Junita Part of being an effective educator involves understanding how adults learn best, Vivian and I co delivering this presentation today we hope to discuss with you how you use these principles and strategies in your training when dealing with Seniors
VivSay: We never stop learning – school is just one place we learn and for many of us it was a Looong time ago! There are lots of ways people can categorise Adult Learning –with learning types, styles and moreToday we are going to consider groups depending on their drive or reluctance to learn, much dependant on their past experiences.On the right hand side is a list of 5 groups we can describe Adult learnersWe are going to expand on what these 5 groups mean and then come back to a poll as to which one you most closely relate toAs we look through them ask yourself “Does that Describe me?” You may cross a few groups or have evolved over time.
VivLife Long Learners are a group of learners who have built their learning on past good experiences learning, been nurtured and encouraged with education and are continually keen to learn new skills, knowledge and interests whether in formal, work, higher education or informal learning environments.Does this sound like you?
VivBullying, ridiculed, forced to write right handed, caned etc many past students had bad experiences at school and as a result are reluctant learners. They see learning as setting themselves up to fail…My father in law wouldn’t even go to my daughters Grandparents day because it meant going onto school grounds and he had long ago sweared never to venture there. A very intelligent man who worked his way up the ranks at various factories, mine sites and organisations he had bad experiences at school. An initially reluctant user of the computer once his wife convinced him to get one he took over and He self taught using the computer and will regularly uninstall programs and build them up again and venture where I would not dream of treading. So for him a formal learning environment is not going to work. We did convince him to go to Grandparents time (Grand daughters are influential) and he did have a lovely time.
Viv SayFoundation learners missed out on school for all sorts of reasons… changing schools, parents in the forces, itinerant workers, left school early, got a job early – labourer, long term illness etcPerhaps English was your second language – some ESL didn’t learn at school in their own language due to all sorts of reasons, poverty/war etcInterestingly when it comes to Computer technology – for most seniors it didn’t exist when they went to school so “Computer literacy” is a whole new world
VivSay Community Learners Like to Learn with others and from others so they can connect and belong with their broader community.Perhaps you are involved in a number of community groups where you continue to learn – U3A, Neighbourhood centres, Broad band for Seniors, Girl Guides, Rotary, Lions, CWA, Bowling club, Men’s Shed, public speaking groups, View etc are there others I haven’t mentioned please type them in the chatThe Key for this learning group is connecting with others… (Point to Key image on screen)
VivThis is a learning group who are keen to learn but have had barriers to adult learninge.g. lack of moneyIsolation – could be caring for a loved one and can’t get out of the houseFamily discouraging them from joining in Felt they couldn’t afford
VivNow hopefully you can decide on what type of learner Group you Vote in the Poll on the left hand side menuJunita to set up poll and post result on the screen -
VivFrom your experience working with BFS participants … what Learner groups do you think your participants come from.Type in the text chat all the letters that you are aware of – perhaps it is all, Do you feel any predominate?
Viv – Ask Questions
JunitaAlexander Kapp and EugenRosenstock-Huessy developed theories around adult education, which were later popularised by Malcolm Knowles – a theorist in adult education.For Knowles, adult learning was premised on the following characteristics or assumptions of adult learning:The need to knowLearners Self ConceptRole of Learners experienceReadiness to LearnOrientation to Learning MotivationBy defining these characteristics, Knowles distinguished andragogy, or the art and science of helping adults learn, from other areas of education, especially pedagogy (Learning by children).And offered 4 principles of Andragogy1-Involve Adult Learners2.Adult Learners Experience3.Relevence and impact to learners lives4.Problem centered
VivAssumption of Adult Learners:Adults want to know why they need to learn something. They may ask: ‘Why do I need to know this? or ‘Why is this important?’.It’s no use teaching an adult something they don’t want or see the value in learning.We offer Webinars with all sorts of topics and always seek suggestions for topics you want to learn.The session a fortnight ago obviously struck a need – Window 8 had a record number of participants with over 100 participantsSkype might be a need for participants IF they have someone to connect too… learning skype with noone to connect to or no need to save money when a phone call will do – doesn’t strike a need… but if they can see their grandchildren on the other side of the world and read them a bed time story for no extra cost then that makes it relevant, achieves a goal of connecting with family and meets their needs of saving money.We might hear all about Twitter but perhaps we don’t see the NEED for us.Comment on the comments in chat…
VivSometimes people don’t know the value of online tools until they experience it, are explained or show the value of itCan you think of an online tool that you didn’t see value in initially felt you didn’t need to know and then discovered that you did! Share it in the chat..But no use banging your head or their head on a tool if they don’t see a need. On the screen is a chart by an interesting online character going by the name of The Daring Librarian’ she has graphed here the journey of engaging with the online program Twitter. I must admit I am not extolling twitter as I have followed a similar journey got excited when Costa from gardening Australia replied to my tweets but that has dwindled… my line is more up and down since creating account and it is all about engagement with others that gives this tool any value.Using social book marking tools such as Delicious or Diigo that save favourite bookmarks up in the cloud… for many years I had been shown these tools and didn’t see the value until I had 2 computers damaged by storms a few years apart. Each time I had to refind and build up my favourite websites…. This was frustrating. All of a sudden I realised that this tool I had been shown was useful. I had the need to know and now wouldn’t do without Diigo for saving and accessing my favourite websites anywhere and everywhere I access the internet.
