Students want to feel as though they are part of a learning community: an environment where they can feel supported while they connect with others who understand their specific needs. Far from just helping students to feel as though they are part of things, including decreasing instances of anxiety and depression in college students, student learning communities can directly improve the student learning experience.
As part of a community, students know they have the support they need to achieve their goals.
Many students struggle with a lack of support in their college and university environments–especially on larger campuses, where they may go to class with hundreds of students and quickly fall through the cracks. Students on many campuses have no idea what support is available or how to access it. They may know that a professor has posted office hours, but by the time they reach the point in the semester that they know they are struggling, they may not remember what those hours are or how to take advantage of them.
When they’re part of a community, on the other hand, students know that they have the support they need. They can ask questions of people within the group and get access to quick answers, including answers that can connect them to services available on campus. They’re often more aware of the general, available options.
As part of a learning community, students also have immediate access to support from one another. They can commiserate, share the challenges they’re facing, and get quick access to solutions that can help improve their educational outcomes, often without ever needing to take advantage of campus-wide options and initiatives.
Students who are part of learning communities feel more understood.
Often, students may feel as though they are alone in a sea of faces. They may worry that they are the only ones struggling with a particular concept or that they’re the only ones facing a particular problem, especially in a classroom environment. All too often, students struggle to ask for help in the classroom. They may not want to be labeled as the person who always has trouble understanding the concepts as they’re presented, or they might feel shame or embarrassment when the time comes to ask questions–especially if they feel as though everyone else around them already has all the answers.
A student learning community, on the other hand, can help build a higher degree of trust and show students that they aren’t alone in those struggles. When they feel more overall understood and connected, they may feel more likely to ask those important questions. Often, connecting through a virtual communication platform like Pronto can also make it easier for students to step out of their comfort zones and ask those important questions that can help enhance their overall learning experiences.
Students who are part of learning communities are better able to collaborate on assignments, innovation, and ideas.
Students on their own are naturally creative and inclined to question, but often, they lose track of their ideas or fail to move forward with them. Students in groups, on the other hand, are often much more likely to push forward, which can put them in a better position to answer their own questions or even achieve innovations that can impact their entire industries. In many colleges and universities, students can come up with concepts that have the power to transform processes, change outcomes, or create more sustainable methods for the industries they’ve chosen. When you bring students together as part of a learning community, it can often increase the odds of those great outcomes.
In communities, students challenge one another. They push one another to new heights, whether they’re competing to be the first to reach a solution or to offer the best outcome, or they’re just encouraging one another and building on other students’ concepts to reach new goals. They’re also more likely to be engaged in the process since they’ll get regular feedback and acknowledgment from their peers as they move steadily toward their goals.
Learning communities are a great way to create that vital bridge that can help students achieve higher levels of success–not just in the classroom, but outside it, as well. Pronto can help you facilitate those student communities, connect them, and enhance continued communication between students so that they are in a better position to reach their academic and professional goals. Contact us today for a free demonstration.