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ERIC Number: ED548514
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 363
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-2456-3
Implementing Learning Communities in American Higher Education: A Meta-Ethnographic Study
Noga, Michael A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
Using meta-ethnography as a research method, this study identified, organized, and synthesized efforts to implement learning communities at the 19 American colleges and universities that prepared written reports at the conclusion of the 1996-1999 National Learning Communities Dissemination Project (FIPSE). The researcher used 10 research questions that were prepared prior to the reading of any of the case studies. These questions guided the synthesis of the data following the practices of meta-ethnography proposed by Drs. George W. Noblit and R. Dwight Hare in 1988. Categories of interpretations displayed 5 types of learning communities; 28 types of concerns, problems or challenges encountered; 23 types of investments made, including general assessment of the costs to implement them; 21 categories of how faculty changed how students function and learn; 11 types of changes to curriculum; 21 categories of key decision of leaders; 9 categories of ways in which faculty were invited to teach in learning communities; 40 organizers of lessons learned; 7 ways in which students were invited to participate; and 43 specific implementation strategies. Findings showed that implementing learning communities requires coordination with other initiatives across campus, power and influence, scheduling and logistics, faculty rewards, formal structures, leadership, administrative support, planning, effective collaborative teaching, marketing, assessment, and, funding. This study concluded that almost every implementation effort is one that can be replicated at other colleges or universities. When developing learning communities, case study authors advised others to build on structures already in place at similar institutions rather than reinvent the wheel. Implications included additional ways that learning communities may be funded and developed. Additional research was proposed on the current learning community programs at colleges and universities that participated in the dissemination project; on how recent implementation strategies may differ; on the effectiveness of learning communities that include large class sizes; on possibilities for additional funding to reduce some campus competition for resources; on how instructors create, foster, and sustain community; on the responsibilities of learning community program coordinators/directors; and on continued use of meta-ethnography and other research methods to identify and share what works with others. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A