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

Doctorate other than PhD


Faulconbridge, Robert Ian. 2008. The development of learning and teaching strategies and technical texts for diverse groups of adult learners. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Engineering. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

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

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
Authors
AuthorFaulconbridge, Robert Ian
SupervisorDowling, David
Hancock, Nigel
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Engineering
Number of Pages218
Year2008
Abstract

[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.

Keywordsadult learners; learning strategies; teaching strategies; texts
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390113. Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
390301. Continuing and community education
390409. Learning sciences
Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Engineering and Surveying
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Faulconbridge, Robert Ian and Dowling, David. 2009. "A conceptual framework for the development of engineering courses." Kestell, Colin, Grainger, Steven and Cheung, John (ed.) 20th Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AaeE 2009): Engineering the Curriculum. Adelaide, Australia 06 - 09 Dec 2009 Canberra, Australia.