These resources are a part of our ongoing efforts to share research and insights into the broad spectrum of residence life and education practice focused on increasing student learning and engagement. Learning Communities, in general, have long been a feature of American higher education. Residential Living Learning Programs, or Living Learning Communities, involve a cohort of students living in a residence hall who engage in blended educational activities and/or courses around a theme or topic. These communities may or may not include a formal academic component or coursework. Names for these programs and different types of these communities include: living learning communities, living learning programs, residential colleges, freshman (first year) interest groups (FIGs), and theme learning communities.
If you have a resource that you think we’re missing, let us know. We aim to keep this as up-to-date as possible. Many of the associations outlined here also maintain extensive resources.
Associations, Consortiums, and Groups
The National Learning Community Collaborative includes:
- Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education (The National Resource Center for Learning Communities)
- Learning Communities Association (LCA)
- ACUHO-I Academic Initiatives Conference
- National Learning Community Consortium (NLCC)
- Residential College Society (RCS)
- National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
- National Resource Center on the First-Year Experience and Students In Transition (NRC)
- The Atlantic Center for Learning Communities
- California Leanring Communities Consortium
- Consortium for Illinois Learning Communities
- Texas Learning Communities Consortium
- Washington Learning Communities Consortium
- Living-Learning Community Professionals Resource Group (Facebook)
- LEARNCOM (Listserve)
National Studies and Databases
- ACREO – The Assessment of Collegiate Residential Environments and Outcomes (formerly the SILLP – The Study of Living Learning Programs
- NSLLP – The National Study of Living Learning Programs (2007 Findings)
- Presentation: Residential Learning Communities: What We Know (and More Importantly) What We Have Yet to Learn (2019)
- Presentation: Lessons Learned about One High-Impact Practice (2010)
- The Residential Learning Community Database (maintained by ACUHO-I)
Conferences and Courses
- ACUHO-I Academic Initiatives Conference
- National Learning Communities Conference
- Residential College Symposium
- Creating a Living Learning Program (by ACUHO-I, requires payment)
Living-Learning Communities That Work: A Research-Based Model for Design, Delivery, and Assessment by Karen Kurotsuchi Inkelas, Jody E. Jessup-Anger, et al. (2018)
Powerful Learning Communities: A Guide to Developing Student, Faculty, and Professional Learning Communities to Improve Student Success and Organizational Effectiveness by Oscar T. Lenning, Denise M. Hill, Kevin P. Saunders, Alisha Solan, and Andrea Stokes. (2013)
Designing for Learning: Creating Campus Environments for Student Success by C. Carney Strange, and James H. Banning. (2015)
Learning Communities and Student Affairs: Partnering for Powerful Learning by Lee Burdette Williams. (2007)
Building and Sustaining Learning Communities: The Syracuse University Experience by Sandra N. Hurd, and Ruth Federman Stein. (2004)
Sustaining and Improving Learning Communities by Jodie Levine Laufgraben, and Nancy S. Shapiro. (2004)
Creating Learning Communities: A Practical Guide to Winning Support, Organizing for Change, and Implementing Programs by Jodie H. Levine, and Nancy S. Shapiro. (1999)
Guide to Living-Learning Communities During COVID-19 (ACUHO-I, 2020)
Blog Posts and Web Articles
- The Built Environment’s Impact on Living-Learning Communities (NAC Architecture, 2016)
- Elon Statement on Residential Learning Communities as a High-Impact Practice. (2019).
- Learning Communities Matter in Times of Crisis. (2020, June 3).
- Learning Communities Research and Practice (LCRP) Journal
- The Journal of College and University Student Housing
- Arminio, J.W. (1994). Living-learning centers: Offering college students an enhanced college experience. Journal of College and University Student Housing, 24(1), 12-17.
- Benjamin, M. (Ed.). (2015). Learning communities from start to finish (New Directions for Student Services, No. 149). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Blimling, G. (1989). A meta-analysis of the influence of college residence halls in academic performance. Journal of College Student Development, 30, 298-308.
