Learning Theories and Instructional Pathways for Adult Learners in the Online Environment


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Learning Theories and Instructional Pathways for Adult Learners in the Online Environment: What Creates SUCCESS?

Presented by: Dr. Angela M. Gibson, American Public University System, and Dr. Lori Kupczynski, Texas A&M University - Kingsville at the 15th Annual Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning October 2009

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  • Outstanding! Thank you for this amazing resource - a great addition to my master's class, 'Instructional Technology in Adult Education' at Utah State University.
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Learning Theories and Instructional Pathways for Adult Learners in the Online Environment

  1. 1. Adult Learners in the Online Environment: What Creates SUCCESS?<br />Angela M. Gibson, Ed.D.American Public University System<br /> Lori Kupczynski, Ed.D.Texas A&M University-Kingsville<br />15th Annual Sloan-C InternationalConference on Online Learning<br />Friday, October 30, 2009<br />
  2. 2. Introductions<br />Andragogy and Applications for Higher Education<br />Illustrate Value of Andragogy<br />Exemplification of Learning Type Within Online Classrooms<br />Discussion with Audience on Personal Experiences & Best Practices for Adult Learners in Online Learning<br />Small Group Breakout<br />Whole Audience<br />Questions & Answers<br />Adult Learners in the Online Environment - Agenda<br />
  3. 3. Adult Learners - Introductions<br />Angela M. Gibson, Ed.D.<br />Angela serves as the Instructional Design Project Leader for American Public University System’s Instructional Design and Development Team. With a background in educational leadership, adult education, community colleges, and student affairs, her research interests include student engagement and success, the role of technology in course design and instruction, and Hispanic student success.<br />Lori Kupczynski, Ed.D.<br />Lori Kupczynski, Ed.D. serves as an educational consultant across the United States at multiple institutions of higher learning. She is an adjunct instructor of Adult Education at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.  Her research interests center upon Internet-based instruction and the role of the adult learner, with emphasis in instructional design.<br />
  4. 4. There is one way to teach<br />There is one way to learn<br />All students can be taught the same<br />All students learn the same<br />All learning can be delivered in the same way<br />All students use one delivery system to learn<br />Andragogy & Applications in Higher Education<br />
  5. 5.
  6. 6. Andragogy & Applications in Higher Education<br />Andragogy is DIFFERENT from pedagogy<br />But first – some things to consider<br />We want our students to understand how their learning can impact their entire lives, not just their grades<br />We want our students to excel beyond the minimum standards<br />We want our students to be socially conscious<br />We expect education to come first in their schedules<br />We want them to be motivated<br />
  7. 7. How do we do the things we want our students to do when there are obstacles?<br />Students & faculty/staff are busy<br />Often the least amount of efforts are put into work<br />The “why should I” is always present<br />We want it and we want it now <br />Andragogy & Applications in Higher Education<br />
  8. 8. Know your student<br />Andragogy & Applications in Higher Education<br />
  9. 9. Andragogy: Definition<br />Andragogy is the art and science of teaching adults and the proper place to begin formulating theory for higher education. <br />Adult learners tend to have different learning experiences than younger students and educators have difficulty in distinguishing between andragogy and pedagogy.(Galbriath, 2004; Knowles, 1970).<br />
  10. 10. Andragogy: Characteristics<br />Career or multiple careers<br />Family—children and aging members reliant on them<br />Unstable social structures <br />Transportation issues<br />Childcare issues<br />Need for money<br />Issues with domestic violence<br />Non-formal learning experiences<br />Voluntary learners<br />Baby Boomers<br />Generation X<br />Early born Millennials(Strauss and Howe, 1991)<br />
  11. 11. Andragogy: By the Numbers<br />For many of us, the word “college” is synonymous with young students, ivy covered buildings, dormitory life, and “the final four.” <br />“Traditional” 18-22 year-old full-time undergraduate student residing on campus = 16 percent of the higher education population in the United States<br />Fewer than 3 million of the 17+ million students enrolled (2006). <br /> (Stokes, 2006)<br />
  12. 12. Andragogy: By the Numbers<br />The “traditional” student is anything but traditional rather “conventional”.<br />40 percent of today’s students study part-time. <br />40 percent attend two-year institutions. <br />40 percent are aged 25 or older. <br />58 percent are aged 22 or older.<br />(Stokes, 2006)<br />
  13. 13. Concepts in Andragogy to Consider for Application to Online Learning<br />Experiential learning<br />Knowledge of concepts, facts, information, and experience; <br />Prior knowledge applied to current, ongoing events; and <br />Reflection with a thoughtful analysis and assessment of learners’ activity that contributes to personal growth. <br />(Cercone, 2008)<br />
  14. 14. Concepts: Application – cont.<br />Self-directed learning<br />Locus of control in learning lies with the adult learner, who may initiate learning with or without assistance from others.(Lowry, 1989)<br />Transformative learning<br />A constructivist theory of adult learning<br />Individual transformation includes a change in one’s frame of reference or way of seeing the world. (Mezirow, 1997; Palloff& Pratt, 1999)<br />
