Student Connections: An Integrative Model of Cohorts, Community and Learning
There is a growing body of literature about "community" in learning, or "cohorts" of learners, but there is relatively little empirical evidence about what these communities and cohorts might be. This paper reviews the literature, recognizes variations in meaning in discussions of community, and takes the first steps toward a model that describes and frames some of these issues in postsecondary education. The model presented is embedded in the concept of student "Connections," whether defined as "cohorts,""task groups,""Communities,""collaborative partnerships," or other entities. The model seeks to account for the many formal and informal ways that students connect as learners in and out of the classroom. The model is merely suggestive; there are not yet enough data to explain student learning connections fully. The suggestive model demonstrates the interrelationships and processes that launch connective learning situations. Communities of learners may begin purposely through an administrative structure or by student initiative. This model goes further by examining three elements related to connections among students in educational settings: (1) processes that initiate connections; (2) occurrences within connections; and (3) outcomes of connections. A figure illustrates the proposed model.
Saltiel, Iris M. and Reynolds, Katherine, "Student Connections: An Integrative Model of Cohorts, Community and Learning" (2001). Faculty Bibliography. 2249.