Powerful Learning Communities
A Guide to Developing Student, Faculty, and Professional Learning Communities to Improve Student Success and Organizational Effectiveness

Foreword by Vincent Tinto
Paper: 978 1 57922 580 3 / $33.50
 
Published: February 2013  

Cloth: 978 1 57922 579 7 / $95.00
 
Published: February 2013  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 57922 581 0 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: October 2013  

E-Book: 978 1 57922 582 7 / $26.99
 
Published: October 2013  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
370 pp., 6" x 9"
Learning communities have been demonstrated to dramatically improve student outcomes by engaging students in their learning.

This book constitutes a comprehensive guide for readers who want a broad strategic view of learning communities, enabling them to identify which type of LC best meets the learning needs of their students, and the context and mission of their institution. It also provides the tools for planning, designing and implementing what the authors define as “powerful” LCs, and for understanding the assessment implications of their decisions.

The potential power of LCs is realized through effective facilitation, appropriate team-building activities, linkages, planning, and active collaboration that promotes learning of the group and the individual group members – all of which topics are covered in this volume.

This book is organized around the three themes of setting the stage, designing an LC, and building or enhancing a powerful LC, and covers three types of learning communities – student, professional (faculty, staff), and institutional LCs concerned with student learning – providing a range of tools and forms to facilitate planning. The authors also address designing and maintaining hybrid and virtual LCs.

This book is intended as a practical resource for anyone at any level in higher education who wants to champion, develop or redesign student or professional LCs, or even explore broader initiatives to develop their institution into a “learning organization”. Administrators in academic and student affairs will find guidance for setting appropriate policies and allocating resources.

The book may also serve as a textbook for graduate courses in institutional leadership and policy studies, curriculum and instruction, student affairs, or assessment/evaluation.

Table of Contents:
Acknowledgments

Foreword
Vincent Tinto

INTRODUCTION: WHY WRITE THIS BOOK?
The Audience for This Book
How to Use This Book
New Data: The “100-Institution Survey”
Definition of Concepts and Key Terminology
Why Create Learning Communities?

1) THE SCOPE AND TYPES OF LEARNING COMMUNITIES
The Scope of LCs
Factors/Facets of LCs
A Typology of LCs
LC Subtypes for Membership Facet
Conclusion
For Reflection

2) PREPARING FOR POWERFUL LEARNING COMMUNITIES
Creating Purposeful LCs That are Powerful
Conducting an Environmental Scan
Principles for Design of Powerful LCs
Designing Powerful LCs
Conclusion
For Reflection

3) CREATING AND IMPLEMENTING OPTIMAL FACE-TO-FACE, VIRTUAL, AND HYBRID LEARNING COMMUNITIES
Comparison of Outcomes In Face-To-Face, Virtual, and Hybrid LCs
Essential Processes Common to All Three Delivery Modes
Essential Processes Unique to Face-To-Face LCs
Essential Processes Unique to Online LCs
Processes Unique To Hybrid LCs
Conclusion
For Reflection

4) CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORKS FOR CREATING POWERFUL LEARNING COMMUNITIES
Focusing on Learning in LCs
Instructional Design Frameworks
Holistic Frameworks
Development Frameworks
Overall Guiding Framework in the Creation of Powerful LC
Conclusion
For Reflection

5) ACHIEVING OPTIMAL STUDENT SUCCESS THROUGH POWERFUL SLCs, PLCs, AND LOs
Developing Powerful SLCs
Developing Powerful PLCs
Developing Powerful LOs
Conclusion
For Reflection

6) CREATING ETHICAL AND LEGAL LCS
Membership and Access
Relationships
Integrity, Privacy, and Liability
Conclusion
For Reflection

7) ASSESSMENT GUIDELINES FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF LCS
Connections to Research
The Assessment Cycle
Strategies to Create Powerful LC
Conclusion
For Reflection

8) ADDRESSING POTENTIAL PROBLEMS FOR POWERFUL LCS
Overcoming Potential Problems for LC Success
Conclusion
For Reflection

APPENDICES

APPENDIX A—COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES SELECTED FOR THE 100-INSTITUTION SURVEY

APPENDIX B—COMPENDIUM OF KEY FACTORS RECOMMENDED IN THE RESEARCH TO BUILD POWERFUL LCs

APPENDIX C—POWERFUL LC PLANNING FORM

APPENDIX D—EXPERIENTIAL EVIDENCE THAT FACE-TO--FACE AND VIRTUAL LCs DEPEND ON THE SAME PRINCIPLES AND TECHNIQUES

APPENDIX E—100-INSTITUTION SURVEY RESPONSES REGARDING WHAT MAKES THE INSTITUTIONS’ SLCs UNIQUE OR INNOVATIVE AND EFFECTIVE/POWERFUL

APPENDIX F—KEY LAWS AND LEGAL RESOURCES IMPACTING LCs

REFERENCES

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

INDEX

ADDITIONAL APPENDICES

APPENDIX G—A BRIEF HISTORY OF LCs

APPENDIX H—A CALL FOR AND EVIDENCE OF EDUCATIONAL CHANGE

APPENDIX I—WITHIN-CLASS LCs DEFINED

APPENDIX J—MORE DETAILS ABOUT LEARNING PERTAINING TO DELIVERY FORMATS FOR SLCs

APPENDIX K—THE ROLE OF CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORKS IN LCs

APPENDIX L—WEBSITE URLs PERTAINING TO LCs FOR 100-INSTITUTION SURVEY COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

APPENDIX M—EXAMPLES OF INSTITUTIONAL LC SUPPORT MATERIALS






Reviews & Endorsements:
"Drawing on a 100-institution survey as well as their own experiences, the five authors have collaborated to create this well-organized, thorough guide. Anyone in higher education seeking to advocate for, create, or expand or refine the learning community approach at their institution will find here plenty of creative ideas and supportive data. Material is organized logically beginning with conceptual underpinnings, a typology of learning communities, and design and implementation in face-to-face, virtual, or hybrid settings. Subsequent coverage includes student success, legal and ethical issues, assessment guidelines, and potential pitfalls and how to deal with them. Lenning (emeritus, with a long list of affiliations from a long career) co-authored an earlier book The Powerful Potential of Learning Communities (1999) for which this work can be considered a sequel."
- Book News, Inc.
Powerful Learning Communities combines a comprehensive review of learning community structures and implementation with a consistent focus on maximizing student learning. The examination of many types of LCs across institutions reinforces the assertion that building institutional partnerships and systemically implementing LC principles are essential elements of transformative and sustainable change. The appendices provide excellent resources for the practical application of principles and research results presented in this book."
- Anne Goodsell Love, Associate Provost for Assessment, Wagner College
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