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ERIC Number: ED541138
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 227
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2673-3838-9
A Case Study of Community College Students' Perceptions of Linked Courses Instructors' Use of Chickering and Gamson's (1987) "Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education" within Student Learning-Communities and the Importance of the Principles in Helping Students with Their Academic Writing Skills
Cousins, Claudia L.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Hartford
The purpose of this single-site case study was to explore and describe community college students' perceptions of linked courses instructors' use of Chickering and Gamson's (1987) Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education within student learning communities and students' perceptions of how important the principles were in helping them with their academic writing skills. More specifically, the study focused on students enrolled in a community college in a northeastern state and who have participated in at least one learning community that included a writing course (e.g., English composition) and a content course (e.g., biology, sociology, philosophy). The framework used for the study is Chickering and Gamson's (1987) Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. They are (a) encouraging contacts between students and faculty, (b) developing reciprocity and cooperation among students, (c) using active learning techniques, (d) giving prompt feedback, (e) emphasizing time on task, (f) communicating high expectations, and (g) respecting diverse talents and ways of learning (Chickering & Gamson, 1987). Two data collection methods were used: a researcher-designed survey, The Student Learning-Community Academic Writing Skills Survey (Cousins, 2011), and an in-person interview. The survey was a two part 42-item, self-report paper-pencil instrument. The first part was designed to elicit information about the students, and the second part was designed to gather information about strategies that their linked courses instructors used in the linked courses that they took over the past year at the college. All of the 15 participants who completed survey participated in the interviews. Findings were recorded for each component of the second part of The Student Learning- Community Academic Writing Skills Survey (Cousins, 2011) which is based on Chickering and Gamson's (1987) seven principles. The analysis of the survey and interview data yielded 154 findings. Overall, students perceived that their linked courses instructors did not use all of Chickering and Gamson's (1987) seven principles within their linked courses. Interviewees provided varied examples of how their linked courses instructors practiced the strategies within student learning-communities. The interview data reinforced the survey data. Conclusions and recommendations for practice and future research are presented for each of the seven components of the conceptual framework. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A