Research indicates that of the pedagogies recognized as "high impact", learning communities - one approach to which, the linked course, is the subject of this book - lead to an increased level of student engagement in the freshman year that persists through the senior year, and improve retention.
This book focuses on the learning community model that is the most flexible to implement in terms of scheduling, teacher collaboration, and design: the linked course. The faculty may teach independently or together, coordinating syllabi and assignments so that the classes complement each other, and often these courses are linked around a particular interdisciplinary theme. Creating a cohort that works together for two paired courses motivates students, while the course structure promotes integrative learning as students make connections between disciplines.
This volume covers both "linked courses" in which faculty may work to coordinate syllabi and assignments, but teach most of their courses separately, as well as well as "paired courses" in which two or more courses are team taught in an integrated program in which faculty participate as learners as well as teachers.
Part One, Linked Course Pedagogies, includes several case studies of specific linked courses, including a study skills course paired with a worldview course; a community college course that challenges students' compartmentalized thinking; and a paired course whose outcomes can be directly compared to parallel stand-alone courses
Part Two, Linked Course Programs, includes a description of several institutional programs representing a variety of linked course program models. Each chapter includes information about program implementation, staffing logistics and concerns, curriculum development, pedagogical strategies, and faculty development.
Part Three, Assessing Linked Courses, highlights the role of assessment in supporting, maintaining, and improving linked course programs by sharing assessment models and describing how faculty and administrators have used particular assessment practices in order to improve their linked course programs.