Cohorts, Communities of Inquiry, and Course Delivery Methods: UTC Best Practices in Learning--The Hybrid Learning Community Model
Journal of Continuing Higher Education Volume 60, Number 3, ISSN 0737-7363
From the early 1990s to present, the practice of cohort-based learning has been on the rise in colleges, universities, organizations, and even some K-12 programs across the nation. This type of learning model uses the power of the interpersonal relationships to enhance the learning process and provide additional support to the cohort members as they move toward program completion. With the emergence of online and distance classes and programs early in the century, programs using cohort learning models have embraced the concept of e-learning communities. Coole and Watts (2009) link the success of e-learning models to the effectiveness of social constructivist learning styles that add to the richness of knowledge construction and transfer. Saltiel and Russo's research (2001) supports this concept in their reference to the power of the cohort bonding process. Even if cohort members do not know one another coming into the program, the structure of the program builds community right from the start with discussions and group projects designed to increase the socialization process of the learners as a collaborative team. Saltiel and Russo (2001) call this the "Collaborative Intensive Group Learning Experience". Reflection on University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC)'s history of the early use of traditional and online cohort based learning models yields a similar story. The authors discuss the development and implementation of a hybrid learning community model that has allowed UTC to begin additional research in the areas of instructional design, program development, course assessment, online facilitation, and professional/faculty development. (Contains 2 figures.)
Rausch, D.W. & Crawford, E.K. (2012). Cohorts, Communities of Inquiry, and Course Delivery Methods: UTC Best Practices in Learning--The Hybrid Learning Community Model. Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 60(3), 175-180.