Master how to implement adult learning
1. Opening and workshop information
Time: 10 minutes Material: Slide PPT Activity:
2. QA Session about Adult Learning Characteristic
Time: 25 minutes Material: Slide PPT Activity:
3. Group Discussion: Adult Learning Strategy
Time: 25 minutes Material: Plano Paper Activity:
4. Group Presentation
Time: 20 minutes Material: Slide PPT/Plano Paper Activity:
5. Pair Discussion
Time: 20 minutes Material: HVS Paper Activity:
6. Reflection and Closing
Time: 5 minutes Material: - Activity:
Facilitator asks one of the participants to reflect on the proceeding of the first session.
The participants of the training in Scenario Development for Contingency Planning using OpenStreetMap (OSM) and QGIS/ InaSAFE software are adults. Their learning characteristics are unique and different from those of children. As such, it is crucial that trainers learn about adult learning characteristics. The understanding of adult learning characteristics is needed to determine compatible and effective training strategies for training participants.
Adult Learning or Education is known as Andragogy, the antonym of Pedagogy (children education). The term andragogy is derived from latin words Andro (Adult) and agogos which means to lead or guide, hence the term andragogy can be defined as the science of how to lead or guide adults, in other words: the science of teaching adults.
Basically education is a process of facilitating a person to search and find the knowledge needed in life through learning, rendering all human activities potential to be used as part of learning process. Andragogy strategy stimulates adults to engage in the process of searching and finding the knowledge they need in life. Adults learn in a continuous way from their experience.
Adult education is an endeavor aimed at self development made by individuals without legal forces, without making this endeavor their main activity (Reeves, Fansler, and Houle in Supriyanto, 2007). According to UNESCO (Townsend Coles 1977 in Lanundi (1982), adult education is defined as the entire body of organized educational processes, whatever the content, level and method, whether formal or otherwise, whether they prolong or replace initial education in schools, colleges and universities as well as in apprenticeship, whereby persons regarded as adult by the society to which they belong develop their abilities, enrich their knowledge, improve their technical or professional qualifications and bring about changes in their attitudes or behavior in the twofold perspective of full personal development and participation in balanced and independent social, economic and cultural development. Meanwhile, according to Bryson in Supriyanto (2007) Adult education comprises all educational activities in which adults engage in their daily life using only a part of their time and energy in order to gain additional intellectual knowledge.
The characteristics of adult learning according to Soedomo (1989) in Supriyadi (2007):
The characteristics of adult learning can be elaborated as follows:
The difference between Pedagogy and Andragogy
|Trainee’s self concept||Dependent||Ability in self-directing|
|Function of trainee’s experience||
In adult learning, there are principles that differentiate it from other types of education. These principles can create an effective and efficient learning atmosphere. The principles can be explained as follows:
Identification of learning strategies is based on the objective to achieve. Based on this, there are two types of learning strategies i.e. : (a) the strategy that is designed to assist people in addressing their past experience in a new way, and (b) the strategy that is designed to bring about new knowledge and skills (enrichment of experience).
Based on the aims elaborated above, we now know that there are two types of adults in adult learning i.e. adults with prior knowledge and adults without prior knowledge. But it is necessary to remember that adults already possess several characteristics that play a role in determining the best strategies for them. In general, adult learning is expected to involve participatory method i.e. active participation of training participants as well as other arrangements such as training material, date and time of training, etc. Principally, in participatory method facilitators don’t act as teacher and lecture all the time, and involve participants in every activity. This strategy can be further explained as follows:
a. Practical, problem-centered learning
One of the characteristics of adults is that they learn through problem solving and are not lesson-oriented. They learn well when they find what they learn during a training can be used to solve their problems. To this end, strategies to be used are as follows: before the start of the learning process, facilitators must identify trainees’ needs and problems. It is better to start with identifying authentic problems of training participants in their daily life. Should the facilitators feel the need to introduce new theories or information, they need to ensure that these theories and information are related to problems faced by trainees and real life examples. In problem solving oriented training, methods that can be employed are e.g. Q&A session and discussion. The latter can be divided into several steps:
With regards to practical learning, adults also need practical activities. Material presented must be practiced to be instilled properly, the appropriate methods being inter alia demonstration, simulation and practicing. For example, to reach competency in how to use GPS and input additional data in OSM, it would render a training meaningless when participants only know and understand how to use GPS and add OSM data without demonstration by facilitators, simulation by some of participants and practical session involving all participants. What is necessary with regards to this competency is how to turn on GPS and the initial GPS setting.
b. Adults prefer a learning process that integrates new information into their experience
There are two aspects of adult learning i.e. the process of addressing their past experience and the process of enriching experience. Therefore, learning process for adults must assist them in exploring their experience in order to learn new things. A cooperative group learning can also help them to share opinion with others. Furthermore, we need to help them understand new information, the proper methods of which would be inter alia Q&A session and discussion. For example, in presenting the lesson on “How to Operate OSM”, it is better for the facilitators to not lecture on:
Rather, the facilitators need to explore the degree of participants experience or knowledge on the subject through Q&A session, after which a discussion follows focusing on difficulties encountered on the subject. The facilitators then can provide additional material that they feel needed by the participants taking into account their prior experience and knowledge.
