Learning Communities


Although there is no single definition of learning communities, they are usually a curricular structure that links interdisciplinary courses around a common theme. They enroll a cohort of students with the intention of building community among students, their teachers, faculty members, and disciplines. Learning communities may be non-residential or may be residential living/learning communities. The first link below is an introduction to learning communities. The second link is a mega-site with information about all aspects of learning communities. The following sites provide examples of various structures and end with an extensive bibliography of learning communities literature. The final entry is a journal dedicated to publishing learning communities scholarship and practice.


General Resources

Learning Communities: National Learning Commons (Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education, Evergreen State University).
A comprehensive site on Learning Communities, set up to "serve as a national resource for curricular learning community work." Contains links to publications from their national monograph series and online resources for starting, maintaining, and assessing learning communities. Includes a searchable directory of national learning community projects and a moderated listserv.

"Participation in Living-Learning Programs at the University of Michigan: Benefits for Students and Faculty," Karen Kurotsuchi Inkelas (CRLT Occasional Paper #15, 2000, University of Michigan, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching). PDF/Adobe Acrobat.
Describes U of M's seven different living-learning programs and their benefits for students and faculty.

Michigan Learning Communities (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor).
An overview for students of U of M's learning communities with answers to FAQs and links to each learning community, both residential and non-residential.

Learning Communities at Syracuse University.
Description of residential and non-residential learning communities at Syracuse U.

Learning Communities at Seattle University.
Describes Seattle's program for freshman learning communities and the themes available for students to choose from, including "theme floors" in the residence halls.

University of Nebraska at Lincoln Learning Communities.
Information about first-year and upperclass learning communities.

Learning Communities Journal (Miami University of Ohio).
First published in Summer 2008, this peer-reviewed journal provides a scholarly forum for all areas of faculty and student learning communities. Print and online subscriptions available.

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Michigan State University Resources

Academic Scholars Program

Honors College

James Madison College

Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University: A Residential College for the Natural Sciences and Their Impact on Society

MRULE Multi-Racial Learning Experience

RISE Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment

Residential College in the Arts and Humanities

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