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Running head: TRENDS IN ADULT LEARNING SETTINGS

Trends in Adult Learning Settings


Krista Jackson
AET/500
January 12, 2015
Mary Joseph-Martin

TRENDS IN ADULT LEARNING SETTINGS

Trends in Adult Learning Settings

Dear Krista Jackson,


I understand that you want to be an adult educator and that you are in school at this
present time to achieve this degree. There is some information that you should know about and
remember as you read this letter at this moment in the future. Remember what you learned about
being an effective adult educator, the ASTD Competency Model, workplace training, motivation,
and ethics/values. These views will keep you going in a good direction to further your
knowledge and experience as the facilitator you have become.
There is an abundance of information out there on how to be an effective adult educator. I
would like to touch on a few crucial points that are always useful to remember. I think the
number one thing, to be effective, is to be inspiring; this will get the learners attention, keep them
involved, and more passionate about their learning experience. You need to be a facilitator and
not a teacher with your learners. Take a step back and let them experience learning for
themselves. You should guide them, and not try and take control over the whole experience for
the learner. This experience is supposed to make them an independent learner and not a
dependent learner. Always consider demographics when you are guiding your learners to
understand further in what ways you may assist them. The technology, federal policies (for
instance the ADA, which is the Americans with Disability Act), and the ASTD Competency
Model will always be changing, so stay up to date on all of this information. You do not want to
miss something crucial that could affect your job. You should be a creative leader to keep the
class stimulated and motivated. Use the Socratic Model when having discussions with your

TRENDS IN ADULT LEARNING SETTINGS

learners because you want to help create thoughts and make them think deeper. The few key
ideas I have mentioned you should never forget.
The ASTD Competency Model guides you in how to be proficient in training and
development for your learners. There are specific guidelines, concepts, and models to help you
succeed as a facilitator. The model shows you, a common language for describing
performance and a guide for identifying the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that practitioners
need to be successful performers. (Arneson, Rothwell, & Naughton, 2013). The model can also
show you your strengths and weaknesses as a facilitator so you may address them. That is one
thing that you should check today, so you may understand and start to work on the weaknesses.
The knowledge of your weaknesses will help you create balance as a facilitator. The
model shows many concepts to contribute to creating balance in your learning environment. You
need to stay up to date with technology so you many use it appropriately to assist in facilitating.
Have the learners collaborate as a group to bounce ideas and concepts back and forth. This idea
awakens different ways of looking at things and builds more knowledge. Use social networking;
of course, you must know that by now. Social networking will only become bigger and easier to
communicate within the learning. The technology aspects will help you balance out the
experience because it will keep the adult learners current with new advances. For example, have
your adult learners on a class website have an opportunity to connect and contact each other if
they need to. When you use old technology, your learners are not learning what they will need in
the real world, so that creates an imbalance for your learners. For example, there are already so
many ways to communicate or learn through technology. The learning environment should
always be learner centered and not facilitator centered. Utilize different assortments of ways to
engage learners to create diversity and creativity. Learners will excel in various the means of

TRENDS IN ADULT LEARNING SETTINGS

accomplishing an assignment, so this creates balance for the diversity. For example, create
various channels of how they can choose how to complete a task. The different choices give your
learners a balance for all of them to succeed. Always refer to the ASTD Competency Model
frequently for inspiration that will create the symmetry needed for your learners.
When your adult learners are in a workplace business environment it is not that different
when training your adult learners. There are many developments in the workplace learning for
adults. In my interpretation, a formal setting in a workplace is controlling (Knowles, Holton, &
Swanson, 2011 ), and in an informal setting in a workplace is releasing (Knowles, Holton, &
Swanson, 2011 ). In a formal or controlling workplace environment there are a lot of
technological developments happening. A few technologies, that are helping, are more ways to
present information, and being able to communicate in many respects. You have email,
messaging, videos, video communication or meetings. Technology will continue to change and
make our jobs easier in a formal setting. The formal workplace setting is an older model of how
to train adult learners. Some policies and rules may develop changing the formal setting, but it is
a constricting and controlling the environment.
An informal workplace setting has had many developments and not just their technology.
The informal setting is a new way of adult training in a work environment. You learn to develop
"the process of letting go" (Knowles, Holton, & Swanson, 2011 ), and this process leads to so
many creative ideas. Informal settings give your learners the control of their work and ideas.
Informal settings will develop more as it is used more in a workplace. These new developments
on the concept may make the business even more successful. Technology goes further in an
informal workplace setting. Some companies have their workplace website that is similar to
Facebook, but just for that business. This development makes it easier to communicate, get to

