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What is a learning college?

A learning college is best defined by Terry O’Banion who states, “The learning college places learning first and provides educational experiences for learners anyway, anywhere, anytime.” Its mission is to produce learning with every student by whatever method is most efficient. The college itself is a learner. It continually seeks to enhance knowledge and facilitate comprehension within every learner.

What is the purpose of a learning college?

The purpose of a learning college is to create environments that encourage self discovery. Members of learning communities will be able to use critical thinking skills and solve problems. (Barr and Tagg, 1995, p. 13)

What are the key principles of a learning centered college?

Based on the work of Terry O’Banion, a learning college:

  • creates substantive change in individual learners
  • engages learners as full partners in the learning process, assuming primary responsibility for their own choices
  • creates and offers as many options for learning as possible
  • assists learners to form and participate in collaborative learning activities
  • defines the roles of learning facilitators by the needs of the learners
  • succeeds only when improved and expanded learning can be documented for its learners
  • encourages all employees to identify their role in supporting learning at all levels

What are some steps I can take to become part of the learning college?

  • encourage and facilitate enrollment
  • assess the needs of learners
  • encourage involvement and participation
  • design meaningful learning experiences
  • learn about the college’s learning resources
  • provide technical assistance to all learners
  • grant content expertise to all learners
  • develop assessment implementation mechanisms to enhance learning
  • arrange for and support work-based and service learning opportunities
  • nurture interpersonal relationships
  • organize, prepare, and encourage connection activities
  • guide, tutor, and coach
  • incorporate core values (think, learn, and interact) into learning
  • create standards and outcome measures
  • maintain an attractive and supportive environment