Twenty-First Century Andragogy: Empowering Adult Learners in Online Writing Courses Alyson Indrunas Feb. 26, 2013 NW eLearning Webinar
My Background • Composition Teacher • Online Instructor • Tuition Waiver Graduate Student • Title III Faculty eLearning Mentor
Abstract • By reviewing the principles of Andragogy in the context of teaching college writing to first-year college students, the author will examine that although the research of andragogy began in brick and mortar schools, and we can now adapt these theories to modern course formats, such as hybrid and online, to empower and motivate adult learners who may be reluctant to try eLearning.
Abstract • In 1980, Malcolm Knowles introduced the theory of Andragogy, highlighting that “an adult accumulates a growing reservoir of experience, which is a rich resource for learning.” Thirty years later, online writing teachers can use andragogical principles to motivate and empower adult learners in an online writing class.
Goals for Today’s Session • Define/Review Andragogy • Show andragogical principles • Demonstrate examples of Andragogy in an OL class • Explain assignment successes and failures for OL Collaboration • Summarize the application of andragogy in course planning and development
Continuing and College Education Engage with relevantcoursework that provides both the theoretical understanding and practical skills appreciated by employers in a variety of adult learning settings such as: • community colleges • universities • public safety guidelines • healthcare organizations • corporations • nonprofits • community human service settings
WWU—Continuing and College Educationhttp://www.wce.wwu.edu/Depts/CCE/
Defining Andragogy Knowles (1977) defined four assumptions: 1. Adults have a self-concept of a self-directing personality. 2. Adults bring a wealth of experience to the learning process. 3. Adults come to the learning process ready to learn. 4. Adults are oriented toward immediate application of learned knowledge.
Wait, there’s more! Knowles (1984, 1989) later added two additional assumptions • 5. Adults need to know the reason for learning something. • 6. Adults are driven by intrinsic motivation to learn.
Adult Learners In Knowles’ (1980) theory of andragogy, “an adult accumulates a growing reservoir of experience, which is a rich resource for learning” (p.43).
Mezirow and Harasim Learning Theory and Online Technologies, LindaHarasimutilizes Mezirow's contribution to adult education in the online learning context (2011).
Harasim (2011) Learning Theory and Online Technologies • Learning should be interactive to promote higher-level learning. • Learning should be an active process.
Learners should: • construct their own knowledge. • be encouraged to facilitate their learning. • be given control of the learning process. • be given time and the opportunity to reflect.
Merriam, Caffarella, Leahy • Billions of dollars are spent on training, and employees only remember 10% of the information. • What’s my 10%? • Conclusion? Andragogy is a guideline for good teaching!
What’s a Comp teacher to do? • My case study about OL students reluctant to take Hybrid and/OL courses. • Three main characteristics. • What I learned and how it changed what I do.
An Andragogical FrameworkIn A Writing Class • Promotes OL Collaboration • Fosters Critical Thinking • Increases student retention
Two or Three Things I Know For Sure Photo Narrative Assignment • gives students choice (buy-in) • relates to their experience (makes them a stakeholder) • connects what we are doing in the course to their lives (gets students involved)
Choice in Collaboration Giving students a choice in group projects. It works (better). Embodies connectivist principles Students take control Self-directed learners thrive http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattlemunicipalarchives/2680257100/
Respecting Students’ Time Give the students more flexibility in the learning process. • Poll students about their work habits • Ask students for input about assignments • Set up rigorous expectations, but be willing to be flexible • Accept that their ideas may be better than yours!
What I Know For Sure • All of this can bomb. Any time. Every class. I don’t have the answers. • I can stay sane by trying to learn from my mistakes. • If I am honest with the students that I am trying something new, then they are more likely to give me good feedback for the next time. • Not all of my students are “adults.”
Motivation • Wlodkowski (2008) in “What Motivates Adults to Learn,” discusses how the adult brain is “developed and capable of judging, planning and making decisions about their experiences in a manner that is more integrated, stable, reflective, and future oriented (p.99).
Thoughtful Learning Plans • Student Motivation: “…the greatest facilitator to influence learning transfer was the teacher motivation and presence” (Thomas & Bell, 2007)
Thomas, Earl. “Thoughtful Planning Fosters Learning Transfer” (2007) • Outcomes • Objectives • Strategies • Perceived Barriers • Required Support • Follow-up Plans • Criteria for Success
Conclusion and Thank You! • "We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master." ~Ernest Hemingway With this quote in mind, please check out my wiki for contact information and how to connect with me online. http://evcc-olprofessionaldevelopment.wikispaces.com/home