Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Whitbred, Robert

Subject Headings

Cleveland State University, Action research in education -- Ohio -- Cleveland, College teaching -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Universities and colleges -- Faculty -- Ohio -- Cleveland, Theory of reasoned action, Learning communities

Abstract

This thesis examines the intentions of faculty members' in regards to their participation in learning communities at Cleveland State University (CSU). Like many higher education institutions, CSU offers learning community courses as an option to incoming students. Research has found that learning communities lead to a number of benefits for students, including higher grades and retention. However, CSU faces a continuous challenge in being able to offer learning community courses to students, and that is an increased need for faculty participation. The Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) was applied as a theoretical framework in order to better understand how the attitudes and subjective norm of faculty members' at CSU affects their likelihood of participation in learning communities. In this study a survey was administered to faculty members at CSU. Participants were asked questions to assess their attitudes and normative beliefs about learning communities at CSU. Research questions were asked to assess if other elements outside TRA affected the likelihood of faculty participation in learning communities. The results of the study provided support for the theoretical constructs of TRA. The results indicated that faculty at CSU felt that learning communities lead to benefits for students. Faculty also evaluated the outcomes of learning communities as positive. In addition, the results indicated the importance of normative beliefs in the intentions of faculty members at CSU in regards to their participation in learning communities. Results to the research questions discovered that faculty perceived that participation in learning communities would take too much time and logistical effort. Additionally, faculty member's reported a general lack of information about learning communities and the ways that they are conducted specifically at CSU. However, the results also suggested that there is a potential to increase faculty involvement in learning communities at CSU. Sponsors of learning communities at CSU can use these re

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Communication Commons

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