Linked Courses for General Education and Integrative Learning
A Guide for Faculty and Administrators

Paper: 978 1 57922 486 8 / $29.95
  Published: October 2012  

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Published: April 2013  

Cloth: 978 1 57922 485 1 / $95.00
  Published: October 2012  

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Published: April 2013  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
288 pp., 6" x 9"
Research indicates that of the pedagogies recognized as “high impact”, learning communities – one approach to which, the linked course, is the subject of this book – lead to an increased level of student engagement in the freshman year that persists through the senior year, and improve retention.

This book focuses on the learning community model that is the most flexible to implement in terms of scheduling, teacher collaboration, and design: the linked course. The faculty may teach independently or together, coordinating syllabi and assignments so that the classes complement each other, and often these courses are linked around a particular interdisciplinary theme. Creating a cohort that works together for two paired courses motivates students, while the course structure promotes integrative learning as students make connections between disciplines.

This volume covers both “linked courses” in which faculty may work to coordinate syllabi and assignments, but teach most of their courses separately, as well as well as “paired courses” in which two or more courses are team taught in an integrated program in which faculty participate as learners as well as teachers.

Part One, Linked Course Pedagogies, includes several case studies of specific linked courses, including a study skills course paired with a worldview course; a community college course that challenges students’ compartmentalized thinking; and a paired course whose outcomes can be directly compared to parallel stand-alone courses

Part Two, Linked Course Programs, includes a description of several institutional programs representing a variety of linked course program models. Each chapter includes information about program implementation, staffing logistics and concerns, curriculum development, pedagogical strategies, and faculty development.

Part Three, Assessing Linked Courses, highlights the role of assessment in supporting, maintaining, and improving linked course programs by sharing assessment models and describing how faculty and administrators have used particular assessment practices in order to improve their linked course programs.

Table of Contents:
Foreword—Betsy Barefoot

Introduction: Why the Need for Learning Communities Now?

PART ONE: LINKED COURSE PEDAGOGIES
1) Pairing Courses to Benefit Student Learning—Scott E. Gaier
2) Linked Content Courses: A World Civilizations–World Religions Case Study—Jeffrey LaMonica
3) Double Entry: Linking Introductory Financial Accounting and English Composition—Bruce A. Leauby and Mary C. Robertson
4) Multiple Majors, One Writing Class: Discovering Commonalities Through Problematization—Irene Clark

PART TWO: LINKED COURSE PROGRAMS
5) The Science of First-Year Learning Communities—Brandi Kutil and Rita Sperry
6) Implementing a Linked Course Requirement in the Core Curriculum—Margot Soven
7) Academic Partnerships with Residential Learning Communities—Maggie C. Parker and Alex Kappus
8) Learning Communities in the New University—Siskanna Naynaha and Wendy Olson

PART THREE: ASSESSING LINKED COURSES
9) The Nuts and Bolts of Evaluating Linked Courses—Michael Roszkowski
10) Using Program Assessments and Faculty Development
to Deepen Student Learning—Lynn Dunlap and Maureen Pettitt
11) Linked Course Assessment: The Problem With Quantitative Data—Bethany Blankenship
12) Constant Reconnaissance: Assessment for Validation and Change—Greg Smith and Geoffrey Mamerow

Editors and Contributors

Index



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Reviews & Endorsements:
"In one sense this book is most relevant for faculty at institutions which offer linked courses or are contemplating such programs. However, other readers may find these examples useful as illustrations of ways to make individual courses more interdisciplinary as well or develop team-taught courses or collaborations with other departments. Several of the chapters offer extensive references to further studies and general research in the filed which will also be useful to many readers."
- Teaching Theology and Religion
"Learning communities are robust curricular approaches for fostering engaged learning. Through connections between courses, partnerships among campus educators, and integration across the curriculum, linked courses represent the kind of learning experiences that benefit all students. Yet, to maximize their educational impact, it is necessary to be intentional about their structure and build meaningful connections. Soven and her colleagues present powerful illustrations and instructive case studies of effective pedagogy, programs and assessment approaches, and address the organizational structure challenges that can make learning communities more effective, sustainable, and widespread."
- Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director, Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University, Bloomington
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