Investigating personal and professional connections through the Technology Learning Community

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2004-01-01
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Ancar, LeQuetia
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Altmetrics
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Industrial Education and Technology
Abstract

This qualitative study analyzed data from participant observations, in-depth interviews, artifacts and a focus group to determine how the Technology Learning Community (TLC) located in the Department of Industrial Education and Technology (IEdT) at Iowa State University had an impact on the educational experience of new and transfer students to the department. Based on an interpretivist perspective and grounded theory approach, two themes emerged from the data relative to the research question: the development of personal connections to the IEdT Department through planned collaborative learning activities among peer mentors and team members and the development of professional networks and relationships with IEdT faculty, staff, and industry professionals through weekly seminars and team-based activities. Findings from the analysis of the study based on the first theme include the ability of the TLC to foster intellectual connections and interactions that enhance knowledge construction among student participants and collaborative learning team activities such as social outings, industrial field trips, and peer and industrial mentor meetings enhance student knowledge construction and transfer. Based on the second theme, these findings include the creation of networks and relationships between TLC participants and TLC/IEdT faculty and staff which enable a sense of community and opportunities to learn from diverse perspectives, and networks between TLC participants and TLC faculty, staff, and industry professionals enable students to make classroom to work connections, expose students to potential employment environments and opportunities, humanizes the teacher to student relationship and enables reciprocal learning.

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Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2004