Learning Communities as a High-Impact Practice
Among a number of other educational practices, learning communities have been described as “high-impact,” due to the “unusually positive benefits that accrue to students” including “enhanced engagement in a variety of educationally purposeful tasks; gains in deep, integrative learning; salutary effects for students from historically underserved populations (that is, students get a boost in their performance); and higher persistence and graduation rates. (Kuh and Kinzie, 2018).
Some of the questions we hope to address are: How can our learning communities be strengthened to better address equity gaps and foster integrative learning? And, since research shows that participation in multiple high-impact practices has an additive positive effect (Finely and McNair, 2013), how might learning communities serve as vehicles for other high-impact practices?
So whether you are wondering about learning communities, new to teaching in learning communities, or are an experienced learning community practitioner, please join us as we explore how to best leverage the opportunities that learning communities offer in order to best serve our students.
Kieren Howard Janine Graziano
Professor, Physical Sciences Professor, English