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    Adult learners Adult learners Presentation Transcript

    • What Faculty should Understand about Adult Learners in an Online Environment Nancy Little Springfield College Nov. 7, 2012
    • Agenda:Enrollment.Characteristics of adult learners. Who are they?Adult Learning Theory: Andragogy.Online courses: benefits and challenges.What faculty can do.
    • EnrollmentStudents age 25+ enrollment rose 42%between 2000 and 2010.Enrollment of students age 25 + madeup 43% of students in degree-grantinginstitutions in 2010 (US Dept. ofEd., 2012).
    • EnrollmentThe National Center for EducationStatistics projects that students age25 and older will continue tocomprise 43% of undergraduatestudents in 2020.Students age 35 and older comprise18% of the student population.
    • Who are they?In recent years, adult learners are:Workers who lost their jobs in therecession of 2008.Veterans returning from Afghanistanand Iraq.
    • Adult Learners CharacteristicsAge 25 and older.Delayed enrollment.Attend part-time.Have taken college courses.Work full-time, 35 hours/week.
    • Adult Learners Characteristics CharacteristicsHave dependents, children or elderlyparents.Are single parents.Have a high school diploma or GED.Are active duty military personnel.
    • Adult Learning TheoryAndragogy is a term coined by MalcomKnowles in the 1960s to distinguishbetween pedagogy, a learning theoryapplied to children and teenagers,and the learning needs of adults.
    • Andragogy: four principlesThey are self-directed, takeresponsibility for their own actions,and resist having informationarbitrarily imposed on them.
    • Andragogy: four principlesThey have an extensive depth ofexperience, which serves as a criticalcomponent in the foundation of theirself identity.
    • Andragogy: four principlesThey are ready to learn. As most adultlearners return to collegevoluntarily, they are likely toactively engage in the learningprocess.
    • Andragogy: four principlesThey are task motivated. Adultstudents returning to college attendfor a specific goal and the primarycomponent of their motivational drivetends to be internal.
    • Adult LearnersDraw upon previous life and workexperience, which enables reasoningand reflective thinking during thelearning process.Possess a healthy skepticism relatedto well established attitudes,beliefs, and values.
    • Online CoursesStudents choose online courses for:convenience.flexibility.ability to balance work, education,and home and family obligations.
    • Online CoursesThe Pew Internet and American LifeProject reports that 36% of adultsover the age of 30 who graduatedcollege took courses online.
    • Online CoursesA Pew Internet and American Life Project survey saysthat,“77% of college presidents report that theirinstitutions now offer online courses, and collegepresidents predict substantial growth in onlinelearning:15% say most of their current undergraduate studentshave taken a class online,50% predict that ten years from now most of theirstudents will take classes online.”
    • Online Courses89% of 4 year colleges offer onlineeducation.91% of 2 year colleges offer onlineeducation (Parker, 2011).
    • Challenges of Online Courses Students experience negative emotions such as anger, frustration, confusion, boredom and isolation. Technophobia. High drop out rate. 68% of college students have a negative view of online courses and say it does not have the same value as face-to-face classroom setting.
    • More challengesLearning how to communicate bywritten discourse in an asynchonousmanner (Zembylas 2008 ).Lack of immediate feedback(Mouzakitis and Nazime, 2011).Increased preparation time.Problems managing time.
    • What Faculty can do: Become familiar with learning styles and comfortable with a variety of teaching strategies that address different learning styles.
    • What Faculty can do: Maintain large, easy to read fonts and clear bold colors (Cercone 2008). Ensure students can move through the instruction at their own pace. Allow students to review previous learning.
    • V. A. R. K.V= Visual. Learn best by observing,watching and seeing.A= Aural. Learn through listening,discussing and talking.R=Read/Write. Learn best byinteracting with textual materials.K=Kinesthetic. Learn best by doing.
