skip to main content skip to footer

Student Perceptions of Residence Hall Environments: Living-Learning vs. Conventional Units

Centra, John A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Environment, College Students, Dormitories, Student Attitudes


Living-learning residence halls are a relatively new phenomenon on the American campus. At coeducational institutions these units usually consist of three parts: a wing for male students, a wing for female students, and a central area containing dining and recreation facilities, classrooms, science laboratories, faculty and administrative offices, an auditorium and, possibly, a library. To what extent do these elements contribute to a more intellectual and cohesive atmosphere? More exactly, to what extent do living-learning residence halls differ from conventional halls in selected dimensions of their environment? In the interest of shedding light on this question this study describes student perceptions of their residence halls at one university. These perceptions, inferred from student verbal reports, are of course subjective measures of the environment; however, it can be argued that this subjective interpretation is what influences student behavior. As a second phase of the study, student perceptions of the total university environment were obtained. These provided a basis for comparing views of the total university with views of residence halls.

Read More