July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Educational Research and Methods
A residential learning community (RLC) is an integration of academic and social settings that assists learners to create meaningful learning experiences. An RLC allows students with similar interests to live and learn together. Living in an RLC improves retention by helping students develop a sense of belonging and disciplinary identity. As such, RLCs can be a solution to student attrition and low graduation rates among college students, which is negatively impacting economic growth across the United States. Developing effective RLCs involves providing authentic contexts to learners allowing them to socialize with mentors and peers while engaging in knowledge construction. In this work-in-progress (WIP) paper we evaluated student experiences in an RLC specific to data science: Data Mine Learning Community (DMLC). The DMLC is an interdisciplinary learning community that welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to live and learn data science skills. We used the situated learning perspective as our theoretical framework. The primary research question for the study was: How do students who are enrolled in the corporate partner cohort of the DMLC describe their social interactions and their learning in the context of the learning community? We used a qualitative research approach to evaluate the experiences of first-year students enrolled in the DMLC. Students enrolled in the corporate partner cohort of the DMLC were asked to voluntarily share their experiences in the form of written reflections as a part of an open-response survey at the end of each semester. To understand student experiences, we conducted a thematic analysis of student reflections after they completed their first semester. We analyzed reflections and we discussed our findings through the lens of the situated learning theory, specifically addressing its three key tenets: authentic context, social interaction, and authentic learning.
Jaiswal, A., & Lyon, J. A., & Perera, V., & Magana, A. J., & Gundlach, E., & Ward, M. D. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Evaluating Student Experiences in a Residential Learning Community: A Situated Learning Perspective Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38152
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