    • Activities to support visual learning style: pictures posters slides videos flow charts different color/font graphs
    • Activities to support aural learning style:discussions with teacher/peerdebatesargumentsaudiovideomusicseminars
    • Activities to supportRead/Write Learning Style:textbook readings/articles/handouts/notes.written feedback.Manuals.Essays.Bibliographies.Dictionaries.Glossaries.
    • Activities to support Kinesthetic learning style:Hands-on experiences.Modeling.Role play.Physical activities.Guest lecturers.Real life experiences.Demonstrations.
    • Podcastingon-demand audio files that can bedownloaded from the internet to a MP3mobile device (Luna and Cullen 41).
    • Podcasting“Instructors may want to considerpodcasting as a medium to assist withlearning, providing a structure foranalysis or interpretation forcontent, thus fostering improvedreflection” (Luna and Cullen, 2011,p. 44).
    • PodcastingA study of graduate students revealed50% of students accessed the podcastmore than once, while only 31% readthe unit material more than once.
    • Podcasting75% of students would recommend thatother students taking the courselisten to the podcast.Students took notes while listening.Believed they were more productive.76% agreed the podcast enhanced orclarified their understanding.
    • Collaborative WorkGroup projects are common.Students really don’t like them.
    • Group ProjectsDesign group projects to addressreal-world problems.Establish norms before group workbegins.Monitor group’s progress.
    • Group ProjectsRequire groups to provide feedback.Evaluate other group members.Evaluate the group experience.
    • Assist Students by:Re-evaluating assignment instructionsand the frequency and type ofguidance provided to online learners.Provide examples of how students canbest manage their time.Include training on specifictechnical skills.
    • Different AssessmentsUse different assessment tools fordifferent learning styles.Students with read/write learningstyle perform better on quizzes. Howwill you assess visual, aural andkinesthetic learners?
    • Finally...Remember that everyone is different.Adults have jobs, families, and otherduties beyond their coursework.Adults want to learn and aremotivated.And they have life experience tocontribute to the classroom whetherit’s face-to-face or online!
    • Cercone, K. (2008). Characteristics of adult learners with implications for online learning design." AACE Journal, 16 (2)137-59. ReferencesComputer and internet use. (2010). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 3, 2012, fromhttp://www.census.gov/hhes/computer/publications/2010.htmlKenner, C., & Weinerman, J. (2011). Adult learning theory: applications to non-traditional college students. Journal OfCollege Reading And Learning, 41(2), 87-96.Luna, G., & Cullen, D. (2011). Podcasting as complement to graduate teaching: does it accommodate adult learningtheories?. International Journal Of Teaching And Learning In Higher Education, 23(1), 40-47.McGrath, V. (2009). Reviewing the evidence on how adult students learn: an examination of Knowles model of andragogy.Adult Learner: The Irish Journal Of Adult And Community Education, 99-110.Milheim, K. L. (2011). The role of adult education philosophy in facilitating the online classroom. Adult Learning,22(2), 24-31.Mouzakitis, G. S., & Tuncay, N. (2011). E-learning and lifelong learning. Turkish Online Journal Of Distance Education,12(1), 166-173.Oblinger, D. (2003). Boomers, gen-xers & millenials: understanding the new students. EduCause Review, 37-47.Parker, K., Lenhart, A., and Moore, K. (2011). The digital revolution and higher education. Pew Research CentersInternet & American Life Project. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from: <http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/College-presidents.aspxRakap, S. (2010). Impacts of learning styles and computer skills on adult students learning online. Turkish OnlineJournal Of Educational Technology - TOJET, 9(2), 108-115.Scherling, S. E. (2011). Designing and fostering effective online group projects. Adult Learning, 22(2), 13-18.U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). Digest of Education Statistics, 2011(NCES 2012-001), Chapter 3 .Zembylas, M. (2008). Adult learners emotions in online learning. Distance Education, 29(1), 71-87.doi:10.1080/01587910802004852