Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)
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Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 642-3888 X 6115
Learning communities are increasingly popular on campuses across the United States and for good reason. By linking several existing courses in a way that integrates curriculum and learning activities, students gain a deeper understanding and integration of the material that they are learning. In addition, they have increased interaction with their fellow students and instructors. Finally, learning communities have proven to help increase student retention by enhancing the students' connections with the faculty, the institution, and each other.
While there are several learning communities models in existence, Berkeley College is currently offering clustered courses that link individually taught courses through blocked scheduling, thus turning the students into a cohort that studies together in the same courses.
Achieving integrated teaching and learning in clustered courses requires a commitment of time and resources on the part of the faculty members. Through collaborative planning, the clustered courses should have a strong curricular integration that focuses on creating significant and deeper learning experiences.
Schrivener, S. et all. (2008). A Good Start: Two-Year Effects of a Freshmen Learning Community Program at Kingsborough Community College. MDRC.
Tinto, V. (1998) Learning Communities and the Reconstruction of Remedial Education in Higher Education. Presentation at Stanford University.
Visher, Mary G., Schneider, E., Wathington, H, and Collado, H. (2010). Scaling Up Learning Communities. The Center for Postsecondary Research.