Viv – Assumption of Adult Learners: Learner’s Self Concept influences their learningPeople’s own self-concept can actually inhibit their learning new skills – How many of you have heard people say ‘I know nothing of computers’ “I couldn’t possibly learn how to do it”, ‘I wouldn’t know where to begin’…. What self defeating lines have you heard about not wanting or needing to learn computers?I come across people that are maths phobic – might love to read and write but mention swear words like fractions or percentages and their brains shut down as their self concept of learning in the realm of mathematics… but then you discover that they sew and tailer clothes to fit someone exactly or build a herb rack for their wife and are using maths all over the place but see it as practical not ‘maths’.The learning groups we discussed earlier of the varied backgrounds that Adult learners come from influence their self concept - Be aware of those varying backgrounds – whilst you may not know exactly which group they belong to knowing that there are all these potentials helps you as a tutor.We need to take on the advice of Arethra Franklin and apply RESPECT for all our learnersAlthough your learners may not have any skills at all in regard to computers, acknowledge them for their life long learning, abilities in various fields you may not even know about. Everyone has strengths and abilities – they are here to learn something new and the fact that they are here and prepared to learn a new skill or enhance their skills is exciting & deserves respect and acknowledgement.Something we may need to relate to our learners is that we are all learning all the time (Share with our learners that we are learning too!) and when it comes to computers, technology and the internet is that it is evolving every day people all over the world are creating new programs, new ideas and new technologies we can’t ever hope to “Know it All” but we can tap into a little of what may be useful to us.It is important that we Help build the learners self concept – for beginners focus on small steps, at the end of a session reflect on the achievements on the day – acknowledge a new skill learnt and that practice will improve their understanding, celebrate in a small way! e.g. shaking the hand congratulating them! For sending their first email, using the search engine, finding and opening the game of Solitaire all by themselves etc It’s about making progress and growing from their starting point.
VivAdult learners are a valuable resource because they bring the richness and diversity of their lives with them.They should be given the opportunity to use their existing knowledge and experience, which they can apply to new learning experiences.Adult learners:have diverse experience and knowledgemay have ingrained ideas about thingsapply their life experience and knowledge to new learninguse their problem-solving, reflecting and reasoning skills.We learn from everybody we meet – As a tutor we can learn from the questions they ask, the way that somebody goes about a program differently, a different perspective – fresh eyes on something we are teaching,.. Could lead us to try different strategies
JunitaThe Readiness to learn comes from the learner identifying something they really want to know and desire to understand to complete a task or keep the mind active with information that stimulates.We are constantly reminded daily that life itself is full of change and we need to keep up at least a little bit with the change. Life is very different from what we read in our encyclopaedia's when we were young.Adults are ready to learn when they can envisage outcomes of their learning goal . They also can become ready to learn so they are able to dealwith new situations that may occur in life's journeySoWe generally look for learning when we are faced with a problem or are confronted with something we need to investigate further. We may want to add a small income to our pension or want to learn a new skill or even go the whole way and complete that degree that was missed because the learner was working hard and their was just no time to study. They want to learn what will help them perform tasks or deal with problems they see in their lives now. focus on the aspects that are most useful to them.Adult learners: are practical – their learning should apply to their lives, social and working etc.
