Initiating a Learning Community

2 Students Working on Math Problems Together

Instructions for Faculty

The following content outlines the process necesarry to create a new learning community. Any questions about this process should be submitted to Doug Gardner.

Required Information to Initiate a Learning Community:

    1. Faculty Information (i.e., name, email, department)
    2. Two academic courses to be paired in the proposed learning community
    3. Rationale for the pairing of the two courses and a unifying theme to conceptually pull together the two courses
    4. Description of the community engagement activities students will participate in during the learning community
    5. Acknowledge both faculty have read the goals, outcomes, essential elements, and expectations.
    6. Acknowledgment of support by both Department Chairs

Program Goals:
What do we want Learning Communities (as a program) to accomplish at UVU?

    1. Increase retention rates.
      Proportion of students who complete the semester re-enroll the following semester, year-to-year completion, complete degrees.
    2. Increase Student Engagement in the Classroom.
      Participate in classroom discussions; student engagement in the classroom. Student's connection to each other.
    3. Support Student Success.
      Support for students at-risk; forming of a community of support within the (learning) community. Completion of academic goals.
    4. Enhance Faculty Development.
      Interaction among faculty pair, learning from among all learning community faculty.
    5. Promote Integrated Learning.
      Integrated thinking; Dovetailing; combining of curricular elements.

Learning Outcomes:
What should students be able to do as a result of being in a Learning Community?

    1. Demonstrate commitment to teamwork and cooperative skills with peers in a collaborative way.
    2. Develop reflective learning skills that demonstrate growth and maturity in educational and life experiences.
    3. Synthesize and transfer learning between two Learning Community courses and into new situations.
    4. Demonstrates ability and commitment to collaboratively working across and within community context and structures to achieve a civic aim.

Classroom Elements:
What brings about learning and programmatic outcomes?

    1. Scheduling of courses facilitates a sense of shared time and space.
      1. All pairs taught back-to-back.
    2. Integrated Curriculum
      Explicit connections are made across the two courses.
    3. Faculty Collaboration
      Faculty spend time together to discuss the integration of the curriculum.
    4. Reflective Learning
      Students have the opportunity to reflect on the experiences taking place in class.
    5. HIGH QUALITY student-to-student and student-to-faculty interaction.
    6. Community Engagement
    7. Team-based Learning (Group Work)
      Appropriate scaffolding is provided to the students to help them learn to work together in a group. The opportunity exists to debrief group learning experiences.

Expectations for Faculty Participating in Learning Communities:

    1. Implement 7 classroom elements.
    2. Participate in Learning Community training events (i.e., one-day Learning Community summer institute (week after Spring Convocation) and other training events during your time teaching in a Learning Community).
    3. Teach in a Learning Community at least 4 consecutive semesters (2 years).
    4. Be mentored by experienced Learning Community faculty.
    5. Participate in and support assessment.
    6. Market Learning Communities.
    7. Provide draft of syllabus by June 15th.

Learning Community Compensation Chart

 ACTIVITY  WHEN PAID  AMOUNT
 Complete training to become a Learning Community (produce draft syllabus)    By July 1, start fiscal year  $200
 Teach semester 1-4  After 3rd week of semester  $200
 Teach starting at 5th semester  After 3rd week of semester  $250
 LC Faculty Mentor  By June 30, start fiscal year    $200