O’Banion (1997b) defined six key principles upon which a
learning college is based these included: 1) institutional commitment to
substantive change in the learners, 2) learner accountability as full
partners, 3) institutional dedication to diverse learning options, 4)
student participation in collaborative learning, 5) re-defining of
faculty roles and staff roles according to learning needs and, 6)
evidence of success documented by learning outcomes.
How are decisions made at your institution? What does your
institution do well? How do you know that? Is your institution focused
on helping students learn in a way that they will demonstrate that
learning when they leave? Are the students engaged as partners in
learning: do they understand how they learn? Does the campus budget
support and prioritize learning? Does the campus organization and
governance support and improve learning? Notice from O'Banion's
principles, the validation of a learning institution is documented
success in learning outcomes.
Many of the decision-making practices are deeply ingrained in our
institutional culture; some of those practices are good and others may
need to be reviewed. The purpose of assessment is accountability, to
provide evidence for decision-making that will improve learning, and to
prompt learning. It is a complex process as shown in Roger & Beno’s
Institutional Effectiveness Diagram that gives rise to many issues which
must be dealt with in order to close the loop.