Adult Learning Theory


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Adult Learning Theory

  1. 1. Presented by: Mousumi Ghosh Tr.Instructional Designer Kern Communications 21/06/08 Teaching Adults: Is it Different?
  2. 2. Session Objectives <ul><li>What is adult learning theory? </li></ul><ul><li>How is pedagogy different from androgogy? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the four principles of adult learning? </li></ul><ul><li>How to put these theories into practice? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who is an Adult Learner? <ul><li>An adult learner is a socially accepted person who is involved in any learning process. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning process can be any type of formal education, informal education or corporate-sponsored education. </li></ul>Educator Subject-matter Learner Technique
  4. 4. Why Adults Learn? To acquire new skills. For financial growth and benefits. As part of job training. For self-improvement. To keep up with the growing competition. We learn
  5. 5. What is Adult Learning Theory Malcolm Knowles (1978, 1990) is the theorist who brought the concept of adult learning to the fore. He determined the principles of androgogy.
  6. 6. Pedagogy V/s Androgogy Pedagogy Androgogy It is the method of teaching children. It is the method of teaching adults. Learners are dependent. Learners are independent. Learners have less or no experience to share, hence teaching becomes didactic. Learners are experienced, hence teaching involves, discussion, problem solving etc. Learners learn whatever the curriculum offers. The content has to be modified according to the learners’ need. Teachers are required to direct the learner. The learners are self-motivated. Learners need teachers to guide them. Learning is curriculum oriented. Learning is goal oriented.
  7. 7. Principles of Adult Learning <ul><li>Adults need to know why they need to learn something </li></ul><ul><li>Adults need to learn experientially </li></ul><ul><li>Adults approach learning as problem-solving </li></ul><ul><li>Adults learn best when the topic is of immediate value </li></ul>
  8. 8. Principles of Adult Learning <ul><li>Learning should be: </li></ul><ul><li>Motivational </li></ul><ul><li>Experiential </li></ul><ul><li>Problem-solving </li></ul><ul><li>Of immediate value </li></ul>
  9. 9. Motivational Learning <ul><li>Learning should be motivational: </li></ul><ul><li>Learning should be meaningful </li></ul><ul><li>The learner should be able to see the end-result of any training program </li></ul>If I attend this training and perform better I’ll get a hike in my salary. Example:
  10. 10. Motivation Learning You are working in ABC company. A training program has been scheduled, where you will be trained on MS-Word Application. Let us see the reaction of different employees who are short listed to attend the training program. This training program won’t help me much, I’m quite competent in MS-Office already! They should provide training on RoboHelp, that’s what I need to know to be an efficient technical writer. Oh great! I can brush up my MS-Word knowledge in this training program. Looks like another boring training session! Gosh, I don’t need training in MS-Word, any how I use notepad to scribble notes. Scenario Content Writer Programmer Technical Writer Instructional Designer
  11. 11. Experiential Learning <ul><li>Learning should be experiential: </li></ul><ul><li>Learners should be asked to learn by exploring </li></ul><ul><li>It is highly effective in corporate training </li></ul><ul><li>Learners learn by doing </li></ul>A new application has been launched. You need to familiarize with it. You learn by exploring. Example
  12. 12. Experiential Learning Scenario Rita works as a front office executive in a mobile store. She has to attend a training program where she will be taught how to handle customers. Two of the participants are asked to volunteer to role-play, one as front office executive and the other as a customer. Hello Sir, hello madam. How can I help you? 1 I think the battery has some problem. Sir we will replace the battery of the cell phone. 3 I bought a cell phone two weeks back, but it gets switched off after every half-an-hour. Can you tell me what is the problem with this cell phone? 2 Thanks a lot! 4 You are welcome sir. 5
  13. 13. Problem-Solving <ul><li>Learning should be: </li></ul><ul><li>Solving any problem drives learning </li></ul><ul><li>This principle works best for medical students </li></ul><ul><li>A problem is posed so that the students discover that they need to learn something new before they can solve the problem </li></ul>
  14. 14. Problem-Solving Scenario You are asked to teach how to make TOC and mail-merge in MS-Word application. How will you proceed with task. Hmm I need to learn it first , in order to teach it to others! Steps to proceed with the task: What do I know? What am I being asked? Need to learn the thing first, practise it, perform it and the finally teach it .
  15. 15. Problem-Solving Example Medical students are asked to practice operating on dead bodies and then they actually operate live beings.
  16. 16. Immediate Value <ul><li>Learning should be of immediate value: </li></ul><ul><li>The training program should have direct bearing upon their job </li></ul><ul><li>The training program should be able to step-up the job search process </li></ul>
  17. 17. Immediate Value of Learning Scenario Assume that you and your colleagues are part of a training program, which involves receiving training on typing lesson. Look at what some of the people in that organization had to say. Typing lesson, well I don’t need it, cause I don’t have to type huge articles or write anything at all! This a complete waste for me. Typing lesson, well sounds great, anyway I type like a tortoise. I guess this training will help me hone my typing skills. I think I seriously need to attend this training session. Quick typing will make my work much easier!
  18. 18. Utility of these Principles <ul><li>Lay down clear objectives of the course (need and motivation) </li></ul><ul><li>Inform how they can make the most of training (motivation/immediate value) </li></ul><ul><li>Just do not present learning materials but pose problems so as to induce learning (problem-solving) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Utility of these Principles <ul><li>Include assessment and provide immediate feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Offer reward or certificates after the successful completion of the course (immediate value) </li></ul><ul><li>Give real life examples, simulation (experiential) </li></ul><ul><li>Use diagrams wherever needed </li></ul>
  20. 20. Wrap-up <ul><li>Learning is a continuous process </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is motivation driven </li></ul><ul><li>We learn to keep up with the growing need of the industry </li></ul><ul><li>We learn to compete </li></ul><ul><li>We learn better where we are asked to express our experiences and prior knowledge </li></ul>