Guideline: Help students create a sense of community by encouraging student-faculty and student-student dialogue.
It seems reasonably clear from existing evidence that modest, but statistically significant, positive associations exist between amount of student informal, non-class contact with faculty and such educational outcomes as satisfaction with college, educational aspirations, intellectual and personal development, academic achievement, and freshman to sophomore year persistence in college.
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Unlike a more traditional approach to instruction, learning communities foster the social construction of knowledge, cooperative learning, active learning, an emphasis on integration and synthesis of diverse student perspectives, as well as student-student, student-staff, and staff-staff collaboration.
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Schellens, T., & Valcke, M. (2006). Fostering knowledge construction in university students through asynchronous discussion groups. Computers & Education, 46(4), 349-370. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2004.07.010
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Zhao, C.-M., & Kuh, G. (2004). Adding Value: Learning Communities and Student Engagement. Research in Higher Education, 45(2), 115-138. doi: 10.1023/B:RIHE.0000015692.88534.de
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