The development of learning and teaching strategies and technical texts for diverse groups of adult learners

Faulconbridge, Robert Ian (2008) The development of learning and teaching strategies and technical texts for diverse groups of adult learners. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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[Abstract]: Designing, developing and delivering effective technical education for diverse groups of adult learners is important for both the learners and the future of the technical discipline. The many nuances associated with adult learners, combined with the challenges associated with exploring technically complex topics, make effective technical education difficult to achieve. An understanding of adult learners and teaching, coupled with a robust
development framework can help produce effective teaching strategies and technical texts for diverse groups of adult learners.

A literature review focusing on current research regarding adult learners was conducted to investigate some of the nuances of the adult learner. Specifically, the
differences between adult learning and child learning were explored which lead to research on the role of experience in learning, the different approaches adult students typically take to learning, and the likely diversity in preferred learning styles within groups of adult learners.
The literature review also investigated the role of the teacher in adult education, focusing on the need for learning facilitation in adult education. The desirable characteristics of teachers of adults were also investigated leading to an appreciation of the attitudes, attributes and approaches that teachers can take to enhance the learning experience for adults.

A conceptual framework for the development and delivery of adult education courses was proposed and explained. The framework was based on established complex
problem solving principles and covered the entire lifecycle of an adult education course from
the identification of a need for a course through to its delivery (and revision). The framework was based on a top-down approach to educational design. This was articulated
using a VEE diagram that explained how the lifecycle stages (decision, design, development,
and delivery) could build upon one another through concepts such as traceability, ongoing
verification and feedback. The principles of adult learning and teaching were integrated into
the framework via the activities associated with the design, development and delivery of courses.

The framework, and the information contained in the literature review, has been applied to the development of three different technical courses for three different groups of adult learners. As a result of the application of the framework and the development of these
courses, a number of technical texts has been written and published to support the courses.

The adaptability and success of the framework are evidenced by the ongoing and expanded adoption of the courses to support adult education, the publication record being established by the texts, and the positive student and peer review of the adult teaching strategies
employed in those courses.
It is concluded that the framework and the analyses arising from the literature
review have the potential to be of value and interest to other teachers responsible for the
design, development and/or delivery of adult education in technical fields.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Engineering (EngD) thesis.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department
Supervisors: Dowling, David; Hancock, Nigel
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2008 02:42
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2016 01:25
Uncontrolled Keywords: adult learners; learning strategies; teaching strategies; texts
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130101 Continuing and Community Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences

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