c. Adults prefer a learning process that enhances their self-esteem
In order to make adults confident, we can start with simple things with low possibility of failure. The degree of difficulty of material presented may escalate as their confidence rises. For example, when conducting training on how to operate JOSM, in the event some participants are not yet familiar with internet, facilitators can start with light skills such as how to download JOSM. The method employed for this task may be in dividing participants in groups of two. Participants who are already capable of doing the task show their partner how to do it, after which the faciliators may proceed to individual task. This method is meant to not encumber participants at the beginning of training. Other aspects on how to operate JOSM may follow the same template. The point is that participants must not be humiliated for their lack of internet skills.
d. Adults prefer individual attention when learning
Know their needs, fulfill their individual needs such as break, food, drink etc. Engage them in discussion about planning targets, and assist them in achieving them. Never hesitate to ask for their opinion in writing, during sessions or informally outside training sessions. They appreciate having their personal interests listened to.
The success of adult learning strategies also hinges on an agreeable learning atmosphere conducive to learning. A conducive atmosphere to learning according to Suprijanto (2007) constitutes the following:
Evaluation is an activity to determine how far a learning program is implemented according to expectations. Therefore, evaluation is focused on activities to determine how far a program is successful (micro: facilitator, macro: institution). According to Fajar, A., (2002), evaluation can be defined as an effort to gain various kinds of information periodically, continuously and comprehensively about learning process and outcome, as well as the growth and development of participants’ attitudes and behaviors. The above definition shows that evaluation is also carried out during training program and not only at the end of training. Evaluation constitutes a process to paint a picture of changes among participants after training. The word process means that evaluation is a continuous endeavor, using certain methods to reach expected outcome. This process also sees that evaluation is conducted by gathering facts in a systematic way. This definition shows that an evaluation requires data gathering or measurement.
The techniques, methods or tools of evaluation comprise all methods or procedures taken to gather information or data needed as material to evaluate. The techniques used in evaluation play an important role in the outcome. Basically, evaluation techniques or methods can be divided into two types i.e . test technique or method and non-test technique or method. In cognitive aspects, a test in the form of questions (both in writing or verbally) can be used. It is expected that this aspect can enhance the affective aspect of training participants. Affective aspect can be identified through observation and questionnaire, while psycho-motor aspect can be evaluated through activities conducted and results achieved.
The theory of evaluation above is actually similar in both pedagogy and andragogy, with the difference being only in ways of evaluating. In adult learning, the evaluation method must reflect freedom in that the evaluation must come from the person learning, not forced from outside. This implies that adults must be able to evaluate themselves. Therefore, the term ‘test’ for adults should be referred to more appropriately as self-examination. An example of evaluation method suitable for adults is as follows:
The above methods can be completed with Performance Evaluation, an assessment which constitutes a non-test evaluation conducted by observing participants’ activities. This evaluation is suitable to evaluate how far participants achieve certain competencies in carrying out certain tasks: practice and simulation. In performance evaluation, the following points need consideration:
Performance Evaluation Techniques
Performance observation needs to be carried out in various contexts to determine the level of competence of certain skills. The following tools or instruments may be used to observe participants performance:
Performance evaluation can be conducted using a check list (yes-no questions). With this check list, participants will get points when certain criteria of mastering certain competency are observed by evaluators. In the event no competency is observed, participants will not get any point. The weakness of this method is that evaluators only have two absolute options, right or wrong; observed and not observed. There is no middle ground. Nevertheless, check list is more practical to be used to observe subjects in great number. The following is an example of a check list.
Example of checklist
|No.||Scoring Aspect||Good||Not Good|
Performance evaluation using rating scale enables evaluators to give median scores for mastery of certain competencies, as scores are given in a continuum where there are more than two options of scoring category. Evaluation scale is spread from not perfect to very perfect. For example, 1 = not competent, 2 = sufficiently competent, 3 = competent and 4 = very competent. The following is an example of rating scale.
Example of rating scale
1 = Not competent 2 = Sufficiently Competent 3 = Competent 4 = Very competent
In the event a participant gains a score of 16, s/he can be qualified as “very competent”. Other qualification is also determined according to scores obtained. In school settings, this performance evaluation can be carried out by teachers. For adults, it is the responsibility of facilitators together with training participants. The forms that have been filled out can serve as a matter of discussion or records for management team.
Lanandi, A.G. 1982. Pendidikan Orang Dewasa. Jakarta: PT Gramedia.
Zainudin. 1986. Andragogi. Bandung: Penerbit Angkasa
Padmowihardjo, S. (2006). Pendidikan Orang Dewasa. Jakarta: Universitas Terbuka.