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Teaching the Generations: Learner-Centered Classrooms for Adult Students Tish Matuszek and Diane Bandow.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching the Generations: Learner-Centered Classrooms for Adult Students Tish Matuszek and Diane Bandow."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching the Generations: Learner-Centered Classrooms for Adult Students Tish Matuszek and Diane Bandow

2 Explain the need to update classroom teaching approaches to accommodate adult students through exercises, discussion and examples Compare and contrast the differences between educational approaches to traditional and adult students through a review of theory, practices and examples Interpret the information and exercises in this session to create best practices in the classroom Design class room activities to incorporate information and teaching approaches to engage adult students Objectives For Today

3 Identify the theoretical basis of androgogy and how it differs from traditional pedagogy Demonstrate new approaches to classroom teaching focused on adults students Increase the effectiveness of course delivery and design based on adult learning principles (androgogy) Use survey information from this presentation to provide a perspective on the current status of adults learning issues in eCampus Expected Outcomes

4 Why should we focus on adults in the classroom? – Key eCampus demographic – Key Global Campus demographic, and on Alabama campuses – National Center for Educational Statistics http://nces.ed.gov Why Focus on Adults?

5 Four Distinct Generations Traditionalists or Silent Generation Baby Boomers Generation X Gen Y or Millennials Who Is In Your Classroom?

6 Traditionalist – born before 1946, although some are in the workplace ( to address economic concerns) many are now retired Baby Boomers – (1946-1964), approximately 77 million are in the workplace Gen X – (1965-1976), approximately 40 million Gen Y – (1977-1995), estimated at 69-73 million How Many Are There?

7 One size does not fit all Each generation has specific needs and preferences Learning styles have to be considered What is the generation of the instructor and how can this create tension in the classroom? Areas Instructors Must Consider

8 A HUGE difference between 65 and 85 learning – brain plasticity Tend to be technologically unsophisticated Tend to be problem-solvers Need library tutorials Need software tutorials Problem solving that uses their experience Need structure Traditionalists – 65 and over

9 Demand respect Articulate and social – like to be heard Easy for professors to relate to Not technologically sophisticated Need tutorials Work well autonomously Teams can also work well Baby Boomers

10 Independent and entrepreneurial Not as articulate as their parents Tend to be distrusting of organizations Technologically sophisticated May not work well in groups Need specific and constructive feedback Outcomes driven – want grades quickly Gen X

11 Socialized into economic expansion, prosperity, and a digital world Technically literate, well educated(*), ethnically diverse, more discretionary money Lack direction, more likely to “make waves”; can be demanding Need success; must be matched with work that is challenging. Values teamwork and fairness; want respect and upward mobility. Tend to be poor writers and have trouble articulating thoughts Require interaction with the content Need structure Gen Y

12 Use a “Start Here” point Mix assessments to meet the needs for generations and to build skills Mix the delivery methods Build modules that give a common structure from week to week Require outside reading and research Homework every week (Coyle, 2009) – not just discussion boards Adults – All Ages

13 Profile of Adult Students – Older – Self-sustaining with family responsibilities – Full-time employees – Responsible positions – Math and reading literacy issues – Cognitive processes may be slowing – Physiological processes are slowing – Less analytical More Adult Students in Post- Secondary Education

14 Androgogy vs. Pedagogy Androgogy Need to know why Older Responsible More experienced Readiness Life-centered Intrinsic motivation Economy Self-directed Pedagogy Teacher makes all decisions – i.e., content, method, timing Learners are submissive and inexperienced Motivation is for grades only ‘Empty vessel’ student philosophy

15 What Adults Expect Mentoring for career-related documents such as applications and letters of recommendation Immediacy – to understand the material after a single iteration – overlooks the benefit of discovery and reflection To be able to use the information in skill tomorrow morning To be able to communicate at a professional level without more communication lessons – Unrealistic expectation

16 Adult Learning Issues Adult students tend to: – Discount theory-driven texts – Want to focus on skills – Not understand their personal power bases – Have poor communication skills – written, verbal, listening, non-verbal – Be impulsive rather than analytical – Not understand how to generalize their personal experiences

17 More Adult Learning Issues Adult students tend to: – Prefer active learning techniques – Believe instructors don’t understand working students – Tend to falter when tying theory to practice – Be oriented to short-term thinking – Be “stretched too far” – Have different learning styles ( Learning Styles Index) http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/learningstyles/ilsweb.html – Experience of learning differences between Gen X, Gen Y, Baby Boomers and Traditionalists – conflict happens!