- Brower, A. M., & Inkelas, K. K. (2010). Living-learning Programs: One high-impact educational practice we now know a lot about. Liberal Education, 96(2), 36-43.
- Cox, B. E., & Orehovec, E. (2007). Faculty-student interaction outside the classroom: A typology from a residential college. Review of Higher Education: Journal of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, 30(4), 343–362.
- Dickman, M. M., Huss, R. W., Fuqua, D. R., & Good, L. K. (2003). Assessment of student learning and development in the residence halls: Review of Literature. Commissioned by The Association of College and university Housing Officers—International and presented at the Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV.
- Dunn, M. S., & Dean, L. A. (2013). Together we can live and learn: Living-learning communities as integrated curricular experiences. SCHOLE: A Journal of Leisure Studies and Recreation Educa- tion, 28(1), 11–23.
- Gabelnick, F., MacGregor, J., Matthews, R. S., & Smith, B. L. (Eds.) (1990). Learning communities: Creating connections among students, faculty, and disciplines (New Directions for Teaching and Learning, No. 41). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Hurtado, S. S., Gonyea, R. M., Graham, P. A., & Forsnacht, K. (2019, March). The relationship between residential learning communities and student engagement [Paper Presentation]. ACPA 2019 Convention, Boston, MA, United States.
- Inkelas, K. K., Johnson, D., Lee, Z., Daver, Z., Longerbeam, S., Vogt, K., & Leonard, J B. (2006). The role of living-learning programs on students’ perceptions of intellectual growth at three large universities. NASPA Journal, 43(1), 115-143.
- Inkelas, K. K., Soldner, M., Longerbeam, S., & 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), 495-51.
- Inkleas, K. K., Vogt, K. E., Longerbeam, S. D., Owen, J., & Johnson, D. (2006). Measuring outcomes of living-learning programs: Examining college environments and student learning and development. The Journal of General Education, 55(1), 40-76.
- Inkelas, K. K., & Weisman, J. (2003). Different by design: An examination of student outcomes among participants in three types of living-learning programs. Journal of College Student Development, 44, 335-368.
- Inkelas, K. K., Zeller, W. J., Murphy, R., & Hummel, M. (2006). Learning moves home. About Campus, 10(6), 10-16.
- Johnson, W. G., & Cavins, K. M. (1996). Strategies for enhancing student learning in residence halls. (New Directions for Student Services, No. 75). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Kuh, G. D. (1996). Guiding principles for creating learning environments for undergraduates. Journal of College Student Development, 37(2), 135-148.
- Lenning, O. T., & Ebbers, L. H. (1999). The powerful potential of learning communities: Improving education for the future. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, vol. 26, no. 6.Washington, DC: The George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and Human Development.
- Luna, G., & Gahagan, J. (Eds.), Learning initiatives in the residential setting (Monograph No. 48). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.
- Pascarella, E. Bohr, L., Nora, A., Zusman, B., Inman, P., & Desler, M. (1993, May). Cognitive impacts of living on campus versus commuting to college. Journal of College Student Development, 34(3), 216-220.
- Pike, G. R. (1999). The effects of residential learning communities and traditional residential living arrangements on educational gains during the first year of college. Journal of College Student Development, 40, 269-284.
- Pasque, P. A., & Murphy, R. (2005). The intersections of living-learning programs and social identity as factors of academic achievement and intellectual engagement. The Journal of College Student Development, 46(4), 429-441.
- Schein, H. K. (2005). The zen of unit one: residential learning communities can foster liberal learning at large universities. In Laff, N. S. (Ed.), Identity, learning, and the liberal arts (New directions in teaching and learning, no. 103, pp. 73-88). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Stassen, M. L. A. (2003, October). The impact of varying living-learning community models. Research in Higher Education, 44(5), 581-613.
- Tinto, V., and Goodwill, A. (1993). Freshman Interest Groups and the first year experience: Constructing student communities in a large university [ED358778]. ERIC.
- Zhao, Chun-Mei, and George D. Kuh. 2004. “Adding Value: Learning Communities and Student Engagement.” Research in Higher Education 45(2): 115-138.