  15. 15. Theory to Practice<br />Consider limitations when designing a course.<br />Consider learning styles—individualize the learning experience. <br />Engage the learners in the learning process.<br />Provide scaffolding.<br />
  16. 16. Theory to Practice – cont.<br />Support the shift to a learner-centered paradigm.<br />Facilitate.<br />Consider the learner’s prior experience.<br />Ensure there is a link to the learning and the students’ lives.<br />Focus on issues that directly concern them. Tell them what, how, and why they are learning.<br />
  17. 17. Theory to Practice – cont.<br />Allow learners to test learning as the move forward.<br />Provide a collaborative, respectful and informal learning climate. <br />Allow for self-reflection.<br />Provide dialogue and social interaction.<br />
  18. 18. Andragogy: Educational Challenges & Online Solutions<br />
  19. 19. Andragogy: Educational Challenges & Online Solutions – cont.<br />
  20. 20. Andragogy: Educational Challenges & Online Solutions – cont.<br />Source: Encyclopedia of Educational Technology<br />
  21. 21. Community of Inquiry Framework<br />Garrison, 2000<br />
  22. 22. Small Group Break Outs<br />
  23. 23. Conclusion<br />Adult learners are important, yet neglected<br />Strategies for online learning include course development to community engagement to class settings<br />Pedagogy and Andragogy can mix<br />Know your students<br />
  24. 24. Questions & Answers<br />Thank You!!!!<br />
  25. 25. Contact Information<br />Angela M. Gibson, Ed.D.<br />American Public University System<br />111 W. Congress St.<br />Charles Town, WV 25414<br />o) 304-724-2804 agibson@apus.edu <br />Lori Kupczynski, Ed.D.<br />Texas A&M University - Kingsville<br />12206 Stable Pond Dr.<br />San Antonio, TX 78249<br />c) 956-648-7617 capitola16@yahoo.com<br />
  26. 26. References<br />Cercone, K. (2008). Characteristics of adult learners with implications for online learning design, AACE Journal, 16(2), 137-159.<br />Frey, B. A., & Alman, S. W. (2003). Applying adult learning theory to the online classroom. New Horizons in Adult Education, 17(1), 4-12.<br />Garrison, D. R. (2007). Online community of inquiry review: Social, cognitive, and teaching presence issues. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11(1), 61- 72.<br />Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105.<br />Green, J. (1999). Andragogy: Teaching adults. Retrieved September 17, 2009, from http://coe.sdsu.edu/eet/Articles/andragogy/index.htm.<br />Knowles, M. (1986). The adult learner: A neglected species. Houston: Gulf Publishing.<br />Lowry, C. M. (1989). Supporting and facilitating self-directed learning. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED312 457). Retrieved March 31, 2009, from http://www.ntlf.com/html/lib/bib/89dig.htm<br />
  27. 27. References – cont.<br />Mezirow, J. (1997). Transformative learning. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 74, 5-12.<br />Merriam, S. B., & Caffarella, R. S. (1999). Learning in adulthood (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.<br />Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (1996). Distance education a systems view. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.<br />Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building learning communities in cyberspace. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.<br />Schapiro, S.A. (2003). From andragogy to collaborative, critical pedagogy: Learning for academic, personal, and social empowerment in a distance-learning, Ph.D. program. Journal of Transformative Education,1(2), 150-166.<br />Strauss, W., & Howe, N. (1991). Generations: The History of America&apos;s Future, 1584 to 2069. New York: William Morrow & Company, Inc.<br />Stokes, P. (2006). Hidden in Plain Sight: Adult Learners Forge a New Tradition in Higher Education. A National Dialogue: The Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education [Issue Paper]. Retrieved July 7, 2009, from http://www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/hiedfuture/reports/stokes.pdf<br />
  28. 28. Additional Resources<br />Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the early twenties. American Psychologist, 5(55), 469-480.<br />Arnett, J. J. (2001). Conceptions of the transition to adulthood: Perspectives from adolescence through midlife. Journal of Adult Development, 8(2), 134-143.<br />Arnett, J. J. (2003). Conceptions of the transition to adulthood among emerging adults in American ethnic groups. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 100, 63-75.<br />Arnett, J. J. (2006). Emerging adulthood in Europe: A response to Bynner. Journal of <br /> Youth Studies, 9(1), 111-123. <br />Boehle, S. (2008). How to design e-learning for multiple generations. Retrieved September 14, 2009, from http://www.managesmarter.com/msg/content_display/training/e3ifd9d309a05210550b50be9a8c2ab5001<br />
  29. 29. Additional Resources – cont.<br />Huang, H-M., (2002). Toward constructivism for adult learners in online learning environments. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33(1), 27-37.<br />Kazis, R., Callahan, A., Davidson, C., McLeod, A., Bosworth, B., Choitz, V., & Hoops, J. (2007). Adult Learners in Higher Education: Barriers to Success and Strategies to Improve Results. Employment and Training Administration Occasional Paper 2007-03. From the U.S. Department of Labor. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED497801). http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED497801&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED497801<br />Oblinger, D., & Oblinger, J. L. (ed). Educating the Net Generation. Retrieved October 1, 2009, from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/pub7101.pdf<br />