18 Questions 1.How many assess learning styles in their classes? 1. Yes I do 2. No, I don’t

19 Questions 2. If you do assess learning styles (if your answer is yes), how often do you assess learning styles for each of your students in your classes? 1. Always or often 2. Rarely or Never

20 Applying Theory Androgogy Pedagogy Active Learning (Action Learning) Constructivism Appreciative Inquiry Experiential Learning Double Loop Learning Transformative Learning

21 Questions 3. How many of you have had a class in learning theory? 1. Yes, I have 2. No, I have not

22 Androgogy Applying Theory Androgogy – Adult education – Incorporates a life experience – Must work with self-concept – Prefer to be treated as peers Some prefer to call you by your first name

23 Pedagogy Applying Theory Pedagogy – Childhood education – Self-concept is still forming – Motivated to learn without knowing why

24 Active Learning Characterized by action rather than words Requires self-regulation

25 Constructivism Knowledge is constructed by the student Breaks from empirico-realism Requires individual responsibility See students as inventors rather than discoverers Knowledge is an interpretation by the student – Considers the social impact of experience

26 Appreciative Inquiry Works from a strengths perspective – 4 Ds Discovery ( identify what works) Dream (‘magic bullet’ question) Design ( creating ways to achieve the new dream) Destiny ( strengthening the affirmation)

27 Experiential Learning Experience is central to the learning process Important to kinesthetic learners Grounded in the word of Dewey, Lewin, Piaget Takes the focus off cognition Places greater emphasis on affect and subjective experience

28 Double Loop Learning Focuses on complex problem solving Personal change is intrinsic Two principles: – “1. Effective problem-solving about interpersonal or technical issues requires frequent public testing of theories-in-use. – 2. Double loop learning requires learning situations in which participants can examine and experiment with their theories of action.” http://tip.psychology.org/argyris.html

29 Transformative learning Transformative Learning Requires alignment among components Information + Application = Knowledge De-stigmatizes additional expertise Knowledge acquisition is central

30 Assessment Covey’s 3 rd Person Teaching Role of Assessment (briefly) – Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATS)…. A type of formative assessment that benefits the instructor and the student Muddiest point One minute paper Team contracts Learning contracts Reflection Peer Feedback Self-managed vs. self-directed? Personal reflection allows self-assessment

31 Questions 4. Effective assessment requires reflection. How many of you require reflective activities in your classrooms? 1. Yes, I do 2. No, I do not

32 Questions 5. If your answer was yes, how is the reflection expressed? 1. Written or Verbal 2. Enacted or Applied

33 Linking Theory and Practice Allow some choices for students i.e., structure the assignment but allow them to pick topics Negotiate their own expectations/outcomes (team or learning contracts) Complete self-assessment and peer assessment which feed back into the individual or the team outcomes Deal with specifics that can be applied immediately at work (linkage and application) Use assignments/topics related to work Provide specific applications of work issues in assignments Focus on real-life applications (i.e., case studies, consulting) Apply pragmatism principles in general Service learning Cases Pre-test on background knowledge so you know where to start – this does not necessarily require an exam Student reflection, analysis and summary

34 Review of Classroom Research VERY LIMITED! More articles are positional and theoretical than actual research Communication and contact between professor and student very important, as is professor availability, enthusiasm and being prepared for class (O’Toole, Spinelli & Wetzel, 2000) Creative classroom environments that provide time and rewards for creativity, stimulate risk-taking, support diversity of thinking, teach how to question assumptions and encourage risk-taking can be effectively integrated into the classroom (Driver, 2001) Competency-based instruction can be integrated into the curriculum (Chyung, Stepich and Cox, 2006) Students can be highly motivated with well-designed group projects (McKendall, 2000) Teaching with cases have been shown to generate a high level of engagement and motivation (real-time case studies) (Theroux & Kilbane, 2005)

35 Best Practices from Students’ Perspective Immediate application of what I learned – Salience – Can you use this tomorrow in your work? Did you use this today in your work? Well-organized course, logical progression – Always set a framework for the course Don’t like exams! – Try open book quizzes from multiple texts and application of concepts ( in addition to required traditional exams as appropriate) Reflection – think about what I learned and what is ahead – Call on students by name; summaries at the end of the weekly discussion Learning about others’ experiences – Sometimes “off-topic” discussions can be beneficial if managed appropriately People “pulling their own weight” in team projects – Learning contracts

36 Pop Quiz 1.Demonstrate your knowledge about the need to update classroom teaching approaches and accommodate adult students by selecting the response that is not correct: a. Adults prefer active learning techniques b. Adults like instructors making all the decisions c. Motivation is not only for good grades d. Adults are more responsible and need to know “why” e. Adults are more experienced

37 Pop Quiz 2.Identified classroom teaching concepts focused on supporting adult students; select all that do not apply – a. Focus on real-life applications b. Encourage reflection and self-assessment c. Allows some choices for students d. Pre-test or determine background knowledge e. Do not use topics related to work

38 Pop Quiz 3. Design more effective course delivery approaches by applying adult learning principles discussed in this workshop. Select all that do not apply: a. Provide opportunities for negotiation through team contracts or learning contracts b. Integrate case studies and other applications into your curriculum c. Allow students to learn from others’ experiences d. Design the course around the instructor’s learning style e. Provide a framework for the course and follow a logical progression

39 Pop Quiz 4. Did you learn the information in this presentation that you can apply in your classroom or organization tomorrow? 1. Yes, I did 2. No, I did not Bibliography for further reading

40 Pop Quiz Thank You! Questions?


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