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Learning in the Workplace

Studies have shown that adult learning occurs best when tasks are purposeful and can be immediately implemented, resulting in improved employee performance. Moreover, learner motivation is greater when existing personal experience and/or interest is an integral factor in course operation. Courses need to invite the learner to maximize understanding of course theories, concepts, and facts by recasting and relating his or her experience with those theories, concepts, and facts, culminating in the employment of new performance-enhancing skills. This presentation briefly outlines the best practices that are to be met to enhance and support Learning in the Workplace.

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Learning in the Workplace

  1. 1. Learning, can you do it at work? By Lisa MacLeod
  2. 2. Learning in the Workplace • Studies have shown that adult learning occurs best when tasks are purposeful and can be immediately implemented, resulting in improved employee performance. • Moreover, learner motivation is greater when existing personal experience and/or interest is an integral factor in course operation. • Courses need to invite the learner to maximize understanding of course theories, concepts, and facts by recasting and relating his or her experience with those theories, concepts, and facts, culminating in the employment of new performance-enhancing skills. (Cross, 1981; Schunk, 2004)
  3. 3. Learning Theory • Cross states, “One of the most underutilized vehicles for understanding various aspects of adult learning is theory” (Cross, 1982, p. 109). • Theory can serve as a basis for sound instructional practices.
  4. 4. Knowles’ Andragogy • Knowles (1980) defined andragogy as “the art and science of helping adults learn” (p. 43). • Andragogy emphasizes that adults are self-directed learners who take responsibility for their learning choices. • Programs for adult learning should accommodate fundamental differences in how adults learn (Knowles, 1980, p. 1).
  5. 5. Goals of Self-Directed Learning (SDL) • Focus on the quality of the learning experience • Study how people engage and manage their self-directed learning • Explore the ethical use or misuse of SDL • Promote transformational learning: the learner’s critical reflection as central to the process (Merriam, 2001).
  6. 6. Best Practices • Adult learners are motivated by keeping the topics job or performance related and by seeking and valuing their ideas and opinions. This builds a sharing and trusting environment where employees can grow personally and professionally. (Cross, 1981) • Adult students are also more pressured for time so our classes are in the asynchronous format, allowing students to manage their own learning. (Cross, 1981)
  7. 7. Best Practices • Learning activities should be designed to allow students to develop a sense of efficacy and competency. • Learners of all ages should be provided with academic and social opportunities that help them discover and develop their unique strengths and talents and aid in their identity development. (Meece, 1997, p. 326)
  8. 8. References: Cross, K. P. (1981). Adults as learners. Increasing participation and facilitating learning. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons. Knowles, M. S. (1980). The modern practice of adult education: From pedagogy to andragogy (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge Books. Meece, J. L. (1997). Child and adolescent development for educators. New York: McGraw-Hill. Merriam, S. B. (2001). Andragogy and self-directed learning: Pillars of adult learning theory. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 89, 3-13. Schunk, D. H. (2004). Learning Theories: An Educational Perspective, (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.

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