Martes, Mayo 7, 2013

Adult Learners
Below is a comparison of the learning characteristics of adult learners and youth learners. Of course, these are generalizations with exceptions occurring in each group of learners, but you may want to keep these differences in mind as you consider the learner population you expect in your online course. The design of your course would be influenced by your expected student population.

Adult Learners

Youth Learners
Problem-centered; seek educational solutions to where they are compared to where they want to be in life

Subject-oriented; seek to successfully complete each course, regardless of how course relates to their own goals
Results-oriented; have specific results in mind for education - will drop out if education does not lead to those results because their participation is usually voluntary

Future-oriented; youth education is often a mandatory or an expected activity in a youth's life and designed for the youth's future
Self-directed; typically not dependent on others for direction

Often depend on adults for direction
Often skeptical about new information; prefer to try it out before accepting it

Likely to accept new information without trying it out or seriously questioning it
Seek education that relates or applies directly to their perceived needs, that is timely and appropriate for their current lives

Seek education that prepares them for an often unclear future; accept postponed application of what is being learned
Accept responsibility for their own learning if learning is perceived as timely and appropriate

Depend on others to design their learning; reluctant to accept responsibility for their own learning

In summary, adult learners usually approach learning differently than younger 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
  • they require learning "to make sense" - they will not perform a learning activity just because the instructor said to do it

Teaching Strategies for Adult Learners
This means that you may find certain teaching strategies more effective than others with your adult learners.
Adult Learner Characteristics

Teaching Strategies
Adults have years of experience and a wealth of knowledge

Use your adult students as resources for yourself and for other students; use open-ended questions to draw out students' knowledge and experiences; provide many opportunities for dialogue among students
Adults have established values, beliefs, and opinions

Take time to clarify student expecatations of the course; permit debate and the challenge of ideas; be careful to protect minority opinions within the class
Adults expect to be treated as adults

Treat questions and comments with respect; acknowledge contributions students make to the class; do not expect students to necessarily agree with your plan for the course
Adults need to feel self-directed

Engage students in designing the learning process; expect students to want more than one medium for learning and to want control over the learning pace and start/stop times
Adults often have a problem centered approach to learning

Show immediately how new knowledge or skills can be applied to current problems or situations; use participatory techniques such as case studies and problem-solving groups
Adults tend to be less interested in
survey types of courses and more interested in straightforward how-to

Focus on theories and concepts within the context of their applications to relevant problems; orient the course content toward direct applications rather than toward theory
Adults have increased variation in
learning styles (individual differences among people increase with age)

Use a variety of teaching materials and methods to take into account differences in style, time, types, and pace of learning

We hope you see that instruction designed for adults tends to be more effective if it is learner-centered than if it is instructor-centered. The instructor must maintain a careful balance between the presentation of new material and its applications, discussion and participation among students, and the quarter's calendar. Actually the instructor must wrestle with the paradox of establishing control by risking giving it up! By giving up tendencies to feel good about expertly delivering information to the students and to feel threatened by student challenges to the course plan, the instructor gains the kind of facilitative control that is most effective for adult learners. The following chart gives some more explanation.

Teaching Styles
No one model of instruction will be the best for all situations. Two contrasting models are shown below; one or both or a combination could be used in online courses:


The learning objective is usually the transfer of knowledge, information, or skills from the instructor to the students. The instructor more or less controls the material to be learned and the pace of learning while presenting the course content to the students. The purpose of learning is to acquire and memorize new knowledge or learn new skills.
The underlying philosophy is that students learn best not only by receiving knowledge but also by interpreting it, learning through discovery while also setting the pace of their own learning. Instructors coach and mentor students to facilitate their learning, designing experiences through which students acquire new knowledge and develop new skills.
In general, student controlled learning (learner-centered) works best when the learners are relatively mature and possess significant related knowledge or where there is no particular sequencing of the material to be learned. Instructor control of the presentation of course materials (instructor-centered) is more appropriate when learners are less mature and lack necessary prior knowledge. Learners who are immature or lack necessary prior knowledge frequently make poor instructional choices if left on their own (e.g., they are unlikely to estimate correctly whether practice is needed, when sufficient mastery has been attained, etc.).
Thinking Styles
Here is a brief comparison of some different thinking styles of learners. Again, these are generalizations - some people use more than one style, but generally each person has a preferred style. Your online course will be most successful if you vary your style to meet the variety of thinking styles among your students.

Thinking Styles


Reflective Thinkers
  • view new information subjectively
  • relate new information to past experiences
  • often ask "why?"
  • examine their feelings about what they are learning

Creative Thinkers
  • like to play with new information
  • always ask "why?"
  • make excellent troubleshooters
  • create their own solutions and shortcuts

Practical Thinkers
  • want factual information without any "nice-to-know" additions
  • seek the simplest, most efficient way to do their work
  • not satisfied until they know how to apply their new skills to their job or other interest

Conceptual Thinkers
  • accept new information only after seeing the big picture
  • want to know how things work, not just the final outcome
  • learn the concepts that are presented but also want to know the related concepts that may not have been included

Learning Styles
Here are some of the main learning styles. Most people are predominantly one type of learner, but usually they can adapt to another style. Learners do tend to look for their preferred style in each learning situation because they associate that style with learning success. A online course that provides learning experiences for a variety of learning styles will increase the likelihood of learner success in the course.

Learning Styles


Teaching Strategies
Visual Learners
process new information best when it is visually illustrated or demonstrated
  • graphics, illustrations
  • images
  • demonstrations
Auditory Learners
process new information best when it is spoken
  • lectures
  • discussions
Kinesthetic Learners
process new information best when it can be touched or manipulated
  • written assignments, taking notes
  • examination of objects
  • participation in activities
Environmental Learners
process new information best when it is presented in surroundings that match learner preferences (room temperature, lighting, seating, etc.)
  • online learners can control their own learning environment to a larger extent than on-campus students!

1 komento:



    Submitted by:Desa Ivory Uy
    Submitted to:Mr. Marlan Jose
    TTh,5:00-6:30.GH 204