LEARNING COMMUNITIES: LEARNING COMMUNITIES: Creating Environments that Retain, Engage and Transform Learners

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<p>Slide 1</p> <p>LEARNING COMMUNITIES: Creating Environments that Retain, Engage and Transform Learners </p> <p>* Carol Hamilton, Faculty Emeritus, English* Jane Lister Reis, Communications Faculty* Cam Basden, teaching assistant and adult learner* Haley Gronbeck, teaching assistant and tutor* Chris McCrae, adult learner</p> <p>North Seattle Community College Presenters:</p> <p>Requirement of our AA degree (learning outcome:interdisciplinary thinking</p> <p>Recently utilized as a retention strategy with developmental English and math integrated with a college course (Gates Foundation and Washington Center focus)</p> <p>Integrated Studies Committee led by a faculty member </p> <p>LEARNING COMMUNITIES: A 20+ Year History at Our College</p> <p> Most of the research and assessment on learning communities reveal promising results: * A preponderance of studies indicate that learning communities strengthen student retention and academic achievement, and that both students and teachers in learning communities say that their learning community experience is positive.</p> <p>* Both research and assessment studies point to numbers of noteworthy and effective learning community initiatives in programs for entering students, general education coursework, and in pre-college/developmental education. </p> <p> 2 Kathe Taylor et al. Learning Community Research and Assessment: What We Know Now, Executive Summary, 2003. Learning Communities: A Proven Container for Student Retention and Critical/Analytical Thinking2</p> <p> Classroom as container</p> <p>Beginnings: Sustaining Our Identity and Culture in a Multicultural Society An interdisciplinary 10-credit, 11-week evening course offered Fall 2010 combining Freshman English Composition, American Literature and Society (ENGL 265), Small Group Communication(CMST&amp;230) and Intercultural Communication(HUM105)About Our Class: </p> <p>Theme- based learning, essays (personal narrative and research-based), dialogic student seminars, mini-lectures, small group discussions, cultural interviews, and a final integrative projectAbout Our Class: </p> <p>Our Educational Paths and How Learning Communities Changed our Learning and Our LivesIntroducing the Adult Learners &amp; Teaching Assistants:</p> <p>Haley, Cam, and Chris </p> <p>Intersections between Scholarship of Teaching &amp; Learning (SoTL) and my experience as a T.A.Importance of narrative in the classroom to create a comfortable learning environmentMy experience at The Evergreen State College: community-based, seminar-style learning with narrative evaluations</p> <p>HALEYS NARRATIVE</p> <p>Creating a space where stories come forwardReleasing your voice in the classroom: creating aspace forstudent and teacher connection.Using personal histories to challenge and deconstruct dangerous ideas.Developing community and intellectual intimacy by understanding ourselves, our history, and the stories around us.</p> <p>Diverse Learners: Exploring Personal Narrative and Social Awareness</p> <p>Cams NarrativeMy previous educational experiences: St. Marks School (East Coast Boarding School) &amp; University of Florida and what was missing.Communication and its importance inside and outside of the classroom.My experience as both a student and T.A. in Coordinated Studies: its impact on my life both scholastically and privately.</p> <p>A Community That CaresEstablish awareness with students on the 1st day of class --this is not a normal class --you will be talking about deep issues revolving around identity, belonging, and community.Create a sense of openness: student to student, teacher to student, and student to teacher all required for success and enjoyability.Invite stories: All class members have a story, one that shapes our identity and our relationships with one another.Discover empathy: it exists in all of us, but requires practice.Recognize the class as a living system: it requires nurturing and attention in order for optimal learning to take place. </p> <p>A COMMUNITY OF RELEVANT ENGAGEMENT The final integrative group project pulls all of thecoursework together and gives it meaning.</p> <p>Completing a project that addresses communitystimulates scholarship and connection by performing thefollowing functions:</p> <p>Enhancing learner ability to work as a group member in the pursuit of a common goal that has an intrinsic value to the community. Practical application of skills learned in this classroom environment makes the learning relevant and gives it meaning.</p> <p>A COMMUNITY OF RELEVANT ENGAGEMENT Utilizing the critical thinking skills developed by literary analysis and cultural interviews allows learners the ability to reflect on and evaluate group dynamics.</p> <p>Giving creative space to learners who together pick a theme (related to literary and cultural themes explored throughout the quarter), develop tasks and timelines, form a group success plan, and develop norms forms a strong cohesive group fosters a safe learning environment empowering all learners to take leadership in the classroom.</p> <p>A COMMUNITY OF RELEVANT ENGAGEMENT Developing connections with each other and to the college that extends beyond the classroom. They build networks and support groups that can be used in future. </p> <p>Providing a quantifiable and visible service to the community which gives the school value to the public and gives learners a sense of ownership to the school and their work.</p> <p>Questions for Haley, Cam and Chris?</p> <p>Emergent, Co-Constructive &amp; Based on Adult Learning Theory (Knowles)3</p> <p> * Adults are practical, autonomous and self-directed. * Adults have accumulated a foundation of life experiences and knowledge that may include work-related activities, family responsibilities, and previous education. * Adults are goal-oriented and relevancy-oriented. * As do all learners, adults need to be shown respect. </p> <p>About Our Class: </p> <p>3Conner, M. L. "How Adults Learn." Ageless Learner, 1997-2007. http://agelesslearner.com/intros/adultlearning.html</p> <p>Love the learner and the learning!</p> <p>Course Website: http://facweb.northseattle.edu/jreis/beginnings2010/beginnings_index.htmClass Blog: http://beginnscc.blogspot.com/Key Handouts &amp; Assignments: Whats in a Seminar Seminar Video Seminar: A Skill Everyone Can Learn" Seminar Preps (careful reading &amp; critical thinking) Final Integrated Assignment Cultural Interviews Assignment Personal Narrative Assignment &amp; EssaysAnnotated Bibliography</p> <p>COURSE TOOLS &amp; REFERENCES</p> <p>FINAL QUESTIONS?</p> <p>Thank you for this opportunity to share our learning experience with you!</p>