Learning Linkages and Flows between Individuals, Groups, and the Organization: Creating Programs to Foster Student Engagement in Learning

Valerie Sessa, Ashley Finley, Beyza Gullu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Continuous, "lifelong" learning is not just needed in individuals. Groups and organizations need to learn continuously as well. Although we know a fair amount about how individuals learn (Meltzoff, Kuhl, Movellan, & Sejnowski, 2009) and there is a growing body of literature about how groups and organizations learn (Scribner & Donaldson, 2001, Senge, 2006, Sessa & London, 2006), little is known about continuous learning prompted by the interface between individuals, groups, and organizations. We begin by identifying parallel learning constructs and processes at the individual, group, and organizational levels, and then we briefly discuss a few theories that have addressed learning flow between these three levels. Finally, we analyze a case of an interorganizational project team encompassing subgroups from a number of different universities who are charged with making change within their institutions and sharing their learning at the project team level. While the original aim of the project was to impact student learning, the project team (and the organization housing the project team) soon learned that in order to do so, they also had to concentrate simultaneously on student (individual), faculty (group), and university (organizational) learning as well.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Lifelong Learning
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940486
ISBN (Print)9780195390483
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2012



  • Adaptive learning
  • Experiential learning
  • Generative learning
  • Learning. readiness
  • Service learning
  • Student engagement
  • Transformative learning

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