ERIC Number: ED203792
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Classroom as Living Room: Using Group Support Systems to Promote Student Retention and Cognitive Growth in Adult Developmental Students.
Goldman, Ruth E.
A project is described that was undertaken by the Developmental Studies Department at Wayne Community College (Michigan), an urban multi-campus institution of 25,000 students serving an entire county involving research in the psychology of the new adult learner. The approach used was to systematically build a classroom environment that responded to the socio-emotional as well as cognitive needs of the nontraditional student population, based on current research. The goals were to develop a model for ongoing teacher training and a model classroom design using theories of group dynamics, human potential, and the psychology of adult learning. Specific institutional, instructor, and student outcomes were outlined. An interactive, circular seating arrangement, sharing of food and drink, individual "unfoldment," recall, and other group exercises are among the techniques used to establish the climate desired. The program is felt to have yielded a cohesive, cooperative, sensitive faculty, students who remain in the classroom in greater proportion than the norm, and students who reach required levels of competency within the program. Computerized follow-up procedures for evaluation, assessment instruments, and in-service professional development for new part-time instructors are being undertaken. Charts showing assumptions and processes of teacher-directed vs. self-directed learning, elements of the teacher role, student responses to a reading self-appraisal survey, and a sample of student evaluations are appended. (MSE)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Persistence, Adult Learning, Adult Students, Community Colleges, Developmental Studies Programs, Faculty Development, Group Dynamics, High Risk Students, Higher Education, Interpersonal Competence, Models, School Holding Power, Student Attitudes, Student Teacher Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Wayne Community College MI
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 1981).