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Assessing Learning Communities

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Institutional Examples

Rationale and Models

Service or Community-based Learning

Teaching and Learning



Learning Communities
National Resource Center | Resources


Assessing Learning Communities
0.23 MB pdf National Survey of Student Engagement Results - 2007
Selected Results: Enriching High-Impact Experiences - Taken from the National Survey of Student Engagement Annual Report 2007. Full report available at http://nsse.iub.edu/NSSE%5F2007%5FAnnual%5FReport/
NSSE. 2007.

link Assessment in and of Collaborative Learning
Published in December 1995, this handbook provides a set of assessment tools used by faculty, administrators, and researchers which treat assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process.


Email Listservs
link National Resource Center Listservs
The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, housed at the University of South Carolina, hosts five listservs that discuss college transitions in the context of student success.


Institutional Examples
0.17 MB pdf Learning Communities Growing in Historically Black Colleges and Universities
This article documents the efforts of faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, involved in a number of faculty development activities as well as developing learning communities to strengthen student engagement and increase retention.
Phyllis Worthy Dawkins. 2006. Winter.

link National Learning Communities Directory
This online database includes public and private institutions, from urban colleges to research universities. Entries highlight initiatives designed for diverse students in all areas of study.


Rationale and Models
0.08 MB pdf The Rationale for Learning Communities
This transcript from a speech given by Patrick Hill in 1985, at Washington Center's first conference on learning communities offers a classic defense of "why learning communities?"
Patrick Hill. 1985.


Service or Community-based Learning
biblio Engaging the Whole of Service-Learning, Diversity, and Learning Communities
The University of Michigan's Michigan Community Scholars Program integrates service-learning, diversity, and learning communities. Chapters in this book have been written by faculty, students, staff, and community partners involved in this living-learning program.
Galura, J., P. Pasque, D. Schoem, and J. Howard, (Eds). 2004. Engaging the Whole of Service-Learning, Diversity, and Learning Communities. The OCSL Press, University of Michigan.

link Designing a Learning Community in an Hour
This Washington Center classic has been used across the country to illustrate how exciting learning and teaching can be when traditional curricular structures are set aside.


Teaching and Learning
2.09 MB pdf Casebook on Collaborative Teaching and Learning
The cases featured in this December 1993 publication are based on the experience of collaborative learning faculty throughout Washington State. The cases invite extended conversations about the instructional, interpersonal, and administrative challenges associated with collaborative education.
The Washington Center. 1993.

0.09 MB word doc Designing Integrated Learning for Students: A Heuristic for Teaching, Assessment and Curriculum Design
This Washington Center Occasional Paper (Winter 2003) addresses the "how to" of designing compelling, substantive, and integrative experiences of learning for students by focusing on assignments-that is, the learning students are invited to do. The heuristic has been written with faculty development workshops in mind.
Malnarich, G. and Lardner, E. 2003.

link Wicked Problems and Fragmentation
This paper by Jeff Conklin suggests why genuine collaboration is difficult to achieve. Wicked problems and social complexity often lurk behind the greatest barrier to collaboration -- that of fragmentation.

Other Resources
biblio Strengthening Learning Communities: Case Studies from the National Learning Communities Dissemination Project (FIPSE)
This book can be ordered from the Evergreen State College bookstore by calling Robert Payne (360) 867-6215.
Strengthening Learning Communities: Case Studies from the National Learning Communities Dissemination Project (FIPSE).

biblio Where are learning communities now? National leaders take stock
How might learning communities become more effective and sustainable over time? The perspectives of fifty-six campus leaders inform an article that identifies essential aspects of learning community work, from "vigilance about logistical considerations" to the realization that "the emotional side of change matters."
MacGregor, J., and B. L. Smith. 2005. "Where are learning communities now? National leaders take stock." About Campus. ACPA- College Student Educators International. 10, (2) May/June: 2-8.

biblio Creating Learning Communities: A Practical Guide to Winning Support, Organizing for Change, and Implementing Programs
This guide presents a pragmatic blueprint for creating a learning community that can be adapted to almost any campus culture--including who should be placed on planning committees to samples of syllabi for interdisciplinary courses, sample clusters of classes, and lists of competencies and expected student outcomes.
Shapiro, N. S., and J. H. Levine. 1999. Creating Learning Communities: A Practical Guide to Winning Support, Organizing for Change, and Implementing Programs. Jossey-Bass.

biblio Learning Communities: Reforming Undergraduate Education
A comprehensive account of the contemporary and historical context of learning communities, structures and practices including the nuts and bolts of successful, sustainable learning communities across the country.
Smith, B. L., J. MacGregor, R. Matthews, and F. Gabelnick. 2004. Learning Communities: Reforming Undergraduate Education. Jossey-Bass.

biblio The Challenge of Learning Communities as a Growing National Movement
This article identifies key challenges learning communities face from that of transition and succession as early adopters move on to the challenge of purpose.
Smith, B. L. 2001. "The Challenge of Learning Communities as a Growing National Movement." Peer Review. Association of American Colleges & Universities. 3/4, (4/1) Summer/Fall: 4-8.

biblio Strengthening Learning Communities: Case Studies From the National Learning Communities Dissemination Project (FIPSE)
This report on a three-year FIPSE project (1996-99) includes an account of campus learning community initiatives, assessment results, and lessons learned by the 19 participating regional universities, research universities, and community colleges as well as a summary by the project evaluators of the six "vital elements" associated with learning community initiatives that are "being propelled forward."
MacGregor, J. (Comp.). 1999. Strengthening Learning Communities: Case Studies From the National Learning Communities Dissemination Project (FIPSE). Olympia: Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education, The Evergreen State College.

biblio Sustaining and Improving Learning Communities
This book explores how students in learning communities actively participate in their own education, and deepen and diversify their college experience.
Laufgraben, J. L. and Shapiro N. S. 2004. Sustaining and Improving Learning Communities. Jossey-Bass.

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