Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fifth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Evaluation of learning communities: principles to guide practice
Miriam Ossevoort, Jan Riezebos

Last modified: 25-06-2019

Abstract


The aim of this paper is to evaluate the implementation of extra-curricular learning communities (LCs) that are open for all students at the faculty of Economics and Business. The LCs were developed using established guiding principles that included the choice of the theme, the educational concept, and the scheduling. During 5 semesters, 37 LCs, of which 17 unique LCs, were executed. According to the guiding priniciples, the themes extended beyond themes of regular courses and attracted both BSc and MSc students from different degree programs. Furthermore, the theme enhanced students’ professional preparation and employability. The combination of insight from practice with theory was positively evaluated. Despite the guiding principle, half of the LCs were topic-based instead of project-based. Since students strongly agreed that all LCs were a good learning experience, we have modified this guiding principle. Most points of improvement given by the students concerned the scheduling. They missed the structure they have during regular courses. Especially in the beginning of the LC they want to have more meetings to get a head start. Overall, great commitment of lecturers as well as students led to a successful realisation of these multi-disciplinary, extra-curricular and multi-level LCs.



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