What is a learning community?
The Washington Center at Evergreen College identifies four classic learning community models: Linked or paired classes, First-year programs, Coordinated studies, and Living-learning communities.
The most common model is that of the linked or paired classes:
“Students are enrolled as a cohort into two courses. Teachers are assigned to their individual courses—they are not team-teaching. However, faculty typically get support (stipends, planning time) for designing two or more integrative assignments aimed at helping students make explicit connections between the two courses. The learning community counts as a single course for each teacher. To strengthen connections between the courses, some campuses schedule the classes back-to-back, or with a short study break between them; some campuses offer the two courses in the same time blocks but on alternate days. Co-curricular programming is often a component as well.”
Learning Communities at College of DuPage
Learning communities have been at COD for decades, run through the Field and Experiential Studies office. The Learning Communities Committee was formed in 2004 in order to coordinate and promote LCs. Through many fits and starts, we have developed a program that now routinely offers 6 – 8 LCs a semester, taught by both full and part-time faculty.
For more information:
- Contact Jim Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit www.cod.edu/academics/resources/learning_communities.aspx
- COD Guidelines for Proposing a Learning Community
- Teaching in Learning Communities: Guidelines for Success
(includes a sample of previous learning communities at COD)
- Sustaining Learning Communities: Moving from Curricular to Educational Reform by Emily Decker Lardner and Gillies Malnarich