Learning Villages Network and its Computer Components
Merrilee Cunningham (University of Houston – Downtown, USA), Ruth Robbins (University of Houston – Downtown, USA) and Deborah Buell (Shea Writing and Training Solutions, Inc., USA)
Copyright: © 2008
Universities can significantly increase the potential for academic success and degree completion for students who may be fearful of failing or have had toxic experiences with the traditional academic environment during their freshman and sophomore years in college. This positive result can be achieved by developing an infrastructure of student support delivered through learning communities that include an interpersonal mentorship component and a high-tech component that includes a web of learning networks. For example, a network of interlocking, reinforcing systems of learning or learning communities may include a bridge program, a discipline-based program and freshman to senior programs that are designed to help students survive and then thrive in the sometimes fearful environments of undergraduate colleges. The learning cohorts, by academic discipline, include learning villages which are divided into learning teams. The learning cohorts by year of study include specialists for freshman and sophomore villages. The Learning Village Web can bring learners’ communities together into a syncretistic federation to the benefit of the students in every village (Murphy, 1991; Palloff and Pratt,1999). The architecture of the Learning Community Network, like Notre Dame’s flying buttresses, must hold this dynamic organization fabric in place. Like those buttresses, it allows the structure of the edifice to get larger while appearing comfortably small to those inside each chapel or village.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Replicable Models: Models that can be successfully reproduced once they have been created using a protocol system that is made available to faculty and administrative staff responsible for replicating successful interventions.
Syncretistic Federation: A group of loosely connected university organizations that combine to create an environment that is greater than its total parts because the particular structure of those organizations have been optimally designed for the benefit of student success.
Learning Network: A systematic organization of smaller organizations that create an environment, which can intervene in academic downhill spiriting of a student.
Co-Curricular Activity: An academic activity that is not necessarily associated with any class or course but increasing the knowledge base of the student.
Net Academy: An organization that has only a virtual computer reality existence.
Learning Village Network: A group of interfacing university organizations that move both horizontally and laterally to add the student up a ladder of success from the freshman year experience to senior year and graduation.
Cross-Fertilization: Using one action to create multiple solutions to multiple problems.
Knowledge Management: The science of managing knowledge to optimize the learning capabilities of students being taught.
Learners Community: A group of administrators, professors, and students with linkages in locations to meet and study, privileges, resources, and responsibilities shared.
Endogenous Growth: Growth that originates from within through cooperative learning.