Designing Engaging Instruction for the Adult Learners

Designing Engaging Instruction for the Adult Learners

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch123
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Instructional design for the adult learner is a growing field of study in higher education. Engaging instruction for adult learners will be defined in this chapter in two ways: designing courses using the significant learning taxonomy, and a paradigm shift to support faculty to involve student participation. The discussion of engaging instruction will be presenting using several research-based foundations such as Baxter-Magolda's self-authorship, Palmer's open learning environments, and Fink's significant learning taxonomy.
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When planning instruction for adult learners it is important to examine their motivation for being in the classroom. They have chosen to pursue a higher education degree and the faculty’s challenge is to plan and execute engaging, relevant learning experiences. The traditional model of instruction in higher education, such as lecture and testing, while possibly engaging, is limited. If the goal is to be able to explicitly assess how students are making the connections among theory, content, and personal experience there needs to be a master course design. Fink (2007) explains that “our current instructional procedures are not working very well. Students are not learning even basic general knowledge, they are not developing higher-level cognitive skills, and they are not retaining their knowledge very well. In fact there is no significant difference between student who take courses and students who do not” (Fink, 2013, p. 4).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Self-Authorship: Refers to a phase of development within the lifelong process of self-evolution. AU14: Could not find a publisher location in a book reference (in reference "Significant Learning Experiences, 2007").

Adult Education: “Activities intentionally designed for the purpose of bringing about learning among those whose age, social roles, or self-perceptions, define them as adults. AU13: Could not find a publisher location in a book reference (in reference "Self-Authorship, 2010").

Significant Learning Experiences: Defined as teaching that results in —a learning experience resulting in something that is truly significant in terms of the students’ lives.

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