Research indicates that of the pedagogues recognised as "high impact", learning communities - one approach to which, the linked course, is the subject of this book - lead to an increased level of student engagement in the freshman year that persists through the senior year, and improve retention.
This book focuses on the learning community model that is the most flexible to implement in terms of scheduling, teacher collaboration, and design: the linked course. The faculty may teach independently or together, coordinating syllabi and assignments so that the classes complement each other, and often linked around a particular interdisciplinary theme. Creating a cohort that works together for two paired courses motivates students, while the course structure promotes integrative learning as students make connections between disciplines.
This volume covers both "linked courses" in which faculty may work to coordinate syllabi and assignments, but teach most of their courses separately, as well as well as "paired courses" in which two or more courses are team taught in an integrated program in which faculty participate as learners as well as teachers.
Part One, Linked Course Pedagogues, includes several case studies of specific linked courses, including a study skills course paired with a worldview course; a community college course that challenges students' compartmentalised thinking; and a paired course whose outcomes can be directly compared to parallel stand-alone courses
Part Two, Linked Course Programs, includes a description of several institutional programs representing a variety of linked course program models. Each chapter includes information about program implementation, staffing logistics and concerns, curriculum development, pedagogical strategies, and faculty development.
Part Three, Assessing Linked Courses, highlights the role of assessment in supporting, maintaining, and improving linked course programs by sharing assessment models and describing how faculty and administrators have used particular assessment practices in order to improve their linked course programs.
Publisher: Stylus Publishing
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 376 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
"The subtitle of this book is 'A Guide for Faculty and Administrators, ' and it more than lives up to the promise of guidance. The introduction gives the rationale for learning communities and discusses linked courses as the most popular model, while various essays focus on the pedagogies involved and on the design and implementation of specific linked courses. But although all the essays are valuable, the most important contribution of the book, I believe, is the section on assessment. The book is a splendid resource."--Susan McLeod, Research Professor of Writing, UC Santa Barbara Writing Program
"While experiments in massified, corporatized, depersonalized college education may grab headlines, this book shows that the real 'bottom line' for students is the intellectual and social value of the learning experience. With essays from a mix of public and private colleges of different sizes and missions, Linked Courses shows college administrators and teachers across disciplines a versatile, workable--and assessment-sensitive--model for making the most of college. The collaborating teachers and students in these authentic learning communities present a blend of new and time-tested strategies that together provide an inspiring response to the call for higher education reform."--Christopher Thaiss, Clark Kerr Presidential Chair, UC Davis; Coordinator, International Network of Writing-across-the-Curriculum Programs
"This work joins a growing literature on learning communities but provides what many of them do not: a set of specific examples of best practice written by educators who are on the front lines of this innovation today.
In their descriptions of learning community differences, the authors make one thing clear: In order for learning communities to have maximum impact on learning, faculty should collaborate and find ways to link course content.
I am pleased to offer this foreword to a book that will help educators adopt and adapt the learning community model to their campus. I believe that this innovation is among the most powerful we have at our disposal. Read, learn, and enjoy!"--Betsy Barefoot, Vice President & Senior Scholar, Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education
"This book provides a unique contribution to the learning community literature by focusing exclusively on linked courses--a learning-community format that has the most realistic potential for promoting bona fide integrative learning--in contrast to creating merely a cohort of students via 'block scheduling'. Among the book's other distinctive features are discussion of linked courses that span diverse disciplines and diverse campus settings (2-year, 4-year, residential and commuter), as well as its comprehensive coverage of key issues that underlie or undermine creation of successful learning communities, such as faculty motivation, faculty development, program administration, and program assessment. This book is a must read for anyone interested in creating learning communities that fulfill their promise of promoting meaningful, integrated learning, and a coherent general education experience."--Joseph B. Cuseo, professor emeritus of psychology at Marymount College and member of the editorial board to the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition
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