A study of the effects that multiple living learning programs have on residence hall students at a large research university
Jones, James Brian
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The purpose of this study was to use a survey research design to examine the effects that living learning programs have on students who live in residence halls at a large, research university that offers a variety of living learning programs. The study employed Tinto's Model of Institutional Departure (Tinto, 1993) as a theoretical framework. Survey data was used to measure elements of Tinto's model including students' pre-college attributes, involvement in the social and academic systems of the university, integration into each of these systems, and outcomes. Astin's Input-Environment-Output Model (Astin, 1970) was used as the basis for the research design of the study. Astin's model was overlaid on Tinto's model in order to make the theoretical base of the study compatible with a practical research design. The study was conducted at a large research university. The sample consisted of 2,774 residence hall students. There were 14 residence halls on the campus, eight living learning programs that were housed in six haUs, and there were eight halls that did not house living learning programs. The study measured the effects of the living learning programs on student integration and student outcomes, while controlling for pre-college academic ability and aptitude. The study used MANCOVA to determine if differences existed between the comparison groups, while controlling for pre-college academic ability and aptitude. The study compared living learning students with non-living learning students. The study also compared non-living learning students who live in residence halls that house living learning programs with non-living learning students who live in residence halls that do not house living learning programs. Results of the study indicate that living learning programs had positive effects on living learning students, though small effect sizes question the actual contribution that living learning programs make to the differences between living learning and non-living learning students. Results regarding non-living learning students that live in halls that house living learning programs proved inconclusive, suggesting further research in this area.