effective learning communities. Today we outline elements of sustainable learning communities as well as some of the challenges of learning community development.


November 3 - Helping Your Learning Community Reach Its Goals

By: in Learning Communities

Learning communities come in all shapes and sizes. Some simply link courses and put students in a cohort; many go considerably beyond that to build a learning environment around core practices known to promote student learning. Some are new, while others have been in place for nearly 20 years. If you would like to take


October 27 - Creating Faculty Collegiality: Strategies for Department Chairs

By: in Academic Leadership, Faculty Development, Learning Communities

Incivility in higher education has flourished in recent years, fueled by a convergence of factors ranging from the infiltration of a more corporate culture and a system that rewards individual accomplishments above collaboration to decreased state funding coupled with increased workloads and expectations. For department chairs, leading teams of educators during such a difficult time can be wrought with unexpected challenges and frustrations.


September 23 - Learning Communities Link Courses, Bring Academic and Student Affairs Together

By: in Articles, Learning Communities

Faculty need to be very careful about how they commit their time and energy, so any potential partnership with student affairs need to be compelling and clearly articulated. “We in student affairs, specifically in housing and residence life, always want to get faculty involved, but I think it’s really important for us to consider how


September 22 - Encouraging, Supporting Learning Communities

By: in Articles, Learning Communities

Learning communities, an approach to curriculum design that links two or more courses, can improve student success and retention and help students develop effective learning habits. Learning communities also can improve the instructors’ teaching by exposing them to new teaching techniques and exploring connections between disciplines they might not have considered. However, to be successful,


September 21 - Build Learning Communities Throughout an Online Program

By: in Articles, Learning Communities

Nova Southeastern University’s Master’s in Health Law program is designed to encourage the creation of learning communities in which students view each other as partners rather than isolated individuals who happened to be working toward similar goals. The two-year program, which is housed in NSU’s Shepard Broad Law Center, uses a cohort model that features


September 20 - Blogs Help Create Learning Communities

By: in Articles, Learning Communities

Susan Baim, assistant professor of business technology at Miami University-Middletown, uses weblogs to supplement her face-to-face courses to improve students’ abilities to use the internet as a research medium provide students with networking opportunities and build learning communities beyond the classroom improve students’ writing skills. Miami University-Middletown is a commuter campus, so opportunities for students


August 12 - Look to Midcareer Faculty for Learning Communities

By: in Articles, Learning Communities

Studies on faculty careers show that faculty research publication productivity plateaus or drops at midcareer. However, this one measure of faculty productivity should not be mistaken as stagnation, says Shari Ellertson, an assessment consultant at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, who conducted research on faculty “vitality,” or the intensity of engagement with their work. “What


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