Learning Communities: Creating Environments That Retain, Engage & Transform Learners

 

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Learning Communities: Creating Environments That Retain, Engage & Transform Learners

Overview:

In this unprecedented economic downturn, students report that a nurturing learning community that also expects a rigorous investigation of important and timely issues is life changing for them. This integrated, team-taught model provides students with a social “container” in which to engage in a dialogic experience of critical thinking, writing, reading, and inquiry into the tough issues and areas of knowledge that are crucial to sustaining themselves and for their success as global and local citizens. This webinar will be a unique presentation because along with two faculty members, three thoughtful and well-educated students will share their voices as “experts” -- what they have taken away from this learning experience and what they need from the academy to sustain them in both future education, life and career paths.

Objectives:

  • Become familiar with community learning practices in an interdisciplinary, integrated studies course through the perspectives of students, TAs, and faculty
  • Explore the concept of learning communities, especially the atmosphere of belonging, openness, and interpersonal exchange that creates an optimal learning environment, and ways to implement it
  • Understand the curriculum of an integrated studies course
  • Examine the skills developed and practiced in learning communities
  • Explore personal narrative in education, as it supports diversity in the learning community and builds social awareness
  • Learn how to develop community and intellectual intimacy by creating space for the sharing of personal stories and histories
  • Examine implementation principles for learning communities:
    • How to stimulate scholarship, enhance each learner's ability to work as a group member, guide students to apply skills and thus experience relevant and meaningful learning, engage students in critical thinking skills through literary analysis and cultural interviews so that they can reflect on and evaluate group dynamics;
    • How to give creative space for students to develop a group success plan for carrying out a course project
    • How to enable students to take leadership in the classroom--to develop tasks and timelines and form a group success plan
    • 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
  • Hear faculty testimonials about their shared 13-year history in teaching coordinated or integrated studies courses and what they have learned about what makes it work for students (and faculty) and the College

Who Should Attend?

  • Vice Presidents of Instruction
  • Deans
  • Faculty
  • Student Leaders