May 12, 2014

Learning Communities: Your Questions Answered

What is a learning community?

This short video explains it all.

How are the classes taught?

Both learning community instructors participate and support student success in both classes. Classes are scheduled back to back for the same amount of time that they would be if offered separately. Here’s an example: In an ENG/BIO learning community, the English instructor will lead the ENG parts of the class, and the BIO instructor will lead the BIO parts of the class.

The material for the courses, however, is heavily integrated (i.e. in English, students write about what they’re learning in Biology). One of the best things about learning communities is that the amount of time we spend together allows instructors to use class time to respond to the needs of students.

“I like how the teachers both participate in each others classes which shows more/different ideas on things.”

- Learning Community Student

Are these classes harder than taking them separately?

Common feedback from students suggests that learning communities are both challenging and fun.  Within learning communities, many students excel beyond that which they thought possible and also create lasting relationships.

The content in learning communities is comparable to what a student might encounter in a traditional, stand-alone class.  However, many students find that even though much of the material is the same, learning communities have support from the community of instructors and students that offers an opportunity for success.

“Anyone who likes working in groups and discussing what we have learned with everyone will enjoy it.”

- Learning Community Student

Do students receive credit for two courses?

Students earn full credit for each of the courses in a learning community, the same as if the courses had been taken separately.

“I like the idea of taking two subjects…and working on bridging the gap between them.”

- Learning Community Student

Do I pay for 2 classes or just one?

Students are responsible for the tuition for both courses.

“People who have tight schedules should take a learning community because having both classes back to back helps to understand and complete assignments.”

- Learning Community Student

Have you taken learning community classes? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

 

 

About the author:

Mark Hussey is an English instructor at FRCC. He has taught in two different Learning Community classes, one that paired English with History and now one that pairs English with Philosophy. Mark moved to Fort Collins in 2005 to work on his master's in English at Colorado State University and to be closer to the Rocky Mountains.