One of the benefits of a learning community is that students get to know each other faster and at a deeper level when they are seeing each other so often and in different contexts (classes, residence halls, dining halls). This can also create challenges – the class is likely to be lively and talkative (a good kind of challenge to have!)
It's important for the instructors to always work together collaboratively. Sometimes there's a tendency for one instructor to bulldoze ideas through. If you're the bulldozer, stop and think about how to listen to others' opinions about how the activities should be organized. If you're being bulldozed, speak up, and, if necessary, demand equal input into decisions.
– Barbara Dixon, Associate Dean for Education, Continuing Lecturer, College of Liberal Arts & Nursing Nexus and Entrepreneurial Learning Communities ENGL 106 Instructor
Quickly establish a community by making sure everyone knows everyone else's name in the class and something unique about each of them. I make it a goal of the class for everyone to know each other's name by week three at the latest. I even give name quizzes to make sure it happens.
Get the group together socially as soon as possible. I usually have the class to my home for dinner several times during the semester but strongly suggest having lunch or dinner together in the dining courts very early in the semester.
-Susan Aufderheide, Director, Undergraduate Studies Program Explorers Learning Community EDPS 105 Instructor