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Wednesday, June 22 • 16:45 - 18:00
POSTER.56 - Examining the Effects of Living Status on Academic Performance: Residence Learning Communities

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Residence learning communities (RLCs) refer to intentional groupings of students living together in residence with shared academic and non-academic interests (Goodsell Love, 2012). Despite the growing number of RLCs in Canada, the data describing their impact in the Canadian context are lacking. Although there are promising results regarding the effect of RLCs on undergraduate retention and graduation rates specifically in the United States (U.S), there remains a need for more rigorous research (Inkelas Kurotsuchi et al., 2008; Shapiro & Levine, 1999). Specifically, variables included in the U.S models are not relevant to Canada (e.g participant year of study, degree of faculty involvement).

The purpose of this research study is to determine if living in an RLC improves student academic performance compared to other living scenarios. To objectively address this question, a complete cohort of students at the University of Guelph will be followed from their admission to the succeeding 4-5 years of their undergraduate studies. Given that the 1st year of higher education is a transitional year that serves as a foundation for subsequent years, this study will largely focus on 1st year academic outcomes (Gall et al., 2000). Academic performance will be determined based on admission average, 1st year average by courses, 2nd year registration (retention), and year of graduation.

This poster will compare and contrast the common types of RLCs available to students in Ontario and provide data on their impact on student academic success at the University of Guelph. Results of this study can inform other Canadian institutions considering implementing or expanding RLCs, and may be used to promote change in undergraduate education.

Participants at the poster presentation will: become familiar with the study design implemented for this research; learn about the results of this study; and will discuss how this research may be of value to their institution to improve undergraduate education.

Gall, T.L., Evans, D.R., & Bellerose, S. (2000). Transition to First-Year University: Patterns of Change in Adjustment Across Life Domains and Time. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19(4), 544-567.

Goodsell Love, A. (2012). The growth and current state of learning communities in higher education. New Directions for teaching and learning, 132, 5-18. Inkelas Kurotsuchi, K., Soldner, M., Longerbeam,S.D., & Brown Leonard, J. (2008). Differences in Student Outcomes by Types of Living-Learning Programs: The Development of an Empirical Typology. Research in Higher Education, 49(6), 495-512.

Shapiro, N.S., & Levine, J.H. (1999). Creating Learning Communities: A Practical Guide to Winning Support, Organizing for Change, and Implementing Programs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

avatar for Tina Hobbins (she/her)

Tina Hobbins (she/her)

PhD Candidate
Tina (Justine) Hobbins (she/her) is a PhD Candidate in the department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph, ON, Canada, conducting research in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Her doctoral research focuses on documenting and evaluating the... Read More →

Shoshanah Jacobs

Dr. Shoshanah Jacobs is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on knowledge translation and transfer.

Kerry Ritchie

Associate Professor, University of Guelph
Dr. Kerry Ritchie is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph. Her SoTL research focuses on Authentic Assessment and strategies for teaching critical thinking and communication skills, with special attention given... Read More →

Additional Authors

Mildred Eisenbach

University of Guelph

Wednesday June 22, 2016 16:45 - 18:00 EDT
Atrium, Physics & Astronomy Building Western University