Observations about Learning Styles in Adult Learners

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  • prepared by

    David Hedley, Amr Kebbi, Ashley Northey, Patricia Robson, Serge Turchanikov

    DU-TEAC1980-S2-W15 : Adult LearningAssignment #3 : Group Presentation

    Observations about Learning Stylesin Adult Learners

  • IntroductionFive professional adults decided to take the Adult Learning course as part of the train

    the trainer certification program. Henry, Holly, Mary, Keith, and Salim each with a different

    background and reason to take the course were exposed to the adult learning theories as

    part of the learning material.

    Consequently, each one of the adult learners was able to reflect on the theories in a unique

    way based on his or her experience and character. This assignment will dive into the journey

    of each of the five adult learners, their background, their motivation, their learnings, and theirof each of the five adult learners, their background, their motivation, their learnings, and their

    conclusions.

  • Henry is in his mid-20s, he has been out of school for 12 years, working various construction

    jobs. A couple of years ago, he stumbled upon a maintenance job with the local transit

    company. With a year under his belt, a light bulb sparked and he realized there is an

    opportunity to make a future under this employer. Furthermore, he took it upon himself to

    reach out to higher management to find out which courses would benefit him going forward.

    Upon enrolling in the Adult Training Course, Henry found out he resonates most with Maslows

    Hierarchy of Needs Adult Learning Theory. Needless to say, Henry is motivated to fulfil basicHierarchy of Needs Adult Learning Theory. Needless to say, Henry is motivated to fulfil basic

    needs before moving on to other, more advanced needs (www.psychology.com, 2015). He is

    a simple person and lacks motivation from time to time. Maslows Theory made him realize

    his learning deficiencies and he strives to acknowledge the problems that arise to neglect his

    learning.

    Meet the Students : Henry

  • Holly is a 47 year old mother of 2 who left the work force 20 years ago to raise her children. Facedwith the sobering reality of looking for work she has found that without current work experienceand post-secondary education her job prospects were dismal. Mary is determined, with the supportof her family to restart the learning process. As part of her path to attain a diploma, Holly hasenrolled in an adult learning course. Upon entering the program Holly was wrought withinsecurities, generally a feeling of very little confidence in her ability and not being able to catchup no matter how hard she studied. up no matter how hard she studied.

    Hollys learning style is a new concept for her. Holly understands that in order to be successfulin her studies she needs to be supported by her family and requires a safe, clean, organized workenvironment, these basic needs were things Holly did not have growing up. She is very motivatedto finish her studies as she realizes that this is the means to a better job.

    Hollys learning style resonates with the Maslow theory of learning; it is based on a pyramidarranging human needs. They all build on each other with one motivating the next to reach theultimate goal of self-actualization (Maslows Hierarchy of Needs). It is very interesting that Maslowultimate goal of self-actualization (Maslows Hierarchy of Needs). It is very interesting that Maslowchoose these levels as tools for building oneself, to ultimately be the best they can be. Maslow hasdescribed his own childhood as unhappy and very lonely. Even though Maslows needs come froma desire to grow as a person not from the lack of something, I can see a very clear connection fromhis childhood experiences to the steps in his theory (Cherry, 2015).

    Meet the Students : Holly

  • Keith has been working as a copywriter and illustrator in a small-sized advertising agency for

    a number of years where he oversees a number of junior colleagues who are just entering the

    workforce. Prior to working in the smaller agency, Keith performed many roles in a larger

    agency, which gives him a broad base of knowledge to rely upon in his work. More and more

    Keith finds himself mentoring the younger workers, and he enrolled in an adult learning course

    in order to develop training methods and enhance his instructional techniques.

    Keith exhibits several of the characteristics Malcolm Knowles ascribes to adult learners. He isKeith exhibits several of the characteristics Malcolm Knowles ascribes to adult learners. He is

    task-oriented, prefers to learn experientially, and feels that taking the course is relevant to his

    future goals (Knowles, 1984).

    Keith tends to think in images but is also quite structured. He has a background in the visual

    arts and a vivid imagination. He has trouble following lectures and becomes impatient with

    lengthly verbal instruction. He has a strong preference for independent work and research.

    The main challenge for an instructor teaching Keith is accommodating his preferred method

    of visual intake while still conveying methods that will enable him to reach students of allof visual intake while still conveying methods that will enable him to reach students of all

    learning styles.

    Meet the Students : Keith

  • Mary has been out of school for almost 30 years, and is a little nervous about the amount ofwork involved in online courses. She is interested in teaching at the local community college,and decided to take the Adult Learning Course to work towards her Train the Trainer Certificate.

    Mary is a people person and likes to have face to face communication to develop a personalrapport with colleagues. She is also very social outside of work, and often the key organizerof her circle of friends. She is confident and works independently. She likes to set aside timeto work on her online course material in a quiet place so she can focus, and put some thoughtto work on her online course material in a quiet place so she can focus, and put some thoughtinto the reflection pieces at the end of each unit.

    Marys learning style resonates with Banduras Social Learning Theory. According to Cherry(n.d.), Albert Banduras Social Learning Theory is based on the premise that we learn byobserving others, but to learn we must pay attention, retain and reproduce the information andunderstand our motivation to learn. The challenge for the instructor is to ensure there are avariety of course components so Mary can interact with her peers, receive feedback and spendtime on personal reflection.time on personal reflection.

    Meet the Students : Mary

  • Salim has more than 15 years of key accounts management and sales management experience.

    He had the opportunity to train adults before, but it was never a major role. As an account

    manager, he is well trained to connect with people in order to discover their needs. He lives

    the Maslows Hierarchy of Needs in his daily interactions with customer, colleagues, and family.

    He recently got interested in the adult learning subject after some discussions with his PhD

    student spouse majoring in curriculum studies. His idea was to support trainers with some

    sales training. This will add to their ability to understand their audience and supply them withsales training. This will add to their ability to understand their audience and supply them with

    what they are looking for. As a consequence, he decided to take the adult learning courses so

    that he understands more about adult learning theories and interact with other trainers. He

    was motivated by an idea that he would like to test and explore.

    With a job and a young family, finding time was a challenge for Salim. He was searching for

    an online course believing it will be more practical in his situation. It was the first time he took

    an online course since he finished his MBA in 2002. 10 years ago online courses was not an

    option. Time and online format were not the only challenges. The material was completely new.option. Time and online format were not the only challenges. The material was completely new.

    He questioned himself several times to drop especially that the course has no direct impact on

    his career. What kept him motivated and continue was the new discoveries.

    Meet the Students : Salim

  • Henry : looking to advance at his current job by taking the trainer course.

    Holly : working towards earning a diploma to re-enter the work force.

    Keith : planning to become an instructor as a future career path.

    Mary : interested in teaching at the local community college.

    Salim : motivated by personal and professional growth.

    Summary of Students

  • To help achieve Henrys goals in this course, as well as applying Maslows Theory, the

    instructor can assure the learning environment is a comfortable setting. In particular,

    make sure the room is at a comfortable temperature, is well lit, and provide breaks.

    Furthermore, educate and outline the course standards and make sure everyone, including

    Henry understands.

    To sympathize with Henry, as well as the rest of the class, the instructor will engage on all

    class happenings, and reach out to everyone about any questions or concerns they mightclass happenings, and reach out to everyone about any questions or concerns they might

    have. To add to that, Henry and others will be welcome to stay after class to engage in further

    discussions. Using these teaching methods, this will attempt to give Henry motivation going

    forward as he is in a secure setting and the in