This study examines the relationships between participating in learning communities and student engagement in a range of educationally purposeful activities of first-year and senior students from 365 4-year institutions. The findings indicate that participating in a learning community is positively linked to engagement as well as student self-reported outcomes and overall satisfaction with college.
Learning communities, College students, Student development, Student engagement, Effective educational practices, Integrative learning
The authors of this study examine the role learning communities play in student engagement and educationally purposeful activities in first-year and senior students. In observing 365 4-year colleges and universities and over 80,000 students around the nation, OLS regressions showed positive relationships between not only learning communities and student engagement, but also academic benefits, fruitful educational activities, college attendance, and overall experience satisfaction. These results remain in seniors. The authors conclude with several administrative suggestions including college leaders taking an active part in assuring the presence and diversity of college groups. Further, the authors say all students should have the opportunity to take part in learning communities, and they note that men, transfer, and part-time students are less likely to be a part of these communities.
Zhao, C., & Kuh, G. D. (2004). Adding value: Learning communities and student engagement. Research in Higher Education, 45, 115-138
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|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|In Publication||Research in Higher Education|
|Type of Research||Quantitative|
|Research Design||Survey research (qualitative or quantitative)|
|Intervention/Areas of Study|
|Level of Analysis|
|Specific Populations Examined||First-year students|
|Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest|
|Specific Course or Program Characteristics|
|Outcome Variables of Interest|
|Student Sample Size||500 +|