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Learning Organizational Environment

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Which paradigm best describes your current learning organizational environment? Why? Provide an example.

Since the advent of the information age, the use of technology, especially computers and the internet, have caused widespread changes in methods of teaching and learning. The Internet has made a substantial difference to the scope of online education, which has produced a new paradigm for teaching and learning that is different from traditional teaching methods. In order to achieve student learning, it is important to shift to learner-centered paradigms (Kearsley, 1998).

  According to Riegle, paradigms are mental patterns of approaching an issue; paradigm shifts are unpredictable and inevitable. At AIU, the paradigm that most describes the way students are taught is the interactive learning paradigm, which, asserts that people acquire knowledge through participation in activities, and in consultation with well-informed specialists (Basharina, 2007).

This paradigm is reflected in my method of teaching students, which involves the use of assignments, teamwork, active, exploratory and learner-focused activities to aid learning. My students are taught based on this paradigm which is similar to the knowledge-building paradigm, which involves students forming collaborative groups to conduct research and interact with one another via different methods, for example, an online discussion group. This prepares students for work environments of learning organizations that value innovation and authenticity.

  1. How does your organizational paradigm affect your assessments and measurement of student learning?
    At AIU, assessments are performed by using assignments, course work and online discussions as a way of assessing students’ performance and general interest in a particular topic. Other methods of assessment include discussions, real-time chats and forums; quizzes, exams, multimedia approaches like animations, simulations, presentations and other web-based tools for collaboration. Assignments given out to students at AIU are guided by electronic collections of past students’ work which are made available as samples for students to conclude their assignments. These methods are used to assess students’ learning and to determine their level of understanding of various topics. Evaluations, feedback on performance, and grades are accorded to students based on these methods.

These methods have also positively affected the way I teach my students because I apply the same principles and methods of assessment to grade them. My classes usually involve active learning by emphasizing students’ participation in classroom discussions, assignments, group interactions and cooperative learning activities.

Q3. On a personal level, which paradigm do you feel most represents your own views of education and assessment?
          I believe that education and learning should be based on active involvement of students. This paradigm works at AIU, and even on my students. It helps students move on to other topics with sufficient retention and understanding of previous topics. Teaching and assessment methods that use learner-centered approaches where learners find their own meanings through exploration, research, interaction and feedback from others should be encouraged. This allows learners to reflect on their learning and thought processes.


Basharina, K. O. (2007). An Activity Theory Perspective On Student Reported Contradictions In International Telecollaboration. Language Learning & Technology, 11, 36-58.

Kearsley, G. (1998).Online Education: New Paradigms for Learning and Teaching. The Technology Source Archives. Retrieved April 22, 2008 from http://technologysource.org/article/online_education/

 Riegle P. R.Educational Paradigms. Visionary Leadership for the Information Age. Retrieved April 21, 2008 from http://people.coe.ilstu.edu/rpriegle/wwwdocs/paradigm/welcome.htm

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