Communities of Learning  Rick Dollieslager and Dawn Hayden Thomas Nelson Community College
What are learning communities? Formal versus informal
Our Goal <ul><li>To promote a learning-centered culture of  shared responsibility  for student learning </li></ul><ul><ul>...
Our Demographics <ul><li>70%  Women  </li></ul><ul><li>30%  Men </li></ul><ul><li>80%  Minority  </li></ul><ul><li>75%  18...
Creating a positive learning environment <ul><ul><li>Responsibility coupled with high expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul>...
Required Components <ul><li>Supportive Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible Faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Strong Student ...
Required Components <ul><li>Strong Professional Development Program </li></ul><ul><li>Master Learner Course (ENG 109) </li...
Learning Coaches <ul><li>One-on-one </li></ul><ul><li>Small Group </li></ul><ul><li>Whole Class </li></ul>
Master Learner Course <ul><li>Built upon Skip Downing’s  On Course  textbook and student responsibility principles </li></...
Natural Human Learning Process <ul><li>Based on Rita Smilkstein :  We’re Born to Learn: Using the Brain’s Natural Process ...
Natural Human Learning Process The Three Brain Divas
Master Learner Course <ul><li>Built upon Skip Downing’s  On Course  textbook and student responsibility principles </li></...
Cooperative Learning <ul><li>Structured  small group activities  </li></ul><ul><li>Requires students to share resources   ...
Cooperative Learning <ul><li>Cooperative Learning Basics:  http://edtech.kennesaw.edu/intech/cooperativelearning.htm   </l...
Why do I  really  use Cooperative groups? <ul><li>If I find something boring to teach, </li></ul><ul><li>  I make  the stu...
  <ul><li>  </li></ul>
Excellent Professional Development Programs <ul><li>Develop learning communities for faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Promote cre...
COL Teaching Cadre Development <ul><li>Developing learning communities for faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting creativity ...
Faculty Development <ul><li>Rita Smilkstein,  Born to Learn </li></ul><ul><li>Parker Palmer,  The Courage to Teach </li></...
Nuts and Bolts <ul><li>Schedule Building </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Linked courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic Success ...
Communities for Academic Success English Elite  (12 credits): ENG 109  MWF  9:00–9:50 SDV 100  M  10:00–10:50  ENG 5  TR  ...
Career Communities <ul><li>First Year Composition for Majors </li></ul><ul><li>ENG 111 for Pre-Nursing </li></ul><ul><li>E...
Assessment and Evaluation <ul><li>Growth of COLS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enrollment  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student and ...
Number of COL Classes
Faculty Involvement
Enrollment
Growth indicators for Academic Year 08-09 <ul><li>20% growth in number of classes involved in COLs - 36 classes compared t...
Retention Rates Over 12 Month Period
SP 08 Academic Success Communities Progressive and Non-Progressive Grade
FA 08 ENG 01/107  Progressive and Non-Progressive Grades
Challenges <ul><li>Registration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Linking Courses/Enrollment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recruitment </li><...
&quot; But should all these reasons fail to move you or your administrative and faculty colleagues, your institutions need...
 
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Learning Communities Presentation conducted at the College of Southern Maryland in September, 2009.

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  • Dewey and the social nature of learning A group of people come together with specific learning goals A learning community addresses the learning needs of its locality through partnership. It uses the strengths of social and institutional relationships to bring about cultural shifts in perceptions of the value of learning. Learning communities explicitly use learning as a way of promoting social cohesion, regeneration and economic development which involves all parts of the community. (Yarnit, 2000, p. 11) Formal and informal
  • with — it is absolutely ESSENTIAL to create a team that can work together comfortably. Egos and emotions needs to be able to be placed aside so that work can actually be accomplished so team members must be able to speak to each other openly and honestly. Our experience to date has been that those COLs with effective FLCs have a higher student success rate than those FLCs with faculty who rarely meet and have difficulties working together Plan opportunities for faculty to get together with team members i.e. retreat Planning retreat (one day with lunch included) is the best way to have faculty work together. This allows them time to get to know each other (if they have never worked together before), to review and exchange textbooks and other relevant resources Ice breaker activities Social non-threatening environment with some guided activities Time to share dos and don ’ ts Introduce Learning Coaches and allow learning coaches to talk to and brainstorm with teams to determine best uses REVISE o    Review reports discussions about what is working and what isn ’ t o    Meet to brainstorm ways to improve; resources required Be choosy about who you work ASSESS!!! Mid-term and end of year reviews are NOT just student centered. It is equally important to review and assess how faculty are working together i.e. what is working well; what can you do differently or better; program or course issues?
