The Adult Learner at FSCJ


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The Adult Learner at FSCJ

  1. 1. Helping Our Students Succeed Facts About Open Campus Students and Strategies for Their Success
  2. 2. An IntroductionHow We Compare to Traditional Institutions
  3. 3. The Traditional University… Often focuses on 18-22 year-olds with parental support, immediately transitioning from high school to college. Often focuses on strategies for engaging students on a face-to-face basis Often focuses only on students on Bachelor’s and Graduate school tracks
  4. 4. But FSCJ Is Not a TraditionalUniversity, and Open Campus Is…Online!  With a background as an open-access community college, FSCJ enjoys much diversity among our students  FSCJ aims not only to graduate students with Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees, but also to remediate, prepare students for college level work, acclimate students to the world of higher ed, accommodate non-traditional students, and prepare students for vocations
  5. 5. A Few FactsAbout FSCJ and Open Campus Students
  6. 6. Full-Time Enrollment Online Unduplicated students in online courses (n=21,480) Academic Year 2010/2011 (terms 20111, 20112 and 20113) 1,310 1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 348 400 200 39 0 Fall Spring SummerSource: JIRA Data Report – October 2011
  7. 7. Part-Time Enrollment Online Unduplicated students in online courses (n=21,480) Academic year 2010/2011 (terms 20111, 20112 and 20113) 13,385 14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 5728 6,000 4,000 1804 2,000 0 Fall Spring SummerSource: JIRA Data Report – October 2011
  8. 8. Degree Completers Number of students who took online courses to complete their degree Duplicated headcount - many students earned multiple awards. Academic year 2010/2011 (terms 20111, 20112 and 20113) 3000 2843 2500 2000 1500 1000 549 500 88 533 165 0 17 22 90 AA AAS AS BAS BS BSN TCert VCertSource: JIRA Data Report – October 2011
  9. 9. Developmental StudentsMore than 70% of FSCJ studentstake at least one developmentalcourse.This means many of them come to usnot yet in possession of college-levelskills.
  10. 10. Open Campus Students:52% Are Older than 25 and the Majority Are Female 4% 0% Male 17% < 19 34% 34% 19-20 Female 21-24 25-29 66% 26% 30+ 19%Source: JIRA Data Report – October 2011
  11. 11. What Do All These Statistics Mean? Many – in fact, most – of our students are adults.  Therefore, androgogy is an important consideration. An incredible number of students, from all backgrounds, are now taking online classes in pursuit of everything from certificates to Bachelor’s degrees.  Faculty should take a variety of student goals into consideration
  12. 12. What to Remember…  It is important to know who the learners are in our virtual classroom. Often, online students are adult learners who are nontraditional students. They are usually in the workforce, may have family obligations, perhaps they travel for their work, or may even be abroad for a period of time. Usually the adult learners have a specific reason for obtaining their higher education degree – for example, it might be for personal satisfaction, to open career doors in the future, or advance in their present organization.Adapted from CSU Global “Characteristics of CSU Global Students”
  13. 13. Some Principles for Adult Learning  Needs Assessment: Participation of the learner in naming what is to be learned.  Safety in the environment between teacher and learner for learning and development.  A sound relationship between teacher and learner for learning and development.  Careful attention to sequence of content and reinforcement.  Praxis: Action with reflection or learning by doing.  Respect for learners as subjects of their own learning.From: Vella, J. (1994). Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 3-22.
  14. 14. AndrogogyKnowles’ Principles of Andragogy: Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction Experience (including mistakes) provides the basis for learning activities Adults are most interested in learning about subjects that have immediate relevance to their job or personal life Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content- oriented
  15. 15. More About Adult Learners  They are more self-guided in their learning,  They bring more, and expect to bring more, to a learning situation because of their wider experience - and can take more away, and  They require learning "to make sense" - they will not perform a learning activity just because the instructor said to do it.Adapted from CSU Global “Characteristics of CSU Global Students”
  16. 16. Now That We Know More About ThemWhat Can We Do to Help Our Students Succeed?
  17. 17. Best Practices for Our Learners Consider applying principles of andragogy along with your other practices Create a more “social classroom”  Through use of blogs, wikis, social networks, synchronous chat sessions Create a clear agenda Organize your course shell in a user-centric way
  18. 18. ConclusionsHow to Begin Implementing These Strategies for Success
  19. 19. Faculty Role to Ensure Continuous Improvement  Attend professional development regularly.  Rely on your support network.  Read current research.  Revise curriculum as needed (with approval of supervising administrator).  Select new approaches as needed.  Mentor other teachers!Drawn from “Reform versus Traditional Pedagogy” by Cathy Jones
  20. 20. A Final Thought… Adults have increased variation in learning styles. The individual differences among people increase with age. Using a variety of teaching materials and methods will assist in catering to the differences in style, time, types, and pace of learning. In addition to text-based focus, Palloff and Pratt (2003) noted, "We need to pay attention to ways to facilitate the other dimensions of learning or we risk losing our students," which is something to consider in learning styles in the module reading this week (p. 35). Once acclimated to the online environment, adult learners are typically self-directed and self- motivated, necessary in online learning.