Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2006

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Larry Ebbers

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine a paired, developmental learning community to understand how it enhances learning at a selected community college---Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. Learning communities are defined as purposeful restructuring of an undergraduate curriculum that thematically link or cluster courses together and enroll a common group of students (MacGregor & Smith, 2005). Thus, the research focused on students in a paired, developmental learning community. Developmental learning communities consist of two developmental classes that are linked with other courses at the college and enroll a common group of students;The primary focus was to view paired, developmental learning communities through the eyes of at-risk students who participated in them. To complement this part of the research, a persistence study was included in the findings that examined the percentage of students in a paired, developmental learning community who persisted to the next quarter;In addition, secondary quantitative data previously collected by Metro was utilized as a part of study to gain a deeper understanding of the paired, developmental learning communities. Secondary data included Likert scale assessment and open-ended surveys. In addition, focus groups, interviews, and observations were conducted by the researcher;The overall findings revealed that a higher level of comfort in the classroom was demonstrated by the students. Connections were developed between classes and topic; and student-linked subject matter from one class to the next. The study also revealed collaboration among faculty, a higher level of support and encouragement from fellow peers and faculty during the experience, and a strong sense of community and commitment from both the faculty and fellow students;Based on the themes identified in this study and the model for core practices in learning communities developed by Smith et al. (2000), a new model was proposed in this study for core practices in developmental learning communities. The model is a combination of attributes derived from the Likert survey, open-ended survey, observations, focus groups, informal interviews, literature review and the merged themes developed from this case study.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/rtd-180813-16462

Publisher

Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/

Copyright Owner

Kelly Jo Krogh Faga

Language

en

Proquest ID

AAI3243832

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

138 pages

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