What are the new strategies of motivating adult learners? How can we enhance student motivation?
What new insights have you gained in terms of the variety of roles that adult educators play (related to your topics)?
With the advancement of technology and the ease of living today, what are the new strategies of motivating adult learners? How does these new ways of teaching compare with the traditional methods? How will these technology trends impact the strategies educators use to engage their audiences in the next few years? What roles do these new technology play in enhancing student motivation? Having seen and experienced how technology has revolutionized the world in the past two decades, my learning partner Mya Sarkissian and I were motivated to learn more about these complex questions and we agreed to research the topic of new motivational strategies in adult education.
The insights that I gained from researching the topic of new motivational strategies in adult education are that technology can be excellent teaching tools to enhance students learning experience and offer multi-channel opportunities for instructors to motivate students to learn. With adult learners coming from a wide array of past experiences, they become motivated when they understand exactly how the information being conveyed will directly benefit them currently and in the future. I plan to let my students understand why they are learning what is being conveyed to them and how these information will be relevant to them, not just in their future work, but also in their life as well.
Since my areas of study were in Finance, Accounting, and Economics, these topics would most likely be the subjects which i would be instructing in the future. In finance and economics, it is all about investing, NPV analysis, and decision making etc. I understand that finance-degree-major students can perform well in conducting merger and acquisition analysis at school/work. They might be very good at their specialization. However, do they know how to relate it to their life? Will they know how to manage their own finance, and at a deeper level, will they know how to correctly prioritize their life and invest their time/resources correctly so that they make the right decisions in life? This is what I want my students to get out of instructions. This is what I would encourage my students to think about. I firmly believe by doing so, I can successful motivate my students, develop the potential in them, and help them to release that potential not just in the subject area, but more importantly in their future work and their life as well.
What are some trends in your field (related to your topic)? How are you preparing to address these trends?
Currently, I work in the the post-secondary sector. In this section, I will cover two major trends I see impacting post-secondary field, and what it means for the new motivational strategies in adult education. The two major trends are technological advancement and cultural shift. Understanding the potential impact these new trends would have on the teaching approaches and methodologies of educators, I will also discuss how I plan to prepare myself to address these trends.
Trend #1: Technological Advancement
In the past decades, technology has affected almost every aspect of our lives. It changed how businesses operate, how people interact, and how students learn. Subsequently, student expectations in the post-secondary industry have changed considerably over the last few years, especially in terms of the way they communicate with and the timing of feedback received from their instructors. From the traditional communication method of face-to-face meeting and telephone calls to email, IM/texting, web conferencing, and social networking, the adult learners today are considered to be more impatient as they expect feedback on their performance in a short time-frame. In my recent conversation with Professor Glenn Galy, I learn from him that studies have shown that students are not likely to read the instructor feedback after three days of the submission date.
As society are now taking more of an enlightened view towards technology, I see this trend as an opportunity to increase the enjoyment of the learning process for students. How I plan to address this trend is that when I am preparing for my course in the future, I will make sure that I not only provide meaningful feedback, but also provide timely feedback so as to maximize its effectiveness, increase student engagement, and enhance their motivation. I plan to employ technology as a tool to enhance the student learning experience. Outside the classroom, I plan to synchronize my teaching email with my smartphone so that I am available to students most of the time and can reply to their emails quickly. Inside the classroom, I plan to use an app called ZipGrade, which turns my phone into an optical grading machine similar to a Scantron, thus enabling me to provide instant feedback to students on their assessments in order to maximize their learning (https://www.zipgrade.com/).
Trend #2: Cultural Shift
As time passed by in addition to the technological changes, we observe not only a cultural shift in the workplace but also in the classroom as well. From the traditionalists to baby boomers to generation X and finally to the millennials, the new generations are very different than the old generations in many ways from an educational perspective, in terms of their perception, work ethics, value, feedback, views, and preferred learning method etc. The younger generation brings questions, challenges and sparks change for the future, while the older generation are individualistic and like stability.
How I plan to address this trend is adjusting the role that I will play in my instruction. Instead of strictly lecturing to adult learners, I plan to implement the teaching style of student-centered learning approach, where I act more like a facilitator, employing a variety of different types of methods to manage the process of learning. Rather than teaching my student what to think, I plan to teach my student how to think so that they can learn by coming to the conclusion themselves.
Reflect on the Web-Conference experience. How was it? What was one thing that you learned from your learning partner?
I recently had the pleasure of meeting my learning partner Mya Sarkissian. As a Registered Dental Hygienist, Mya is passionate about her profession and enjoys helping people succeed in life. In general, I found the web conference to be a positive experience. During our discussion through Skype, we had the opportunity to share our findings from our respective articles and websites, and we came to the same conclusions about the research finding regarding new strategies in motivating adult learners. The discussion with Mya was indeed a meaningful one as it not only helped clarify some of the questions I had, but also enhanced my analysis, understanding, and interpretation of this topic.
Through my discussion with Mya, I learn that technology, when used properly, can be an effective teaching tool that can help increase students’ motivation and enhance their learning experience. When students use these interactive educational learning tools, such as tablets or laptops, they become more engaged. An interesting point brought up in our discussion was that studies had shown that this level of engagement highly increased when the adult learners were properly trained on how to use the technology (Johnson, 2011). This in turn led to the students processing the information faster and shortened the time for new information to sink in.
Goddu, K. (2012). Meeting the challenge: Teaching strategies for adult learners. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 48 (4), 169-173. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00228958.2012.734004
Johnson, M. (2011). Adult learners and technology: How to deliver effective instruction and overcome barriers to learning. Retrieved from http://www.umsl.edu/~wilmarthp/modla-links-2011/Adult-Learners-And-Technology.pdf
Kurzweil Blog Team. (2015, Feb 12). 5 positive effects technology has on teaching & learning [Web log]. Retrieved from https://blog.kurzweiledu.com/2015/02/12/5-positive-effects-technology-has-on-teaching-learning/
Merriam, S.B., Bierema, L.L. (2014). Adult learning: Linking theory and practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Pappas, C. (2014, Oct 3). 11 tips to engage and inspire adult learners. Retrieved from http://elearningindustry.com/11-tips-engage-inspire-adult-learner
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Law is the Administrative Coordinator for the School of Business at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
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