Examples of Learning Communities

Examples of Learning Communities

These are the most common configurations but do not exhaust the possible forms of linking classes.

Linked or Paired Courses

  • Students co-register in paired classes.
  • Faculty work to coordinate syllabi and assignments but teach their classes separately
  • Often skill courses and content courses are linked together
Examples of paired classes from Lane:
  • Afro Blue: Ethnic Studies and English Composition
  • BioBonds: Chemistry and Biology
  • EcoTrails: Global Ecology and English Composition
  • Food for Thought: Culinary Arts and Math and Writing
  • Thinking Indian: Anthropology and Writing
  • Transitions to Success: Life Transitions and Career and Life Planning
Examples of paired classes from other colleges:
  • "The Galactic Village ": Astronomy and English classes (Bellevue Community College)
  • "Culture, Poverty and Diet": Sociology and Nutrition Classes (Skagit Valley Community College)
  • "Everything but the Kitchen Sink": Material Science/Welding and Developmental English Composition Class (Clark College)

Course or learning clusters:

  • Students enroll in 3-4 courses linked together by a common theme
  • A cohort of students enroll in all classes
  • Faculty coordinate syllabi and assignments
  • Often include an integrative seminar 
Examples or Course or Learning Clusters:
  • "Earth Trek: An Examination of the Relationship of Nature and Humanity," Environmental Biology, English Composition and Art (Spokane CC)

Coordinated Studies Learning Communities

  • Three or more courses that often form a full load (12-15 credits)
  • Fully team-taught as an integrated program; all faculty present in all classes
  • Cohorts of students enroll
  • A team-taught 3 class model would enroll 60-75 students and be comparable to 9 conventional classes; three for each instructor
  • Faculty participate as learners as well as teachers
  • Most difficult to establish but most rewarding for faculty and students
Examples of Coordinated Studies at Lane and Elsewhere:
  • "Go For Baroque": Humanities, History, Literature, Writing and Music Classes
  • "Of Mice and Matter: A Successful Journey through the Scientific Maze": General Biology, Introduction to Chemistry and Learning Strategies (Bellevue Community College)
  • "Women in History, Literature and Film": Women's Literature, English Composition and Women's Studies (North Seattle Community College)
  • "Leonardo to Voltaire: A Renaissance of Ideas and Images": Western Civilization, Art, English Composition and Library Studies Classes (Spokane Falls Community College)

Team-Taught course pairs

Similar to coordinated studies but only involves 2 team-taught classes

Examples of Team-taught course pairs:
  • "Lighting the Green Fuse"
  • English Composition and Field Botany (Skagit Valley College)
  • "Journey to Ground Zero: Humans and the Desert"
  • Art and English Classes (Solano Community College)
  • "China Business and International Trade"
  • Business Management and Eastern Asian Studies Classes (Western Washington University)