Following students who have gone through a Learning Community

Submitted by Becky Baranowski on

In fall 2013, Dwain Desbien and I taught MAT221/PHY121 learning community (LC).  In spring 2014, 8 of these students went on to take MAT230 with me (calculus II).  Here is some info on the LC students as compared to the non LC students.  

  • Communication skills were higher with LC students
  • Students did better on application problems (67% of LC students did well with the physics application as compared to 53% that did not take the LC)
  • Average on final exam was higher (73% average for LC and 66% for non LC)
  • All of the LC students passed the class with a C or better while 5 non LC students either dropped the class or did not pass

Other things I noticed with the LC students is that they are more driven with their goals and future.  More students come to see me for help outside of the classroom (internships, scholarships, advice on future courses, etc).  I am not sure how I will ever be able to teach a traditional calculus class without having physics along side me.  Students going onto Calc III with me will continue to be assessed and compared in fall 2014.

Completed Full Cycle
Course Number
Assessment of the Month
Average: 5 (4 votes)


Heather Muns Mon, 09/15/2014 - 1:24pm

Great research to support the LC format!  We know they work and now you have the data to back it up!  

Peter Turner Mon, 09/15/2014 - 6:48pm

What a great example to validate the efficacy of LCs! One question though: do students who sign up for a LC tend to possess those qualities associated with success? That said, great CATS!

Becky Baranowski Mon, 09/15/2014 - 7:08pm

Actually - many students who sign up for this learning community like the fact that they can take PHY121 a semester early.  But, I think word is getting out that this is the best class to take for engineering majors.  

Roselyn Turner Tue, 09/16/2014 - 8:47am

The administration has been asking for hard evidence of the efficacy of Learning Communities, and you have provided that!  Congratulations and best wishes on the support for continuation of this best practice.