  • FALL 09 is now 36 classes!
  • FA 09: COL Total Students: 270 Total seats: 567 Total COL credit hours: 1639 Total FTEs: 109
  • Fall 09: 34 classes offered compared to 19 in Fall 08
  • &amp;quot;But should all these reasons fail to move you or your administrative and faculty colleagues, your institutions need to promote learning communities for a very simple reason. Namely that they enhance student learning and serve as gateways for subsequent student success, the hoped for goal of higher education. It really is that simple.&amp;quot; (Tinto, http://soeweb.syr.edu/hed/tintospeech.html )
  • Learning Communities Presentation

    1. 1. Communities of Learning Rick Dollieslager and Dawn Hayden Thomas Nelson Community College
    2. 2. What are learning communities? Formal versus informal
    3. 3. Our Goal <ul><li>To promote a learning-centered culture of shared responsibility for student learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To increase student engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To promote participation in student support services </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Our Demographics <ul><li>70% Women </li></ul><ul><li>30% Men </li></ul><ul><li>80% Minority </li></ul><ul><li>75% 18 -21 Years Old </li></ul><ul><li>40% Transfer </li></ul><ul><li>60% Occupational/Tech </li></ul>
    5. 5. Creating a positive learning environment <ul><ul><li>Responsibility coupled with high expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A sense of belonging/community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Safety, trust, and respect </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Positive self-image/self-confidence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Frequent feedback </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Required Components <ul><li>Supportive Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible Faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Strong Student Services and Academic Advising Programs </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous Assessment </li></ul>
    7. 7. Required Components <ul><li>Strong Professional Development Program </li></ul><ul><li>Master Learner Course (ENG 109) </li></ul><ul><li>Active /Cooperative Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Natural Human Learning Process </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Coaches </li></ul>
    8. 8. Learning Coaches <ul><li>One-on-one </li></ul><ul><li>Small Group </li></ul><ul><li>Whole Class </li></ul>
    9. 9. Master Learner Course <ul><li>Built upon Skip Downing’s On Course textbook and student responsibility principles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On Course Web Site Student Success Strategies </li></ul></ul>English 109, the Lifeline English 109 class web site , Spring 2009
    10. 10. Natural Human Learning Process <ul><li>Based on Rita Smilkstein : We’re Born to Learn: Using the Brain’s Natural Process to Create today’s Curriculum </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Born to Learn in a nutshell, condensed by Smilkstein for presentations: http://www.borntolearn.net/pdf/guidelines.pdf </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Growing dendrites = learning. It’s a biology thing! </li></ul><ul><li>Contemporary brain research shows us why all the old adages about learning are true </li></ul>
    11. 11. Natural Human Learning Process The Three Brain Divas
    12. 12. Master Learner Course <ul><li>Built upon Skip Downing’s On Course textbook and student responsibility principles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On Course Web Site Student Success Strategies </li></ul></ul>English 109, the Lifeline English 109 class web site , Spring 2009
    13. 13. Cooperative Learning <ul><li>Structured small group activities </li></ul><ul><li>Requires students to share resources  </li></ul><ul><li>Teaches responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Learning retention is at highest levels </li></ul><ul><li>Develops leadership skills </li></ul>
    14. 14. Cooperative Learning <ul><li>Cooperative Learning Basics: http://edtech.kennesaw.edu/intech/cooperativelearning.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Jigsaw: Learning MLA Parenthetical Citation Conventions: http://community.tncc.edu/faculty/dollieslager/MLACitations_jigsaw.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2007 project schedule and results, June 12-June 19: http://community.tncc.edu/faculty/dollieslager/dailysum07.html </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2008 project schedule, June 16-18: http://community.tncc.edu/faculty/dollieslager/dailysum08.html </li></ul>
