Learning Communities

Learning Communities class photo
An exciting way to learn

Research shows that students who participate in a learning community earn higher grades, make friends faster and graduate at higher and faster rates than students who don't participate.*

* The National Resource Center for Learning Communities

What is a Learning Community?

https://youtu.be/P3fc4u45et4

  • A common group of students is enrolled in the same classes.
  • Students and faculty build connections between subject matter, disciplines and ideas.
  • The community focuses on a central theme common to the disciplines.
  • Courses are collaboratively taught by faculty from two or more content areas.
  • Collaborative and experiential learning are central to learning communities.
  • Multicultural thinking is encouraged to promote the understanding of diverse perspectives.

Benefits of Learning CommunitiesLearning Communities Image logo

  • Learning Communities classes emphasize that faculty and students alike are embarked on a journey of discovery.
  • Faculty and students are able to work together more closely and develop successful learning strategies collaboratively.
  • Students are able to become better acquainted with faculty and tend to be more comfortable asking questions.
  • Students have the opportunity to develop stronger skills, the confidence to explore issues in depth, and the ability to question and think rigorously.

Courses

Kinds of Learning Communities

Fully Integrated

Two different courses are scheduled back-to-back with the same cohort of students. Both faculty are present for the entire time during both class periods. Lectures, activities, and assignments are designed and presented as collaboratively as possible.  Two different courses are scheduled back-to-back with the same cohort of students. Both faculty are present in each other’s class periods for 50% of the time*. Lectures, activities, and assignments are designed and presented as collaboratively as possible.

Partially Integrated

Two different courses are scheduled back-to-back with the same cohort of students. Both faculty are present in each other’s class periods for 50% of the time*. Lectures, activities, and assignments are designed and presented as collaboratively as possible.

First Year Seminar

First Year Seminar Learning Community pairs an FYS class and ENG class. The same group of students are taking the same FYS and ENG back-to-back. The class is taught by two teachers who know each other, plan assignments together, and have your best interests in mind. Students who are part of a learning community at Harper feel more supported, have a greater sense of community and do better in their classes.

*When this is not practical due to course pairing, workload should be met through other means.

To learn more about Learning Communities, speak to your academic advisor or contact the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs.


VIDEO 

"It's a lot different than just your standard classroom. There's a respect between the teacher and the students."
 
—Learning Community Student