An analysis of program implementation and student and faculty perceptions of a learning community model at Florida Gulf Coast University


Team learning approach in education -- Florida


This study sought to holistically describe the development and implementation of a pilot learning community program at Florida Gulf Coast University. The study used qualitative and quantitative methodology to examine the purposes and conceptualization of the program, explore the perceptions of student and faculty participants, describe the characteristics of students who chose to participate in the learning community, and determine what effects the program had on student success and retention. Semi-structure interviews were conducted with participating faculty. Data were transcribed and coded using categorical aggregation to organize and report emerging themes. Student focus groups were facilitated in pre-program and post-program sessions to determine expectations and attitudes of student participants. Proxy measures were used from the College Study Inventory, an assessment of student motivational factors to determine selected student characteristics. Measures from student records were analyzed to determine academic success and retention effects. The study resulted in a description of the conceptualization and implementation of the learning community and a review of the purposes and goals of the program. Findings of the study indicated that students who participated in the program had lower high school grades yet were more receptive to academic assistance in college. Student participants gave higher importance to social aspects of the learning community and learning through peer assistance. Themes that emerged from faculty interviews included differences in perceptions regarding faculty student boundaries, student socialization effects, planning and organizational issues, and pedagogical practices regarding the use of cooperative strategies in the classroom. The study provided recommendations for further programming efforts that were based upon the review of the current literature on student development theory, organizational theories, and learning community research.


This item is only available in print in the UCF Libraries. If this is your thesis or dissertation, you can help us make it available online for use by researchers around the world by downloading and filling out the Internet Distribution Consent Agreement. You may also contact the project coordinator Kerri Bottorff for more information.

Graduation Date



Lynn, Mary Ann


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Research, Technology and Leadership




253 p.



Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)




Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic

Accessibility Status

Searchable text

This document is currently not available here.