JunitaIt is essential to the learning process that learners are provided with a supportive environment where they can feel free to ask questions and make comments, a safe environment whether on site or online. As people mature, their time perspective changes from gathering knowledge for future use to immediate application of knowledge. Adult learners often want to be engaged in lifeor problemcentred learning experiences.They generally want to be involved in planning their learning and like flexibility with plenty of communication .The first step I do to get to know my learners is to make sure I have a pleasant discussion around how they are feeling and about learning new things and the reasons why they are wanting to learn specific task. I then find out whether they have recently completed any training. Adult learners have different expectations and goals than younger learners their learning is often relevant to their lives now.The learners goal, needs to be discussed and a learning plan could be created that takes the steps of the learning into consideration all learners are then aware of how the direction the learning will take them. The course must be Suitable and Relevant for the learnerIt is important to establish the current knowledge and skill level of the learner to ensure that the information you are delivering is pitched at the correct level. It is important to let the learner know how the course fits in with their existing knowledge During Orientation the learner needs to know they will get help with by offeringClear Learning Goals Two Way Communication Communication is the key to good learning if we don’t communicate instruction in an effective way we will loose our learner fast.Feedback and Reinforcement How the feedback will be conducted should be relayed during orientation
JunitaFor motivation to occur you must ensure that each learner:Wants to learnIs ready to learn Active learning encourages and assists in increasing or maintaining the learner's level of motivation by getting them engaged and interested in the learning they are undertaking. This also help learners experiences Has a reason to learnAdults generally have a range of different motivations for selecting a course. Some reasons they may choose to take a course may include:Communication with family and friendsSocial relationships that allow them to make new friends and meet a need for association and friendships with like minded peopleTo meet employment or volunteer expectations, especially in todays the role may require that the person attend a course and upskill so they can stay abreast of competitorsTo develop skills which will benefit the local community To sample a topic which they might consider studying in greater depth or to learn for the sake of LearningTo prepare for further study/full-time educationTo resolve personal problems, e.g. conflict resolutionTo facilitate/accommodate life changes, e.g. retirement or parentingTo make or maintain social relationshipsFor escape or stimulation to relieve boredom provide a break from the routine of homeFor cognitive interest only to seek knowledge for its own sake and satisfy an inquiring mindTutors should be aware of the possible motivations behind their learnersenrolment in order to have a better understanding of how to shape/modify their teaching materials and classroom exercises. It is likely that any group of adultswill have a variety of motivations and all need to be considered.
JunitaAdult Learners like the time to practice their work before moving on, one of the biggest failures I have seen is when our learners feel like they were rushed or when the tutor did it for them. Seniors like to feel comfortable about completing a task and may often request more assistance till they find that comfort.Also it can give the Learner time they may feel they need to think about the task and what it can be used for or whether they can benefit from it in their everyday life. Feedback, written or spoken, is a good guide to see how your work is progressing. It should tell you what you have done well and how you can improve and develop successful outcomes. It’s best to not make excuses about your work when the feedback is given. Absorb it, and try to understand what is being said and also the person’s point of view. Read your work and think about what the feedback refers to pay attention to positive and negative comments. After you have reflected upon the feedback try to come up with ideas to improve. Think of feedback as you would compliments and suggestions. Feedback can helps us appreciate ourstrengths and weaknesses which can help them develop further. Always give feedback as close to the event as possible. Encourage positive actions by giving positive feedback. Give clear instructions if you need some revision on what has been written. Be sincere when you give a written feedback. People generally find it uncomfortable to confront each other about performance issues.
VivTeaching participants in the kiosk – put them in the drivers seat of the computer… As the instructor let go of the mouse and put the learner in control. Sometimes it can be tempting to take the mouse and do the action and whilst sometimes it is okay for demonstration… keep handing back the controls because if you don’t let them engage and do it themselves it is soon forgotten.Often reluctant learners may just want to watch… but really getting in the driver seat is what you need them to do. If you think they would appreciate repetition on the basics – why not sign them up for the NEC Lessons onlineFind out what the learner wants to learn – make it meaningful and relevant… chat to them Having 1:1 at the kiosk can be helpful rather than teaching a group you have the opportunity to tap into a single person’s needs. Tap into what would be of value to them… Make it meaningful… No use knowing how to use Skype if they don’t have someone to connect to…, Have a discussion with them on their interests… if they love Slim Dusty why not show them how they can play videos or music from Slim; Adults want to know why they need to learn something. They may ask: ‘Why do I need to know this? or ‘Why is this important?’Adults want to understand the value. They want their learning experiences to:meet their needsbe relevanthelp them achieve their goals.
