HOL 6701

Adult Learning

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the adult learning field and provide opportunities to apply adult learning theories, principles, and practices in a variety of professional settings. This course focuses on individual learning over the course of adulthood by exploring adult learning theories and models, including learner motivations and characteristics; the impact of life-span development on learning; the influences of social context on learning, and the major theories and concepts related to how, when, and why adults learn. Learners will have the opportunity to analyze their own learning preferences/styles; identify barriers and enablers to effective learning in professional environments; and apply course content to effective (and non-effective) learning experiences for adults. Readings and out-of-class observations will precede class time. Class time will be both instructor and student-led. Faculty will help focus the sessions and help students integrate theoretical concepts and apply them to practice. Students will draw on their own experiences to discuss course material and relate it to effective (and non-effective) adult learning experiences.

Learning Objectives
After completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the major dimensions of adult learning - the learner’s incentives, the learning content, and the learning  context  -  and  the  overall  barriers  and  enablers  to  adult learning
  • Differentiate between effective and ineffective adult learning practices
  • Recognize their personal learning styles, preferences and philosophies, and the impact these have on their teaching/training of others
  • Apply effective adult learning principles to the delivery of content they are responsible for training or teaching others
  • Critically engage as a group in a Collaborative Inquiry (CI), an adult learning process, and apply experiential and reflective learning to collectively construct new meanings based on synthesis of repeated episodes of reflections and actions of individual group members