I attend the conference in Frankenmuth (an excellent experience) and
learned there of many initiatives similar to what we have been
trying and also learned variations, strategies, and solutions that
could help us get through a bumpy implementation patch we've hit.
At that conference, I believe I heard and read several times of
various colleges who are linking freshman English composition with a
history course in a learning community--not as a team taught,
fully-integrated offering but as courses linked through integrated
Will those of you from colleges who are offering this particular
learning community combo let me know? By history, I mean either
western civilization or American history.
Pellissippi State Technical Community College
> Thanks for the feedback on linked courses (and don't stop sending
> it if you haven't yet.) It's proving very helpful. Yes, Russ, I'd
> like some of the further information you suggest.
"Orange you sorry you asked?"
The Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate
Education is centrally concerned with learning communities, played
out in many institutions as packages of linked courses. They have a
useful web site at:
If that's impossible to type, or if there's a typo in my version, you
can get there from the web site of The Evergreen State College, an
institution whose entire curriculum is made up of what amounts to a
series of linked-course programs.
There's also a good Jossey-Bass Book, edited by Faith Gabelnick and
Jean MacGregor, called _Learning Communities_. The Washington Center
(Jean MacGregor started it, but is now administering a FIPSE grant to
take the concept national in the US) has a regular newsletter and a
bale o' documentation.
More specifically, Doug says:
> I envision two separate courses with separate instructors working
> fairly closely together. The students in the writing course would
> be _all_ the students in the content course, since it isn't
> supposed to be a remedial course for the unfixed. In our pilot
> this hasn't happened but I think that this is just an
> administrative problem.
I'm not sure why the 1-1 set structure is implicated in whether it's
remedial . . . strikes me there's no necessary connection. I'd
also, on the basis of my experience here, downplay the "fairly
closely together." That will probably happen, but if you start off
advertising that collaboration is planned or expected my experience
is that 80% of university faculty shy away like a horse from a
sudden movement at their knees . . . It's easy enough simply to link
the courses and ask the writing person to take that into account.
Collaboration will follow.
> The long-term goal, of course, is to stick-handle writing right
> out of the remedial corner. Right now everyone at U of C is so
> confused that they might not even notice it's happening until it's
> too late.
I wish you luck with this: it's clearly just what you (we all) need.
I've been arguing in corners and over coffee for years that such
linkages are the salvation (the only salvation) of writing courses,
whose main problem -- as anybody who's talked with me about this will
probably remember me saying -- is that they're by definition about
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