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Learning Communities. A review of the National Research & evidence from Cañada College. Gregory M Stoup Office of Planning, Research & Student Success Cañada College. Brief background on Learning Communities . Have a long history first initiatives in 1960s - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Learning Communities

A review of the National Research & evidence from Caada CollegeGregory M StoupOffice of Planning, Research & Student SuccessCaada College1Brief background on Learning Communities Have a long history

first initiatives in 1960sCommunity College movement in 1980sLittle rigorous research on the effectiveness of learning communities on academic outcomesA body of research is emerging on the impacts of learning communities on students at the developmental level

The Effects of Learning Communities for Students in Developmental Education (MDRC, July 2012)Learning Better Together: The Impact of Learning Communities on Persistence of Low Income Students (Cathy Engstrom & Vincent Tinto, 2008)MDRC StudyFirst large-scale randomized studyLongitudinal study of 174 Learning communities offered at 6 community colleges* involving 6,974 studentsColleges in MDRC Study: the Community College of Baltimore County, in Maryland; Hillsborough Community College, in Tampa, Fla.; Houston Community College; Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Merced College, in California, and Queensborough Community College, in Queens, N.Y. Kingsborough and Queensborough are part of the City University of New YorkNearly all learning communities in the study included a course in developmental English or developmental mathTypical model studied involved linking the developmental course with either a college level course, another developmental course and/or a student success courseComponents of the Learning Community ModelComponentsDegree of ImplementationBasicMidrangeAdvanced1. Linked courses and student cohortsStudents are a mix of LC students and students taking the course as a stand aloneMost (but not all) students in the linked courses are in the LCAll students are in the LC; Courses are selected to promote integration2. Faculty collaborationTeacher teams rarely communicate about curriculum or students Teacher teams communicate periodically throughout the semesterTeacher teams plan before, during & after the semester; Curriculum tightly integrated3. Instructional PracticesCourses taught as if they were stand aloneTeachers assign at least one joint project during the semesterSyllabi are fully aligned; joint projects, joint grading rubrics; joint assessment 4. Student SupportNo additional student support is offeredAdditional support offered but not integrated into the classroomExtra support fully integrated into classroom & often required for studentsSource: Effects of Learning Communities for Students in Developmental Education, page 5.The overall conclusion from the MDRC report is that learning communities as typically operated in community colleges, on average, should not be expected to produce more than a very modest impact on credits earned (+0.5 on average) and that this intervention, by itself, will not likely lead to higher rates of reenrollment and completion for academically underprepared students.

Findings from the MDRC Study00However, the evidence also suggests that a learning community program with substantially enhanced supports for students, such as ongoing or extra advising and tightly integrated curriculum across all courses in the LC, may lead to greater benefits than the average learning community program*.

* This finding is generally consistent with those reported in Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success in California Community Colleges (The Poppy Copy). 5A review of evidence on Caada College Learning Communities

Special thanks to Bart Scott for outstanding data collection and quality control A Profile of Caada College Learning CommunitiesLC activity & performance difficult to track systematicallyFirst LC offered in Fall 2004 (Freshman Success)Slightly better record keeping since Fall 2008Small sample sizes hamper more thorough analysis Some background information

