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Abstract

Research investigating the long-term effects of learning communities on students is scarce. This qualitative study focuses on the results of 24 in-depth interviews with students three years after participating in a first year learning community at a private, selective Midwestern university. Interview questions were designed to probe students’ shifts in personal biases and stereotypes, factors related to their decisions to become involved with the learning community, self-reported levels of satisfaction with the learning community, and suggestions for improving future learning communities. Results of the interviews were positive, and also suggested the value of explicit communication about the purpose of the learning community. The authors point out the value of ongoing continuous improvement efforts.

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