We study the best practices and potential issues involved in creating learning communities on a college campus.
The aim of this research is to help inform practice in constructing high functioning small-group learning environments.
See the full bibliography below for a complete list of projects, publications, and presentations related to Learning Communities research.
Larger Funded Projects
Micari, M., & Pazos, P. (2014). Worrying about what others think: A social comparison–concern intervention in small learning groups. Active Learning in Higher Education, 15(3) 249–262. See publisher's website.
Drane, D., Micari, M., & Light, G. (2014). Students as teachers: Effectiveness of a peer-led STEM learning program over 10 years. Educational Research and Evaluation. DOI 10.1080/13803611.2014.895388. See publisher's website.
Light, G., & Micari, M. (2013). Making scientists: Six principles for effective college teaching. Harvard University Press. See publisher's website.
Micari, M., & Drane, D. (2011). Intimidation in small learning groups: The roles of social-comparison concern, comfort, and individual characteristics in student academic outcomes. Active Learning in Higher Education, 12, 175–187. See publisher's website.
Streitwieser, B., Light, G., & Pazos, P. (2010). Entering the community of practitioners: A science research workshop model. Change Magazine, May/June 2010, 17-23.
Micari, M., & Drane, D. (2007). Promoting success: Possible factors behind achievement of underrepresented students in a peer-led small group STEM workshop program. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 13(3), 279–293. See publisher's website.
Pazos, P., Drane, D., Light, G., & Munkeby, A. (2007). A peer-led team learning program for freshmen engineering students: Impact on retention. Proceedings of the 2007 American Society for Engineering Education Southeastern Section Conference.
Drane, D., Smith, H.D., Light, G., Pinto, L., & Swarat, S. (2005). The Gateway Science Workshop program: Enhancing student performance and retention in the sciences through peer facilitated discussion. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 4(3), 227–352. See publisher's website.
Hirsch, P., Linsenmeier, J., Smith, H.D. & Walker, J. (2005). Enhancing core competency learning in an integrated summer research experience for bioengineers. Journal of Engineering Education, 94(4), 391–401.
Micari, M., Streitweiser, B., & Light, G. (2005). Undergraduates leading undergraduates: Peer facilitation in a science workshop program. Innovative Higher Education, 30(4), 269–288. See publisher's website.
Munkeby, A., Drane, D., & Light, G. (2005). Supporting innovative freshman study: The engineering workshop program at Northwestern University. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education, Portland, Oregon.
French, A., & Maslanka, E. (2015, March). Comparing approaches to peer-led academic support: Two programs at Northwestern university. Presentation at Chicago Symposium Series, Chicago, IL.
Maslanka, E. (2014, April). Comparing approaches to peer-led academic support: Two programs at Northwestern University. Presentation at Chicago Symposium Series, Evanston, IL.
Micari, M., & Flores, L. (2014, March). Improving academic performance & experience of underrepresented students: Comparing two programs at a selective institution. Poster presented at American Association of Colleges & Universities Network for Academic Renewal Working Conference (“Diversity, Learning, and Student Success: Policy, Practice, Privilege”), Chicago, IL.
Maslanka, E., & French, A. (2014, May). Developing peer learning mentors: Lessons learned from two contrasting programs. Presentation at The 8th International Conference on Supplemental Instruction, Chicago, IL.
Flores, L., Drane, D., Beitel, G., Light, G., Micari, M., & Lo, S. (2013, October). Summer-bridge program focused on community, leadership, and academics: Positive student experience and persistence. Poster session at AACU Transforming STEM education: Inquiry, Innovation, Inclusion and Evidence, San Diego, CA.
Flores, L., Mordacq, J., & Lo, S. (2013, April). Evaluation of students' first year experience after a summer-bridge program designed to promote diversity. Talk at NARST annual conference, Rio Grande, PR.
Flores, L., Page, T., Drane, D., Swarat, S., Beitel, G., Light, G. & Lo, S. (2013, July). Positive student learning and retention from a summer-bridge program that focuses on community building and leadership development in addition to academic preparation. Presented at the SABER conference, Minneapolis, MN.
French, A. (2013, February). Evolution of a collaborative learning program: Gateway Science Workshop (GSW). Presentation at the Chicago Symposium Series. Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science: Research and Practice. University of Illinois, Chicago, IL.
Light, G. (2011, January). Gateway Science Workshop Program 2000-2010. Presentation to President & Provost group, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Micari, M. (2011, October). Worrying about what others think: Reducing social-comparison concern in a small-group peer-led environment. Paper presented at ISSOTL Conference 2011, Milwaukee, WI.
Swarat, S., Light, G., Drane, D., & Woods, S. (2011, March). Engaging undergraduates in the community of science practitioners. The Extended Science Workshop and the Science Research Workshop program. National Science Foundation STEP Grantees Meeting, Washington, DC.
Streitwieser, B., Drane, D., Light, G., & Swarat, S. (2010, October). The Science Research Workshop: Integrating research and teaching. Paper presented at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) Annual Conference, Liverpool, UK.
Lainez, L. (2009, April). Keeping the gateway open through peer-facilitated learning: The evolution of the Gateway Science Workshop (GSW) program. Presentation at the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.
Lainez, L., & Gould, A.K. (2008, June). Critical components for increasing academic performance in STEM: The evolution and sustainability of the Gateway Science Workshop (GSW) program. Presented at the Enriching the Academic Experience of College Science Students conference, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
Streitwieser, B. (2008, September). The Science Research Workshop program: Learning what real scientists do and writing a proposal to support first time research. Presentation at the S.T.E.M. Communities in Conversation conference, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL.
Micari, M., & Pazos, P. (2007, April). Developing leaders through peer facilitation in the STEM disciplines. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Higher Learning Commission, Chicago,IL.
Micari, M., & Pederson, C. (2007, March). Developing leaders through peer facilitation in STEM disciplines. Paper presented at the Ninth Annual Chicago Symposium Series on Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science: Research and Practice, Evanston, IL.
Micari, M., Pazos, P., Light, G., Streitwieser, B., & Linsenmeier, K. (2007, April). Characteristics of peer-led workshop groups in STEM disciplines: A validated instrument to categorize group functioning. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.
Drane, D., Geiger, F., Bode, M., & Pederson, C. (2006, January). The Gateway Science Workshop. Talk given at the Georgia Tech Faculty Development Seminar Program, Atlanta, GA.
Light, G., Kjeldgaard, E., Drane, D., & Streitwieser, B. (2006, April). Extended Science Workshop program: Peer-led team learning in organic chemistry, biochemistry and cell biology. Poster presentation at the National Science Foundation STEP Grantees Meeting. Washington DC.
Micari, M., Light, G., & Schnierle, C. (2006, April). Getting through to knowing what you don't know. Approaches to learning in peer-led workshops. Poster presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
Streitwieser, B., & Light, G. (2006, April). When undergraduates teach undergraduates – conceptions of teaching in a peer-led team learning intervention in the STEM disciplines: Results of a two-year study. Presentation for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.
Streitwieser, B., Pazos, P., & Pederson, C. (2006, May). Pilot of a follow-up study of GSW facilitators. Presentation for the Gateway Science Workshop Program Annual Conference at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
Streitwieser, B., Light, G., & Micari, M. (2005, April). What I taught them really helped: The impact of peer leadership experience for undergraduate PLTL facilitators. Paper for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Montreal.