Learning Communities

ask my PEERS          |          ask the EXPERTS

A learning community is a group of people who share common emotions, values or beliefs, are actively engaged in learning together from each other, and by habituation. Such communities have become the template for a cohort-based, interdisciplinary approach to higher education. This may be based on an advanced kind of educational or ‘pedagogical’ design.  ~~ Goodyear, De Laat, Lally (2006)

             5 LEARNING COMMUNITY MODELS                                                         (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_community)

Experts frequently describe five basic nonresidential learning community models:

  1. Linked courses: Students take two connected courses, usually one disciplinary course such as history or biology and one skills course such as writing, speech, or information literacy.
  2. Learning clusters: Students take three or more connected courses, usually with a common interdisciplinary theme uniting them.
  3. Freshman interest groups: Similar to learning clusters, but the students share the same major, and they often receive academic advising as part of the learning community.
  4. Federated learning communities: Similar to a learning cluster, but with an additional seminar course taught by a “Master Learner,” a faculty member who enrolls in the other courses and takes them alongside the students. The Master Learner’s course draws connections between the other courses.
  5. Coordinated studies: This model blurs the lines between individual courses. The learning community functions as a single, giant course that the students and faculty members work on full-time for an entire semester or academic year.


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