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Student Success in Themed-Learning Communities

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2021 Illinois-Indiana Regional Conference



Publication Date

April 16, 2021

Start Date

April 16, 2021

End Date

April 17, 2021

Conference Session

Classroom Methodologies

Tagged Topic

Classroom methodologies

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Paper Authors


Mary Ann Frank Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

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Senior Lecturer, Interior Design Technology

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Brenda Morrow IUPUI- School of Engineering and Technology

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Visiting Lecturer; RID - Registered Interior Designer of Indiana; IDEC; Board Member IDCI - Interior Design Coalition of Indiana

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In a Themed-Learning Community students enroll with a cohort group of peers in a series of courses designed for their major area of study. Typically, these are freshmen students in their first semester of post-secondary education. They are new to their university, their campus, and their field of study. In theory, by enrolling with other students who are also beginning their college careers they benefit from comradery, a shared set of experiences in multiple classes, and a team of faculty members who work together to facilitate the themed-learning experience. At the conclusion of the freshman year, the hypothesis is that higher student retention will be realized by the cohort of Themed-Learning Community students as compared to other freshman-year students in the same program of study.

The Themed-Learning Community program studied in this paper seeks to realize the benefits and minimize potential disadvantages of participation by its freshmen students. It analyzes results of numbers of students who continue in the field of study based on their participation in a Themed-Learning Community compared to students in traditional course enrollment who complete the same series of courses outside of the Themed-Learning Community framework. Both objective assessment instruments as well as student and faculty perception will be analyzed in addition to final retention results. After an initial offering of three successive years with freshmen classes in Themed-Learning Communities, the program’s faculty members seek to identify improvements to the program as well as to determine its level of success in student learning and improved student retention after the freshman year.

Frank, M. A., & Morrow, B. (2021, April), Student Success in Themed-Learning Communities Paper presented at 2021 Illinois-Indiana Regional Conference, Virtual. 10.18260/1-2--38277

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