VivFor Adult learning it is encouraged to engage the senses It is relatively easy to tap into the senses of touch, sight and sound when teaching computers for Broad band for seniors in a Kioskwe have visual with the screen, video demos, lots to read and look at listening and discussing with the tutor, asking questions, videos, podcasts, webinar recordings, music (in a dementia Unit in Mudgee they play music with the computer screen moving and changing with the sound for stimulation)Touch – moving the mouse, keyboard, touch screen (Best of participants to have hands on and manipulating programs themselves)But the challenge is can we tap into the taste and smell senses when teaching at BFS… has anyone done it? How? Any ideas? Share with us in the text chat. Hands up if you would like to tell us about an interesting experience
Thankyou for your active engagement and sharing your experiences, ideas and strategies re adult learningWe hope you go away with a piece of something new – a new perspective, a new idea, a new strategy to try outPlease take away a piece of calorie free virtual chocolate cake – guaranteed not to affect diabetics, those with gluten, nut or lactose allergies. And our way of saying thanks for your contribution… Action: Paste weblink on chat https://ala.asn.au/adult-learning/
Adult Learning Principes
LIFE LONG LEARNING
& ADULT LEARNING
Vivian Evans Junita Lyon
This image was created by Spebi and is subject to the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 licence.
Place a pin
from the side
menu on the
where you are
Learning is a lifelong activity
• It continues well beyond the completion of school.
• Adult learners can be described in 5 groups:
We are going to expand on
what these 5 groups mean
As we look through them
consider Which group best
• Adults who have had good experiences of learning and
want to continually expand their skills, knowledge and
• Adults who have had bad experiences of school and
learning who need a lot of encouragement to give learning
another go if it is in a formal environment.
• Adults who missed out on the schooling they need and
want to be able to read, write, speak, and listen more
effectively and to improve their basic maths skills. Also
adults whose first language is not English who want to
improve their English reading, writing, speaking and
• Adults who want to learn with others in order to participate
in their community and expand the quality of their
Breaking Barriers Learners
• Adults who want to learn more but have barriers to taking
part in adult learning such as lack of family support,
isolation and or poverty.
What Learner Group
Best Describes You?
Vote in the poll
What Learner Groups have
you come across coming
into your BFS Kiosk?
Type the letters in the Chat
Do you think it is an
advantage to be aware of
what type of Learner Group
participants come from?
Type in the text chat your
Put up your hand if you
would like to speak
Adult Learning Theories
Source: principle of andragogy e-learning industry
6 assumptions of Adult Learning
The need to know
Adults want their learning to:
• meet their needs
• be relevant
• help them achieve their goals.
Why do I
need to learn
Share in the text chat something you
were forced to learn but didn’t see
Comment on how you felt and/or if
you learnt anything from the
Learners Self Concept
• A Learner’s self concept influences their
learning of new skills
• The different learning Group their experiences
are built on
• Celebrate the small successes and help build a
positive learner’s self concept,
Role of Learners experience
• Adult learners are a valuable resource
because they bring the richness and
diversity of their lives with them
Share in the text chat - something you have learnt
from the seniors you have tutored
that has developed you as a Tutor
Readiness to Learn
The learning readiness of adults is closely related to the assumption of new
Orientation to Learning
• Are goal focused
• Want timely learning
• Seek meaningful learning experiences
Need clear learning goals.
Adults have a range of different motivations for selecting a
course/programme. Some reasons they may choose to take a
• To keep in touch with family and friends
• To make life easier
• To keep the mind active
• To live a life long dream
• Just because they can
What motivates your Senior Learners?
Can you Tell us here how you may motivate your seniors .
How to help Adults Learn
Give Learners Time to practice and reflect on the Learning
Give regular and useful feed back
Motivate further learning with recognition and rewards
How to help Adults Learn
• Encourage active Participation
• Offer meaningful and Relevant Learning
Ensure Multi–sensory Learning
(using the 5 senses)
Can we tap into
the taste and
Share how in the
Key notes re Adult Learning on https://ala.asn.au/adult-learning/