The Circle of Learning: Individual and Group Processes


  • Ernest Chang Axia Multimedia Corporation
  • Don Simpson Axia Multimedia Corporation



Individual learning, group learning, by-oneself, with-peers, orientation, activities, lectures, concurrent learning, collaborative learning,


We present a paradigm for modeling the processes found in individual and group learning. Using combinations of two dimensions, the first being whether the learner's activities are By-Oneself or With-Peers, and the second whether the process orientation is toward the Person as the focus of the learning or toward the Group as the focus, we derive four quadrants in Activity-Orientation learning space. These four quadrants represent: lectures, individual learning, concurrent learning, and collaborative learning. From these combinations of Activities versus Orientation, we can describe many characteristics of these different learning categories.


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Author Biographies

Ernest Chang, Axia Multimedia Corporation

Ernie Chang is the Executive Vice-President of Axia Multimedia Corporation, which he founded in 1993 to commercialize innovations in interactive multimedia learning strategies that he created and patented, while at the Alberta Research Council, where he was Department Head of Advanced Computing & Engineering from 1987 to 1993. This Department become Canada's largest applied artificial intelligence group, and has performed more than $20 million of research, development and contract activity in all areas of artificial intelligence and robotics, including intelligent tutoring systems and expert systems. At Axia, he was the Executive Producer of five consumer CD-ROMs, four in the Axia "Know Your Birds" series, and the highly rated "Know Your Combat Jets." Presently his responsibilities are in the areas of learning strategies and health care products. His current research and technical interests are in technology-based learning strategies, cognitive technologies, and applications of computer-based interactive multimedia. He has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Toronto, and an MD from UBC. Prior to joining the Alberta Research Council, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Victoria.

Don Simpson, Axia Multimedia Corporation

Dr. Don Simpson is currently Chief Mentor of the AXIA Innovation Mentoring Unit (AIMU), a business unit of the AXIA Multimedia Corporation. Simpson has been involved in innovative organizational development work in over 60 countries. Included in this work has been his involvement in the design, development, and operation of a number of breakthrough institutions concerned with social, economic, and education issues. He has worked at all levels of the education system and is Professor Emeritus at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. In addition to his role as an educator, he has been a researcher, a consultant, and an entrepreneur who created and ran two consulting businesses, as well as founding and managing a number of nonprofit organizations. In 1991, he created the International Institute for Innovation (the Triple i), a global network which has the competence, flexibility, and entrepreneurial flair to assist a wide variety of organizations in Canada, Europe, and Asia to survive and thrive in these difficult times. The Mentoring Unit of the Triple i joined with AXIA Multimedia Corporation in January 1996.




How to Cite

Chang, E., & Simpson, D. (1997). The Circle of Learning: Individual and Group Processes. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 5, 7.