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Krishna Pakala and student present on Living Learning Communities

Krishna and student stand in front of screen projection

Krishna Pakala, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, and his undergraduate research assistant, Kamryn Parker, presented on “Assessing the Value of an LLC and Tools to Add to Your Tool Box” at the 2019 Academic Initiatives Conference Oct. 1-3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The event was hosted by the Association of College and University Housing Officers. International Living Learning Communities (LLCs) are high-impact programs where students can gain invaluable opportunities, however, it is often hard to quantify their success. Their presentation focused on the value creation framework and how it is used to assign the value produced through the social learning obtained by living in an LLC. Concrete examples of successful LLC events, ways to partner with community members and how to encourage faculty members to engage within the LLC were provided. The event marked Parker’s first opportunity to present her research at a conference; the computer science/data science major was the only undergraduate researcher at the conference.

Pakala also presented in a showcase session, “Impact of Mobile Learning in an Engineering Living Learning Community.”

Devshikha Bose, an instructor design consultant at the IDEA Shop, also supported the development and planning of this presentation. Lana Grover, a senior instructional design consultant for mobile learning and emerging technologies at the IDEA Shop also supported this work.

In this showcase session, participants were introduced to the design and functioning of an Engineering Living Learning Community, which included a Mobile Learning Community. Participants identified ways the Mobile Learning Community facilitated the enhancement of learning, professional skills, digital fluency and communication. The session concluded with participants reflecting on how the student housing experience can be enhanced through the inclusion of a thoughtfully designed, emerging technology initiative.

Pakala also was on a faculty panel, “The Faculty Perspective.” In residential life, often the strategies for successful faculty collaboration and involvement in academic initiatives are discussed. This panel provided the participants to hear the faculty perspective on connection with residential life and student affairs.