Proposal Title

Intentional learning communities: Do students who live in academic learning clusters perform better than those living in non-intentional communities?

Session Type

Poster

Room

Atrium

Start Date

July 2015

Keywords

Residence, Learning Community, Collaborative Learning

Primary Threads

None of the Above

Abstract

Residence learning communities (RLCs) refer to intentional groupings of students living together in residence with shared academic and non-academic interests1. Given that collaborative learning environments foster a higher motivation to learn, interpersonal development and active learning, RLCs may offer a unique opportunity to enhance student academic success2,3. This may be particularly important in science education. Despite the growing number of RLCs in Canada, the data describing their impact in the Canadian context are lacking. Additionally, optimal programming design and practice of RLCs are not well described.

The purpose of this research study is to determine if living in an RLC improves student academic performance compared to living in traditional residence or off-campus. Specific attention will be given to the Biological Sciences Cluster as anecdotal evidence suggests that these are the most successful. In order to objectively address this question, a complete cohort of students at the University of Guelph will be followed from their final year in high school and the succeeding 4-5 years of their undergraduate studies. Academic performance will be determined based on high school average, 1st year average by course, 2nd year registration (retention), and year of graduation. This poster will compare and contrast the common types of RLCs available to students and provide preliminary data on their impact on student academic success. Results of this study can inform other Canadian institutions considering implementing or expanding RLC, and may be used to improve the complete undergraduate educational experience.

References

[1] Goodsell Love, A. (2012). The growth and current state of learning communities in higher education. New Directions for teaching and learning, 132, 5-18.

[2] Jongsma, K.S. (1990). Collaborative Learning, Questions & Answers. The Reading Teacher, 43, 346-347. [3] Totten, S., Sills, T., Digby, A., & Russ, P. (1991). Cooperative learning: A guide to research. New York: Garland.

[3] Totten, S., Sills, T., Digby, A., & Russ, P. (1991). Cooperative learning: A guide to research. New York: Garland.

Elements of Engagement

Our goal is to create a conversation about the broader learning environments experienced by our students.

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Jul 8th, 5:15 PM

Intentional learning communities: Do students who live in academic learning clusters perform better than those living in non-intentional communities?

Atrium

Residence learning communities (RLCs) refer to intentional groupings of students living together in residence with shared academic and non-academic interests1. Given that collaborative learning environments foster a higher motivation to learn, interpersonal development and active learning, RLCs may offer a unique opportunity to enhance student academic success2,3. This may be particularly important in science education. Despite the growing number of RLCs in Canada, the data describing their impact in the Canadian context are lacking. Additionally, optimal programming design and practice of RLCs are not well described.

The purpose of this research study is to determine if living in an RLC improves student academic performance compared to living in traditional residence or off-campus. Specific attention will be given to the Biological Sciences Cluster as anecdotal evidence suggests that these are the most successful. In order to objectively address this question, a complete cohort of students at the University of Guelph will be followed from their final year in high school and the succeeding 4-5 years of their undergraduate studies. Academic performance will be determined based on high school average, 1st year average by course, 2nd year registration (retention), and year of graduation. This poster will compare and contrast the common types of RLCs available to students and provide preliminary data on their impact on student academic success. Results of this study can inform other Canadian institutions considering implementing or expanding RLC, and may be used to improve the complete undergraduate educational experience.

References

[1] Goodsell Love, A. (2012). The growth and current state of learning communities in higher education. New Directions for teaching and learning, 132, 5-18.

[2] Jongsma, K.S. (1990). Collaborative Learning, Questions & Answers. The Reading Teacher, 43, 346-347. [3] Totten, S., Sills, T., Digby, A., & Russ, P. (1991). Cooperative learning: A guide to research. New York: Garland.

[3] Totten, S., Sills, T., Digby, A., & Russ, P. (1991). Cooperative learning: A guide to research. New York: Garland.