    15. 15. Why do I really use Cooperative groups? <ul><li>If I find something boring to teach, </li></ul><ul><li> I make the students teach it!  </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2007 punctuation and grammar consultants: http://community.tncc.edu/faculty/dollieslager/experts_sum07.html </li></ul><ul><li>Fall 2008 Eng 109/ Eng 01/ Eng 05 learning community: http://community.tncc.edu/faculty/dollieslager/dev_punc_groups_mwf.html </li></ul><ul><li>Semester-long collaboration and Cooperative Learning can have remarkable results! </li></ul><ul><li>“ Becoming a Master Learner” Fall ’06 learning community class project: http://community.tncc.edu/faculty/dollieslager/masterlearner.html </li></ul>
    16. 16.   <ul><li>  </li></ul>
    17. 17. Excellent Professional Development Programs <ul><li>Develop learning communities for faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Promote creativity and growth </li></ul><ul><li>Provide opportunities for non-professional activities (getting to know one another) </li></ul><ul><li>Share learning experiences that support shared learning and teaching goals </li></ul>
    18. 18. COL Teaching Cadre Development <ul><li>Developing learning communities for faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting creativity and growth </li></ul><ul><li>Providing opportunities for non-professional activities (getting to know one another) </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing learning experiences that support shared learning and teaching goals </li></ul>Meet, compare, adjust, improve
    19. 19. Faculty Development <ul><li>Rita Smilkstein, Born to Learn </li></ul><ul><li>Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach </li></ul><ul><li>The Johnson Brothers Cooperative Learning Institutes </li></ul><ul><li>Skip Downing’s On Course Workshops </li></ul><ul><li>Tidewater Regional Center for Teaching Excellence </li></ul>Seminars, workshops, institutes, discussions
    20. 20. Nuts and Bolts <ul><li>Schedule Building </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Linked courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic Success Communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Career Communities </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Communities for Academic Success English Elite (12 credits): ENG 109 MWF 9:00–9:50 SDV 100 M 10:00–10:50 ENG 5 TR 9:00–10:40 ENG 1 TR 11:00–12:40
    22. 22. Career Communities <ul><li>First Year Composition for Majors </li></ul><ul><li>ENG 111 for Pre-Nursing </li></ul><ul><li>ENG 111 for Science & Technology </li></ul><ul><li>ENG 111 for Liberal Arts </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty Mentor: Field expert </li></ul>
    23. 23. Assessment and Evaluation <ul><li>Growth of COLS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enrollment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student and Faculty Growth of involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Increase in retention rates </li></ul><ul><li>Improvement in success rates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Productive versus Non-productive grades </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Number of COL Classes
    25. 25. Faculty Involvement
    26. 26. Enrollment
    27. 27. Growth indicators for Academic Year 08-09 <ul><li>20% growth in number of classes involved in COLs - 36 classes compared to 30 in previous year </li></ul><ul><li>330% increase in number of students served - 364 students enrolled compared to 110 in previous year </li></ul><ul><li>37% increase in number of faculty involved - 33 faculty/counselors compared to 24 in previous year </li></ul>
    28. 28. Retention Rates Over 12 Month Period
    29. 29. SP 08 Academic Success Communities Progressive and Non-Progressive Grade
    30. 30. FA 08 ENG 01/107 Progressive and Non-Progressive Grades
    31. 31. Challenges <ul><li>Registration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Linking Courses/Enrollment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recruitment </li></ul><ul><li>Data </li></ul>
    32. 32. &quot; But should all these reasons fail to move you or your administrative and faculty colleagues, your institutions need to promote learning communities for a very simple reason. Namely that they enhance student learning and serve as gateways for subsequent student success, the hoped for goal of higher education. It really is that simple .&quot; (Tinto, http://soeweb.syr.edu/hed/tintospeech.html )
    33. 33.  

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