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Learning Villages Network and its Computer Components

Learning Villages Network and its Computer Components
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Author(s): 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
Pages: 13
Source title: Handbook of Research on Instructional Systems and Technology
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Terry T. Kidd (Texas A&M University, USA) and Holim Song (Texas Southern University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-865-9.ch021


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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.

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