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Landmark College Professors Present “World of Learners Wheel” Poster

Sophie Lampard Dennis and Dorothy Osterholt
Dennis and Osterholt

Dorothy Osterholt and Sophie Lampard Dennis showcased an original concept poster titled “World of Learners Wheel” during their session, "The Four Domains of Learning: A Comprehensive Model for Assessing and Addressing Students Barriers to Learning," at the Landmark College Summer Institute on June 25. Osterholt and Dennis are associate professors in the first-year studies department at Landmark College. The two also presented their poster at the Teaching Professor Conference in Boston on May 30. They are now pleased to make the poster available for readers' use.

Osterholt and Dennis have presented and published extensively on their “Four Domains of Learning” model, which supports professionals in understanding the complex barriers to learning that students may experience in college. This year they have added to this body of work with the creation of the wheel, first published in About Campus (January/February 2014), which extends their original Four Domains theory (Osterholt, D.A., & Barratt, K., 2010)

The purpose of the poster is to demonstrate how to support students in transforming their challenges into the attributes required for academic success.

Derived from original research in 2012 (Osterholt, D.A.; Lampard Dennis, S.; Hamilton, R.), this poster--an original 2014 design by Daniel Osterholt--is the visual tool that the two professors created to illustrate those specific factors within Four Domains of Learning that represent common obstacles for many college students, especially those within the at-risk population. Barriers, applied strategies, and positive attributes are shown in relationship to one another in this model. The purpose of this instrument is to demonstrate how to support students in transforming their challenges into the more productive positive attributes required for academic success.

This unique wheel, a comprehensive model, can be readily used by students and by professionals who work with at-risk students to fully develop an understanding of the interconnectedness of influences that affect learning. Faculty can use the wheel to create intentionally designed classroom activities in which the common barriers found within Four Domains of Learning can be addressed. Growth can be fostered as students learn to recognize their own challenges and to implement those strategies which move them toward more positive outcomes.

Participants at these poster sessions were able to use this highly visual model to begin to understand and recognize the Four Domains of Learning that all college students must have adequate control over to be academically successful: Motivation, Self-Regulation, Social-Emotional Influences, and Academic Skill Attainment. Through further discussion with Osterholt and Dennis, attendees began to understand how to support students in recognizing triggers that reinforce negative behaviors, as well as strategies that can move them toward maintaining positive behaviors. This in turn supports the development of an internal locus of control and sustained momentum.

Landmark College was the first institution of higher learning to pioneer college-level studies for students with dyslexia. Today, Landmark College is a global leader in integrated teaching methods for students with learning disabilities (including dyslexia), ADHD, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The College offers two- and four-year degree options, a graduate-level certificate in universal design with technology integration, and summer programs for students who learn differently. Students, faculty, and professionals from around the world are drawn to Landmark College for its innovative educational model, designed through research and practice to help all students become confident, empowered, and independently successful learners.

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