TRENDS IN ADULT LEARNING SETTINGS

know your co-workers, and raises morale. They develop more group collaborations to promote
creativity and more ideas on the table. You must have many more advancements in technology
right now that we cannot even imagine to help adult training.
Motivation can be a challenge for facilitators in training in a corporate environment in a
formal or informal setting. Motivation is a little harder usually to achieve in a formal setting than
in an informal workplace setting. When you are in a formal setting your adult learners are being
controlled, and it makes them feel helpless and not as motivated. In a formal setting, your adult
learners are being directed to each and every little thing and by the rules and standards precisely.
This formal situation does not help with motivation because the learners are bored with the
normalcy and mundane work every day. The formal work setting could motivate their employees
with rewards for things during the month. In a formal work setting the workers are motivated by
security and not losing their jobs or benefits. The benefits, they allow, could be increased when
they get raises too, so the learners stay motivated. Motivation in a formal workplace is usually
more the dependent based, so the adult learner is not working to their full potential.
In an informal workplace setting motivation is more up to the individual. This setting
gives your learners more freedom to be creative, and this creates a positive, motivating
atmosphere. The informal environment could still have motivation problems because of past
formal workplace settings the learners have had most of their lives. Adult learners may be afraid
to think out of the box, ask questions, or speak up about an idea or project they would like to do.
This change in the adult learner's the environment will eventually bring the motivation up when
the adult learners are more comfortable. The informal setting can also be sometimes
overwhelming because you are not always given strict projects. This informal setting can leave
the learner with mental blocks that can create stress. Motivate them by checking in and letting

TRENDS IN ADULT LEARNING SETTINGS

the adult learners know they can ask questions or bounce ideas off each other. Motivation in
adults is supposed to be more independent and in an informal workplace setting it gives them
freedom to be motivated.
When you are in a workplace setting you must always consider your ethics and values
that pertain to an adult learning environment. There is a distinction between ethics and values in
the definition. When dealing with ethics it, describes a generally accept set of moral principles.
(The Ethics, Morals, Values Distinction, 2008-2014), so a general idea of what is right and
wrong. When dealing with values it, "describes individual or personal standards of what is
valuable or significant." (The Ethics, Morals, Values Distinction, 2008-2014). There will be
many times when you will have to deal with an ethical dilemma. Your behavior on what you
chose on what is right or wrong is up to you. As an adult educator, your learners in the workplace
are counting on you as the facilitator to make ethical decisions. The choice may be difficult, but
always go with the general morals when dealing with an ethical decision. Values are your
personal standards of how you conduct yourself in a workplace setting. Your values will evolve
over time, and you will know how to handle a situation better. Always be fair, nonjudgmental,
kind, and have self-control when dealing with each situation with your adult learners in a
workplace setting. There will be many tough situations, but you adult learners will take from
how you have handled the situation. The way you present your ethics and values to your adult
learners with affect them. You need to set a good role model so they know what is ethical and can
develop their views to better personal values.
These topics are things I want you to remember even on the experience you already have.
Always remember to stay up to date with policies and guidelines, and check them frequently
because you may have not heard of something new that has changed. Always be a facilitator and

TRENDS IN ADULT LEARNING SETTINGS

not a teacher or dictator. Adult learners need to learn to be independent to learn and gather their
information they want and need to know. Just keep going on a proper path with your ethics and
values so you may be a successful facilitator.

Sincerely,
Krista Jackson
Krista Jackson

TRENDS IN ADULT LEARNING SETTINGS

References

Justin Arneson, W. J. (2013, January 10). Training and Development Competencies Redefined to
Create Competitive Advantage. Retrieved January 9, 2014, from ASTD:
https://www.td.org/Publications/Magazines/TD/TD-Archive/2013/01/TrainingandDevelopment-Competencies-Redefined
Knowles, M. S., Holton, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2011). The adult learner: The definitive
classic in adult education and human resource development (7th ed.). New York, NY:
Taylor & Francis.
The Ethics, Morals, Values Distinction. (2008-2014). Retrieved January 10, 2014, from
Townsville Community Legal Service Inc.:
http://www.tcls.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=39