Washington Center Kicks Off New Learning Community Assessment Project
December 2008

The Washington Center continues its work on learning community program assessment with a national project using Flashlight, a set of on-line tools that make it easy for instructors to design customized surveys. At a half-day institute on January 21, scheduled to coincide with AAC&U's Annual Meeting, learning community practitioners will be introduced to these tools and will begin designing assessment questions. Project participants will get access to Flashlight and will have opportunities to share their assessment work with colleagues from across the country.

You can get more information about this institute on the Washington Center website by choosing Learning Communities Institute from the Events list.

Curriculum for the Bioregion Update:
Initiative Builds Learning Communities around Sustainability
October 2008

With global warming and energy among the most critical issues facing us, sustainability efforts are receiving attention at campuses across the nation. Washington Center's Curriculum for the Bioregion initiative is taking this focus one step further in Washington state--into the classroom. Sustainability offers unique opportunities for faculty to create theme-based curriculum and design integrative assignments.

The Curriculum for the Bioregion website includes a rich library of curricular resources and information about sustainability.

A New Era in Learning-Community Work:
Why the Pedagogy of Intentional Integration Matters
September 2008

by Emily Lardner and Gillies Malnarich

This Change magazine article describes a significant shift in emphasis in learning community practice over the past decade: from a focus on models and organizational structures to a focus on intentionally designed integrative learning for students. Campus applications for the National Summer Institute on Learning Communities in 2004 are compared with those from 2008, and three trends are noted: more campuses are using data to make decisions about instructional programs; more campuses are explicitly focusing on increasing student engagement; and more campuses are connecting their desire to implement learning community programs with their vision of the kind of learning experiences they want students to have.