This site, from the Department of Justice provides information about adult learners and how they learn. As the authors suggest, "Adults also bring preferences for how they learn as well as varying aptitudes and abilities. Ultimate educators provide opportunities for adults to use what they already know and apply what they are learning in the instructional setting." This content covers how to design, deliver, coordinate, and evaluate training for adult students in the workplace. It would also be helpful for higher education faculty.
Type of Material:
This information is workshop and training material in PDF format.
Anyone interested in or about to teach adults.
The information is presented in several PDF chapters with additional appendices of reference material. Adobe Acrobat and a browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome) would all be suitable for viewing the information.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
After reading this information, the student will be able to:
1. Understand the role of a trainer in delivering, coordinating, designing training in the workplace.
2. Organize a training session, taking various logistical considerations into account.
3. Articulate the differences between andragogy and pedagogy (adult and child learning styles).
4. Discuss how environmental factors can impact learning.
5. Identify methods for improving participation in training sessions.
6. Explain facilitation methods and how these methods might improve learner response to training.
7. Compare and contrast teaching versus training.
8. Identify methods for dealing with attendees who might present problems during training sessions.
9. Discuss effective lesson planning and design, including how to write good objectives, selecting good instructional activities and assessments.
10. Evaluate training sessions in order to learn from each one and prepare better sessions in the future.
Target Student Population:
Students of Adult Education programs, trainers, faculty, anyone who will be teaching adults
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic knowledge of Adobe Acrobat, Internet Browser.
Evaluation and Observation
Excellent resource and very well written. Easy to understand and follow. The material is comprehensive and written at a language that students from an upper level in high school to a practitioner can understand without being turned offer. The material is based in research and is very thorough.
The material is all in written format. There are no interactive exercises for students to work through. Such a large degree of written material can become overwhelming for anyone to wade through. It could be enhanced through the use of interaction.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The chapters are essentially stand-alone chapters. They could be assigned without reading any of the others and could be very easy to build assignments for a course where the students could do something with the material to demonstrate mastery of the information.
There is no continual reinforcement of the information, no identification of prior knowledge or checks throughout to ensure that students are learning the material. There is nothing to make sure that there are any connections between the materials, so a student could have an accurate grasp of one thing but be completely missing something else.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The material is easy to use (PDF). Other than just clicking on the PDF link, no other instructions are provided. But the material itself is not written at a level that is off-putting for most and is easy to read and understand.
The material is a series of PDF documents that aren’t particularly well-designed. There are few graphics to engage the reader and no interaction to the documents at all. Students who are assigned to read the entire document at once will have a hard time wading through it.
Other Issues and Comments:
The document is full of useful information for students and people wishing to enter the field of training and development. However, it could be improved with the addition of some visuals to the document or some interactivity in the scope of the project to help engage people with the material and to help ensure that mastery of the material is achieved.