Presentation on theme: "Barriers to Creating a More Adult Centered Learning Environment Dr. Ingrid Crowther Athabasca University Nov. 3-6, 2003."— Presentation transcript:
Barriers to Creating a More Adult Centered Learning Environment Dr. Ingrid Crowther Athabasca University Nov. 3-6, 2003
Climate of Adult Learning Environment Difficult to reconfigure large lecture halls or classrooms into small groupings for individual work and discussions Lecture type-environments lead to more authority-oriented setting – lecturer at the front, students in rows in front Lecturer initiates learning through presentation – overhead, board work, computer Discussion centres around points raised by lecturer Emphasis on students listening and asking questions Student discussion limited to a few individuals
Planning of Program Content of program pre-set by educational institution – students fit into pre-planned program Delivery of program responsibility of faculty – lectures pre-designed, course outlines developed by faculty to indicate expectations Students required to follow course of study regardless of experience, knowledge, or individual differences
Diagnosis of Needs Diagnosis set by evaluative system of course Set by faculty – marks, pass/fail Students fit into pre-existing program of study that compares individuals within the program through marks Limited opportunity to improve grades achieved
Goal Setting Students may set general goals to complete a specific program of study – ECE, DSW.. Goals of program pre-set by faculty and specified in program layout and on individual course outlines Students work fits into pre-existing goals
Designing Learning Size of class dictates types of learning activities – the larger the class the more: Size of class dictates types of learning activities – the larger the class the more: Lecture type of activities – content delivered by faculty Greater degree of teacher-directed activity More likely to multiple choice or short answer type of evaluation systems More comparison of student competency /learning
Learning Activities Focus on testing knowledge, facts Same for all students The larger the class the less likely that all individuals will participate in discussions, asking of questions and fewer application type written assignments such as essays Assignments such as presentations – focus on knowledge and facts and are presented in a teacher-directed method
Evaluation Emphasis of learning is competitive – percentages, grades, bell-curving of marks Evaluation is set and evaluated by faculty Evaluation product oriented – what has been learned Evaluation based on memorized facts
Knowledge of Adult Learning Few adult educators have completed adult education learning programs Adult education not often specified as a criteria for hiring faculty to teach adults Adult education is a relative new field Past practices have influenced practices today Retention of learning not often a cornerstone for teaching
Financial Financial Larger class size uses fewer resources - One individual can lecture to large numbers of students; Need for decreased number of faculty – fewer salaries, fewer benefits One large room may be utilized rather than several smaller rooms; Less resources needed as fewer faculty needed to teach - audio-visual equipment, videos, projectors..
Attitudes Attitudes Status quo - We have always taught like this in post secondary education and it has worked Faculty are hired as experts; students are not experts, it is perceived that they need to be told what they need to learn Students need to be taught the same curriculum in order to ensure consistency Developmentally appropriate practices for teaching adults are more time-consuming and therefore not readily implemented in larger group sizes
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