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ERIC Number: ED426435
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Nov
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Assessing the Learning Community: Good News for Speech Communication.
Thompson, Carol Lynn
At the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), an urban university, students drop out of college on a regular basis. Developing a community of linked courses appears to be an effective way of reaching the university's goal of helping students stay in school past the critical first semester when many of them tend to leave. Seeking to help students during that critical first year, UALR supported an experimental effort to link three basic courses: anthropology, rhetoric and writing, and speech communication. To make the learning community effective, assessment efforts were undertaken by the faculty 3 months before the project began. Goals and cognitive learning objectives were developed to determine success--success would be measured on the knowledge level, comprehension level, and evaluation level. Ultimately, 25 students enrolled in learning the community. Assessment procedures consisted of pre- and post-attitude surveys, pre- and post-focus groups, course portfolios, reflective journals, and a pre- and post-analysis of a "Doonesbury" cartoon. Results indicated that learning community students performed better and achieved higher grades in their speech communication course and also performed well in their writing and anthropology courses. On the attitude survey, 88% of learning community students agreed that it is important to recognize the connections among other course content, and 84% maintained that the learning community had helped them to see those connections. Findings suggest that students had gained from their interpersonal activities in all three courses. Assessments indicated a positive result for the university's first attempt at a learning community. (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A