An introductory course in manufacturing processes was taught to a cohort of engineering technology students participating in a learning community (LC) experiment and to a group of non-participating students. The LC students were all freshmen and took all the courses as a group. They were encouraged to work in teams. Non-LC students were also encouraged to work in teams but their class schedules were not coordinated. Data were collected on test scores, homework scores, and homework completion rates. The data show that the standard deviation of the grades distribution is significantly smaller for the LC group and that outliers with failing scores are not present. The non-LC group had a significant number of outliers with failing scores. These results are interpreted to mean that the LC was successful in integrating first year students into study groups. The study groups facilitate learning by increasing attendance, class participation, and homework completion.
Department, Program, or Center
Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)
M. H. Castro-Cedeno, "A quantitative assessment of the benefit of a learning community environment," Proceedings Frontiers in Education 35th Annual Conference, Indianopolis, IN, 2005, pp. F4C-10. doi: 10.1109/FIE.2005.1612132
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