To create and develop a new “Learner-Centered Roadmap of Learn-How” and its deliverable practice programs for guiding Orlando University to achieve its mission and help advance practice-oriented graduate education through non-traditional settings and means for all learners around the world.
The fundamental framework of the OU Roadmap is “LEARN HOW,” as delineated on the OU Homepage. It means to learn how to learn, to learn how to think, to learn how to act, and to learn how to lead. The center of learning on the Roadmap is the learner. Students are professionals or leaders, not merely “apprentices.” Faculty members are mentors or advisers, not just “instructors.” And the University furnishes the environment, not solely “classrooms,” in which all learners can learn and know better what to learn, how and why.
All graduate programs are primarily designed for adult practitioners in a wide range of professional fields, including health care and management fields. Targeted students are mainly working professionals who have already established a career, business, or hold a managerial position. They wish to advance their professional career and personal achievement to a new, higher level through a formal degree study program. They wish to pursue their degree program mainly through distance learning, which provides them with greater time flexibility, accessibility, and choices. It also provides them the luxury of remaining in their home country, city, or even residence.
For those with irregular work schedules, restricted mobility, or family responsibilities, these factors are key reasons for choosing distance learning programs. In addition, easy access to study material and the self-paced mode of studying are essential elements of this choice.
The objectives of the three programs are designed to meet the special needs of these adult professionals. They are tailored to their unique characteristics in order to help them achieve their professional and personal learning goals.
At the same time, the program objectives are intended to achieve the mission and goals of the Institution through a fundamental philosophy that is, focusing on a LEARN HOW model, rather than just learning the “WHAT” of an issue or problem.
The “Learning How” model consists of four basic “learning domains.” They are: (1) learn how to learn, (2) learn how to think, (3) learn how to act, and (4) learn how to lead. Learning how to learn, think, act and lead is essential relative to their individual personal and professional lives, not just for the present, but for a lifetime.
While this philosophy supports the fact that learning “what” is essential for any formal educational program, regardless of the specialty or discipline, learning “how” is considered more fundamental. This is because mastering this method of thinking, that is, applying the four “learn how’s” will help students to understand and deal with any specific subject, area or field, more effectively or wisely. Learning “what” is and will play the largest role in the lifetime career for most people, but it should not play the largest role in an academic program, especially for graduate level study. A more detailed description of the four parts of the “Learn-How” model follows:
The first part of the “LEARN HOW” model is to “Learn How to Learn,” that is, to learn how to learn things effectively, efficiently, and wisely. It consists of four aspects: (1) Learning by Doing with Thinking; (2) Making Everything Simple and Fundamental; (3) Relating Learning to the Purpose; and (4) Pursuing Learning for Lifetime. These four parts can be found on the University Website.
The second part of the “LEARN HOW” model is Learn How to Think. It means one should learn how to think of the things learned and what is around us in the correct way so that the reality of the situation can be understood and handled correctly, objectively, and as realistically as possible. The “Learn How to Think” model also has four basic components, which can be also found on the University website.
The third part of the “LEARN HOW” model is “Learn How to Act.” It is understood that one of the most important tasks of learning for practitioners is to help them to learn how to act, that is, how to take action by applying learned knowledge, skills, and improved judgment in understanding and handling real problems at work and in life. The four basic components of the “Learn How to Act Model” are detailed on the OU website.
The fourth part of the “LEARN HOW” model is to Learn How to Lead. It consists of four basic concepts: head leadership; be in charge; use the brain wisely; and look forward and ahead. It helps a learner, manager or practitioner to think and act wisely as a chief executive officer (CEO), a head of the organization, or one of its units. That is about head leadership or headship.
To make the “LEARN HOW” model operational, for example, the University has designed an integrative practice, research and education process which leads to a professional doctoral degree (Doctor of Science or Doctor of Business Administration), self-motivated learners likely will learn and know best, guided with the OU Roadmap, not only how to learn, think, and act critically, creatively, and practically, but how to lead wisely and relentlessly in the fields or lives they choose to explore and advance.
Since it began operations in 2009, the University has been continuing to explore, develop and improve its roadmap through various practices. Advancement of a whole (global) learning in human wellness, wealth, and wisdom through innovation, ingenuity, and leadership towards a better life for all is the ultimate learning priority of Orlando University.