The rebirth of the residential college system of education in Taiwan is already at its peak with several universities already immersed in the new learning design for quite some time. To evaluate its performance, the theoretical concept behind student engagement is adapted as a basis of analysis. However, in order to effectively determine the value-adding effects of undergoing a residential type of system some statistical considerations must be acknowledge. Therefore, in order to compare the educational outcome gains of students who studied under the residential college with non-residential (ordinary) students, the current study considers the factor school as a block variable, while the residential college as treatment variable. Data collected are from 536 residential college and 823 non-residential students enrolled at four key universities that practices the residential college learning design from school year 2014 to 2015. Statistical analysis utilizing the block design results show that there exist a significant difference between the residential and non-residential college students' practical and social competencies, while no significant differences were found on the students' general competencies. In essence, the use of a block analysis denotes that residential colleges are quite unique and contextual in nature, which focuses not only on domain specific knowledge, but more importantly on diverse skills including nationalism and active participation. Current findings should be able to help higher education institutions design better course programs and activities that promote student-faculty interaction towards more holistic and meaningful student engagement.
International Journal of Research Studies in Education, Vol.6, No.3, pp.39-52