1. Key Trends of adult education.


This article discussed some expected key trends for adult learning in 2016.


The concept of the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve was a new one to me, but it does make a great deal of sense, especially the “boost” concept that is discussed.  I imagine it does need to be supported with research, but the idea that repetition or reinforcement of concepts makes sense to me on a common sense level as well.


The concept of the LinkedIn Economic Graph Challenge is also an interesting, but difficult, one.  I have encountered this before, in medicine, as the matching process for medical residency involves a short-list of candidates submitted by the program, as well as a short-list of residency sites submitted by the candidate, and then an algorithm is used to get the two lists to interact.  This would be much more difficult in the business world compared to a known quantity of programs available for medical residency, as there could be hundreds or even thousands of businesses of which the candidates may not be aware.  New trends such as crowdsourcing, which is discussed, will only reach certain segments of the population, no matter how well populated a given crowdsourcing website may be.


I think that personally, I do not really consider cloud-based learning or video approaches to learning to be new trends or concepts, but I would be quite supportive of these becoming more prevalent, and I hope that this mention of them as trends, means this is becoming so.


The concept of instructor quality is a big reason I am in this program.  I feel that in order to give any potential future students my best effort, I need to be providing quality education, and I hope this course will lead to that.


Accelerated curricula are a wonderful concept in theory, but in practice, they would only succeed if there were enough resources present for them, which tends to be an issue quite often, based on some other reading I have done in the past.  I would be very interested in finding out a bit more about the relative success of these programs in preparing students and the satisfaction level of the graduates and students as well.



Harward, D.,  (Winter 2016  Key Trends for 2016: Focusing on the Science of Learning to Better Engage the Adult Learner.  Retrieved from https://www.trainingindustry.com/ezine/current-issue/key-trends-for-2016-focusing-on-the-science-of-learning-to-better-engage-the-adult-learner.aspx





2) Characteristics of Adult Learners


First of all, according to some publications, the definition of the term “adult” itself, comes initially into question.  There does not seem to be any set age range, although older than 24 seems to be the lower limit of the threshold.  This obviously makes further conclusions very hard to draw.


However, this article in particular draws attention to the following generalized characteristics when it comes to an adult learner:  Autonomy, Goal-Oriented, Practical, Competence and Mastery, Learning by experience, Wealth and Knowledge, Purposeful, Emotional barriers, Results-oriented, Outside responsibilities, Potential physical limitations, Big Picture, Responsible for self, and Need for Community.


I would venture that to my mind, the most important of these characteristics are: Emotional Barriers, Potential Physical Limitations, and Results- oriented.  Emotional and physical barriers are non-conducive to any form of learning at all, as the distractions that come from emotional barriers will preclude good learning, and physical limitations can often lead to emotional upset, or a feeling that the learner is no longer as capable or competent as they once were.    Results- oriented is described in this article as a successful acheievement of specific expectations when it comes to learning.  This is very important for the adult learner as they are often juggling their Outside Responsibilities, and if they feel that something is not worthwhile, they will choose not to pursue it as the best use of their limited time.

Malamed, Connie.  Characteristics of Adult Learners (September 2009) Retrieved from: http://theelearningcoach.com/learning/characteristics-of-adult-learners/



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