Respond to each classmate discussion with a paragraph. Provide a reference in ea

Respond to each classmate discussion with a paragraph. Provide a reference in each respond.
Required Readings
Student Success in College: Creating Conditions That Matter
Chapter 9, “Active and Collaborative Learning”
Chapter 10, “Student-Faculty Interaction”
Talburt, S., and Boyle, D. (2005). Reconsidering learning communities: Expanding the discourse by challenging the discourse. Journal of General Education, 54(3), 209–236.
Discussion 1
1With the popularity of learning communities, it was interesting to take a closer look at their benefits and challenges. One of the biggest benefits is the built-in social network that students are able to create (Kuh et al., 2010). Attending many classes with the same group of students gives them more opportunities to form friendships. This can make students feel like they belong at the university. Classes that are clustered together for learning communities help to nurture collaborative learning (Kuh et al., 2010). These classes often contain a lot of group work, which then requires students to work together outside of class. With the social aspect of learning communities, there are also some downsides. By creating these groups of students that have classes only with each other, the students are somewhat excluded from the rest of the student body (Talburt & Boyle, 2005). For example, these first-year students will not have many interactions with upperclassmen and miss out on the possibility of relationships with them. Another challenge that Talburt & Boyle (2005) found during student interviews was that students viewed the FLC as a practice run of college, and believed that the second semester would be when ‘real’ college began. This emphasizes the first point, as the students obviously experienced some feelings of isolation.
Aside from those benefits and drawbacks, the argument for learning communities that I believe is most important is that “learning communities often result in students being more actively involved with the course material than if they just attended classes” (Kuh et al., 2010, p. 198). Class involvement is incredibly important, as it is a form of engagement. Engagement is a buzzword you will often hear in regards to improving retention. Plus, it is nice to hear that students are actually involved in their education, rather than passive bystanders. As a person who struggled to become involved and make friends in college, I believe that learning communities are a great strategy for enhancing student learning. The socialization aspect is incredibly important. If a student feels like they belong somewhere, is it not possible that they will become more involved in their classes and campus life?
Discussion 2
Learning communities, or groups of students clustered together by common courses, or by where they live in dormitories, or some other common idea, can be both good and not so good. According to Kuh, et al., (2010), the learning communities teach students more than just the classroom material. They help them learn to collaborate, they often add to the community, and they learn how to problem-solve.
Often, learning communities also use alternative learning approaches and provide assessments other than testing (Kuh, et al., 2010). They use portfolio-based assessment and project-based assessment which can help a student see themselves in a different light. However, if they were not in these learning communities, and were in large classrooms with lecture-based learning, they would not be able to use this technique and therefore might lose more students.
On the other hand, Talburt & Boyles (2005) describe some very different aspects of learning communities. Often, if a student doesn’t live near the others, they are left out of the social aspect of being in a learning community. The students also talked about feeling uncomfortable when they were of a minority race and the rest of the group wasn’t. And finally, the students sometimes felt restricted because they were in classes with the same people all of the time, and those were also the same people they saw outside of class (Talburt & Boyles, 2005).
In my opinion, the argument that is most important is that from Talburt & Boyles (2005) regarding the development of these students at a very impressionable age. The fact that they spend almost all of their time with the same group of people can severely limit their development as they are not exposed to different people, ideas, and roles. It can seem as though the “goals and purposes of FLCs may be directly related to the economic situation of institutions of higher education” (Talburt & Boyles, 2005). If the colleges are using the idea to sell their college to students, it may not be in their best interest.
That being said, I believe there is definitely room for learning communities on college campuses. I think that they do hold some value and maybe just the way they are done could change. Rather than the first semester, maybe they could wait until the second semester when students have been around a bit. Or not make the community the be-all end-all for the students. Maybe they have a community they are part of for one class plus some out-of-class time, but not all classes. As one person said in Talburt & Boyles (2005) paper, “I think the idea, the concept of an FLC is a good idea. I think that in theory, it does kind of work because it makes people feel comfortable.”