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The Impact Of A Problem Solving, Team Based, Team Taught, Interdisciplinary, First Semester Learning Community On Nontraditional Technical Students At A Commuting Institution

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.1012.1 - 6.1012.15



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Paper Authors

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Thomas Kist

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Barbara Goldberg

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William Lin

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3650

The Impact of a Problem-solving, Team-based, Team-taught, Interdisciplinary Learning Community on Nontraditional Technical Students at a Commuting Institution

Barbara M. I. Goldberg, Ph.D., Thomas M. Kist, M.S, William T. Lin, Ph.D. DeVry Institute/DeVry Institute/Indiana University, Purdue University at Indianapolis


This study focused on nontraditional, commuting, full-time students at a proprietary, technical, two and four year college in a large metropolitan area in central New Jersey and the impact of a problem-solving, team-based, team-taught, interdisciplinary learning community on these students 9. Many of these students are older than traditional college students, and many are minority and international students.

The study consisted of a cohort of 25 students in the Electronic Technician (ET) Certificate Program that represented 25/26 students or 96% of the total population eligible for the study. As part of their first term experience, an experimental class of 16 students was part of the newly designed course Team 112 in its team-taught learning community model while a control group of nine students experienced the same class in the model taught by one instructor unlinked to any other class. The research hypotheses tested were that first semester students in the team-taught learning community model of Team 112 would have significantly higher levels of academic and social integration and more positive perceptions of their academic and social experiences than the control class as well as higher Team and Computer course grades and grade point averages, more contact with their classmates and instructors, and greater commitment to the college and persistence into the second semester. Both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies analyzing data from a student self-reported survey as well as institutional data were employed to compare the academic behaviors and outcomes of learning community and non-learning community students and to understand from the students’ point of view their perception of the program.

Study results indicated that the team-taught learning community of Team 112 did, indeed, make a difference to the students in the experimental class. Study results yielded both quantitative and qualitative support for the hypotheses dealing with students’ perceptions of their experiences. Experimental students indicated that they experienced higher levels of academic and social integration than did the control students. Study results failed, however, to provide support for most of the hypotheses dealing with actual student behaviors and outcomes with the exception of strong statistical and qualitative support for student commitment to the college.

“Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference &Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education”

Kist, T., & Goldberg, B., & Lin, W. (2001, June), The Impact Of A Problem Solving, Team Based, Team Taught, Interdisciplinary, First Semester Learning Community On Nontraditional Technical Students At A Commuting Institution Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9341

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