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Learning Communities and Contextualized Learning

 

Broward College is working to improve students’ awareness of general education learning outcomes and the relevance of these outcomes within their projected career paths. As a means to further engage students in their studies, we are offering different types of contextualized courses and learning communities.
  
 
A Contextualized Course is a class that offers learning activities and assignments themed for students’ projected career paths.  For instance, in a Freshman Composition class, you may be asked to write an argumentative essay based on an issue impacting your future career, or in a math course, your instructor may have you focus on equations set in scenarios about your future career.

 

Learning Communities (LCs), also called "cohorts," are ideal if you prefer a team approach to learning both in and out of the classroom where you, your classmates and teachers work closely together.  Broward College offers the following Learning Communities:
  • Concept Themed Learning Communities are two or more classes that connect their curriculum by sharing learning activities themed on topics intended to engage students’ personal interests. Past LCs have been thematically based on Food, Sustainability, and the Apocalypse.     
  • Pathway Themed Learning Communities are learning communities where the curriculum of two or more contextualized classes are combined by share learning activities and assignments themed for students’ projected career path.  One of the biggest appeals of a pathway themed learning community is that it offers the chance to link several disciplines at once to your academic pathway of study.

The Concept Themed Learning Communities and the Pathway Themed Learning Communities may be offered in linked or paired classroom format.  A Linked Learning Community is comprised of two or more courses with a common cohort of students under a common theme, where the activities and assignments created influenced by the studies and lesson given within all courses linked within the community. A Paired Learning Community involves two or more courses under a common theme; however, these courses do not share a common group of students.  The instructors teaching in a paired community created activities and assignments that promote the interaction of the different student groups enrolled in all courses paired within the community.

 


The purpose of Broward College's learning communities and contextualized course program is tied to and supportive of the broader institutional goals and the college's strategic plan for student success, which include improvement of enrollment, term-to-term retention, and time-to-degree completion. The goals of the contextualized courses and LCs are aligned with the college competencies, including critical thinking, effective communication, ethical reasoning, global self-awareness, information literacy, and mathematical and scientific reasoning.

 

Why should I participate in a Learning Community or a Contextualized Course?

 

Research shows that students enrolled in group learning environments perform better in term-to-term persistence and grade point average (GPA).  Additionally, the overall success rates of these students are higher than those enrolled in the same classes, but not part of a learning communities and contextualized course. 

Other advantages are:
  • Students interact in more active, involved exploratory learning.
  • With greater student-faculty interaction, students can work together to pool their expertise, knowledge and skills.
  • Students are exposed to and develop a better understanding of diverse perspectives.
  • Content is reinforced as students work together and "teach" each other. This improves understanding through additional discussion and explanation.
  • Students are better prepared for real life social and employment situations.

 

Who Can Participate?

Anyone can take a contextualized course or be a part of a learning community. The transition to college may be difficult for some students, whether you're fresh out of high school, new to the country, returning to college after a lengthy hiatus, or even taking a course that you find a bit intimidating. Taking courses with other students with similar academic goals provides the supportive, nurturing environment that will encourage you to succeed.


Here's a list of Fall 2017 offerings:

   Fall Contextualized Class Flyer

 CLC flyer

 

How do I register for a contextualized course or a learning community?
  • You can see all upcoming contextualized classes, LCs and CLCs through Broward College's class schedule search.
  • You can contact Yandy Gilson, Student Success Coach, for assistance: (954) 201-8295 or ygilson@broward.edu

 

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