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Article Title

Establishing a learning community in an undergraduate natural resource based recreation program

Abstract

Island mentality is the rule in course and curriculum design. Faculty typically design courses based primarily on the instructor’s prior experience and perhaps, but all too rarely, communications with a few colleagues and managers. Key components of the educational system, including clients, students, and practitioners, are not at the table when such courses are designed and evaluated prior to being offered. Without attempting to develop such a “community of learners,” important educational opportunities are missed. Building on the works of Peter Senge (learning organizations) and Parker Palmer (learning communities), a small-scale “experiment” in building a learning community to guide the flow of content and assignments in a set of linked courses will be conducted before the conference in March. The conceptual framework for and results of this effort will be the topic of the poster. The immediate goal is to construct a learning community and have this group design “hands-on” assignments that are linked throughout a student’s program from the 200- to the 400-level. A long-range goal is to foster a lifelong perspective on learning that involves obtaining current knowledge quickly from diverse sources versus a one-way flow of information that discourages seeking additional knowledge.

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