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curriculum development, faculty development, higher education, integration, pedagogy, student learning

Shifting from an Instruction to a Learning Paradigm

I’ve been reading multiple threads on my POD listserv about how to define lifelong learning and shifting from an instruction to a learning paradigm. Alan Bender from Indiana University, Bloomington offered a great resource – Randy Tagg’s book, The Learning Paradigm College.

Bender lists Tagg’s “Five Characteristics of a Learning Paradigm College” from the book:

1)  Support students in pursuing their own goals

2)  Require frequent student performances

3)  Provide frequent and ongoing feedback

4)  Assure a long time horizon for learning

5)  Provide for stable communities of practice

Here’s a description from the publisher, Jossey-Bass:

“In The Learning Paradigm College, John Tagg builds on the ground-breaking Change magazine article he coauthored with Robert Barr in 1995, “From Teaching to Learning; A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education.” That piece defined a paradigm shift happening in American higher education, placing more importance on learning outcomes and less on the quantity of instruction. As Tagg defines it, “Where the Instruction Paradigm highlights formal processes, the Learning Paradigm emphasizes results or outcomes. Where the Instruction Paradigm attends to classes, the Learning Paradigm attends to students.”

The Learning Paradigm College presents a new lens through which faculty and administrators can see their own institutions and their own work. The book examines existing functional frameworks and offers a way to reenvision and recast many familiar aspects of college work and college life, so that readers may better understand their learners and move toward a framework that focuses on learning outcomes.

Divided into five parts, the book introduces the Learning Paradigm, concentrates on understanding our learners, provides a framework for producing learning, discusses the six essential features of the Learning Paradigm college, and focuses on how to become a Learning Paradigm college.

Eminently clear and accessible descriptions of the features of the Learning Paradigm are paired with examples of how institutions of higher education around the country are transforming themselves into Learning Paradigm colleges. The Learning Paradigm College is both hopeful and realistic about what all those involved in higher education can achieve.”

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About judithcoe

I am a retired music professor emerita, faculty development champion, SoTL practitioner mentor and trainer, technology geek, fulbright alum, cultural ambassador, digital explorer, artist, and observer with a passion for Irish land- and seascapes, music and literature, Blasket Island people and culture, and the sea.

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