Overview of Learning Communities (Fall 2008 Spring 2012) Over this period we offered 44 courses from 14 different departmentsIn 2011/12 we offered 18 courses from 8 departmentsGrowth in LC course offerings has outpaced overall college offerings Significant variety of LC approaches; this is not an homogenous groupPercent Growth in Student Headcount Since 2008/09Learning CommunityCaada CollegeHeadcountLCCollege38646569054510,75311,59511,04410,840Percent Change from 2008/09 LevelBase YearPercent Growth in Number of Sections Offered Since 2008/09Learning CommunityCaada CollegeSection CountLCCollege394675611,4751,4711,3141,401Percent Change from 2008/09 LevelBase YearDeptCourse Title2008/092009/102010/112011/12ACTGAccounting Procedures20ACTGQuickbooks20ANTHIndians Of North America15ASTRAstronomy Laboratory27BUS.Business Writing/Presentation20CBOTComputer Applications, Part I20157CBOTComputer Applications, Part II15751CRERCollege Success167290200140CRERExploring Careers & Majors101178134150CRERMath Success38ECE.Child Development3426ECE.Child, Family, & Community17254127ECE.Early Childhood Ed Curriculum172517ECE.Early Childhood Ed Principles4040ECE.Handling Behavior13ECE.Infant Development21Learning Community offerings over last four yearsStudent HeadcountDeptCourse Title2008/092009/102010/112011/12ENGLBasic Reading/Composition117219171142ENGLWriting Development9193120120ESLAdv. Vocabulary Development2035ESLComp. for Non-Native Speakers991118ESLContent-Based Lang. Skills I3554ESLIntmdt. Vocabulary Development4126ESLLang. Skills Workforce Cars. I21680ESLListening/Speaking II15ESLWriting III2232ESLWriting IV2635HISTHistory of Latinos in the U.S.9HISTRace, Ethnicity & Immigration5263HISTU.S. History through 187769Learning Community offerings over last four yearsStudent HeadcountDeptCourse Title2008/092009/102010/112011/12LIBRIntro. to Information Research96118MATHElementary Algebra14MATHElementary Algebra I37MATHElementary Algebra II15MATHIntermediate Algebra1226PLSCAmerican Politics28PLSCAmerican Politics - Honors1PLSCCalif State & Local Govt11READAcademic Reading Strategies78141162147READReading Improvement8216412195Learning Community offerings over last four yearsStudent HeadcountStudent Populations(Fall 2008 Spring 2012)Learning CommunityFemaleMaleNot ReportedCaada CollegeN = 1,874N = 28,453Student Populations(Fall 2008 Spring 2012)Learning CommunityLess than 18 Yrs Old18 & 19 Yrs Old20-24 Yrs OldCaada College25-29 Yrs Old30-39 Yrs Old40+ Yrs Old32%22%26%22%14%16%N = 1,874N = 28,453Student Populations(Fall 2008 Spring 2012)Learning CommunityNative AmericanAsianBlack Non-HispanicN = 1,874N = 28,453Caada CollegeFilipinoHispanicMulti RacePacific IslanderWhite Non-Hispanic10%40%36%71%12%Course Performance(Fall 2008 Spring 2012)Learning CommunityCaada College Overall*% receiving A grades33%% receiving A or B grades54%% receiving A, B or C grades66%% receiving Ws19%% receiving A grades36%% receiving A or B grades54%% receiving A, B or C grades66%% receiving Ws15%N = 1,874N = 28,453One benchmark for evaluating overall performance is the college average. However, this is a crude benchmark and doesn't properly account for the unique course taking patterns of students in Learning Communities * Does not include PE courses or students taking a single course during a term. Course Performance(Fall 2008 Spring 2012)Learning CommunityControl Group*% receiving A grades33%% receiving A or B grades54%% receiving A, B or C grades66%% receiving Ws19%% receiving A grades28%% receiving A or B grades50%% receiving A, B or C grades65%% receiving Ws17%N = 1,872N = 10,993A more appropriate benchmark might be to look at students taking the same courses during the same terms as those in the Learning Community but offered outside the Learning Community format.But ideally a benchmark should also account for some of the student characteristics associated with enrollment in Learning CommunitiesWe isolate three characteristics and control for their effectsEthnicityAgeUnit LoadSummary of findings from analysis of these three factorsLearning Communities are associated with slightly higher success in terms of the % of A Grades awarded for:Hispanic studentsStudents 18 or 19 Yrs OldStudent taking less than 12 units But, are also associated with lower levels of success ( in this case, higher withdraw rates) for:African-American studentsStudents 20 - 24 Yrs OldCourse Performance(Fall 2008 Spring 2012)Learning CommunityControl Group**% receiving A grades33%% receiving A or B grades54%% receiving A, B or C grades66%% receiving Ws19%N = 1,872Expected Performance controlling for ethnicity, age and unit load % receiving A grades27%% receiving A or B grades52%% receiving A, B or C grades64%% receiving Ws17%So given that our Learning Communities attract different distributions of students in terms of ethnicity, age & unit load and seeing that those groups succeed at different rates, we ask: what performance would we expect in a control group that had the same ethnicity, age and unit load distribution as our Learning Communities? So muchvariation* Control Group is unique for each course. Its composed of the same course offered the same term but not using the learning community format.Course pass rates for 16 individual Learning Communities offered in 2010/11CourseLCControl GroupNet Change CBOT43051%66%-15%CBOT43151%75%-24%CRER40172%27%45%CRER40762%N/AN/AECE20188%74%14%ECE21095%73%22%ECE21296%73%23%ENGL82661%60%1%ENGL83669%57%12%ESL40083%73%10%ESL83758%N/AN/AESL90158%60%-2%HIST24555%N/AN/ALIBR10075%N/AN/AREAD82668%38%30%READ83666%67%-2%TOTAL65%63%1%* Control Group is unique for each course. Its composed of the same course offered the same term but not using the learning community format.Persistence rates for 16 individual Learning Communities offered in 2010/11CourseLCControl GroupNet Change CBOT43052%53%-1%CBOT43160%53%6%CRER40178%73%5%CRER40772%N/AN/AECE20177%64%13%ECE21065%72%-7%ECE21275%75%0%ENGL82678%74%4%ENGL83676%76%0%ESL40083