Toolkit Resources


Designing Effective Living-Learning Programs

Author: Aaron Brower, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Research has shown that students in living-learning programs (LLPs) develop the kinds of academic and social outcomes that are the goals of a liberal education, including critical thinking, civic engagement, and a smoother transition to college. This narrative introduces research that shows the high-impact of LLPs, and it identifies three attributes of the most effective programs: strong partnerships between student and academic affairs, clearly defined and academically oriented learning objectives, and integrative designs for learning that take advantage of the unique environment of an LLP. To contextualize these recommendations, the author describes how a sustainability-oriented LLP at UW-Madison uses these characteristics to enhance student learning and bring its mission to life.