Center for Engaged Learning’s seminar on Residential Learning Communities as a High-Impact Practice returned for their second summer meeting on campus, June 17-22. 

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CEL hosts second Residential Learning Communities Research Seminar Summer Session, announces 2019 Conference

Twenty participants in the Center for Engaged Learning’s seminar on Residential Learning Communities as a High-Impact Practice returned for their second summer meeting on campus, June 17-22. 

Twenty participants in the Center for Engaged Learning’s seminar on Residential Learning Communities as a High-Impact Practice returned for their second summer meeting on campus June 17-22.

The group was led by Elon’s Shannon Lundeen, director of Academic Initiatives for the Residential Campus and Cara McFadden, assistant Professor of sport management, as well as Mimi Benjamin from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Jody Jessup-Anger from Marquette University. Jennifer Eidum, assistant professor of English, represented Elon as a research seminar participant.

The 2017-2019 research seminar fosters multi-institutional research on residential learning communities (RLCs), a type of learning community in which undergraduate students live together in a residence hall or residential neighborhood and participate in curricular or extra-curricular activities designed for their cohort. Ultimately, the goal of the Center’s multi-institutional research projects is to better understand – within and across types of RLCs – what makes these experiences high-impact practices for students, how institutions might promote effective organizational structures to support these endeavors, how institutions might scale up access to them, how faculty and staff can contribute to their high-quality while balancing other job responsibilities, and how RLCs shape and are shaped by institutional culture.

During this summer’s week-long meeting, research teams analyzed the first year of their collected research data and planned for a second year of data collection across multiple institutions.

Looking ahead to the third summer, CEL has announced the Residential Learning Communities conference, which will be hosted at Elon on June 16-17, 2019. Karen Inkelas, co-author of Living-Learning Communities That Work: A Research-Based Model for Design, Delivery, and Assessment (Stylus, 2018), will be the keynote speaker.

The conference will feature multi-institutional research conducted through the seminar and other concurrent studies on residential learning communities. The Center encourages other scholars to join the culminating conversation about these inquiry projects and to share their own research related to one of the following themes:

  • Key characteristics of residential learning communities
  • Student outcomes of residential learning communities
  • Faculty and staff experiences in residential learning communities
  • Degree of cross-divisional collaboration in residential learning communities
  • Transferability of learning community research to residential learning communities

Proposals are due Nov. 30, 2018. To submit a proposal and for more information, please visit the conference website.

Following a double-blind peer review, the Center will send decision notifications by Jan. 15, 2019. Registration will open in January 2019.