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This is the last article in a series about how to ensure there is a community of adults who have the skills necessary to elevate student achievement. In other words, how can you support all adults in a student’s community to actively engage in professional learning opportunities that ultimately will benefit the student.
In previous articles, we provided an overview of the Learning Model for Adults and its five phases: setting the Learning Context, stating the Learning Outcome, engaging in the Learning Process, producing the Learning Demonstration, and implementing the Learning Application. We also discussed the planning sequence and provided examples of professional learning sessions that elevate student achievement. Our most recent articles focused on the phases where presenters set the Learning Context, clarify the Learning Application, determine the Learning Outcome, and support students to produce the Learning Demonstration.
Now we will take an in-depth look at the last phase in the planning sequence, the Learning Process.
Engaging in the Learning Process
This is the phase of the session during which adult learners are actively engaged in the learning stated in Learning Outcome. At the end of this phase, learners will be able to successfully complete the Learning Demonstration. Presenters determine which instructional strategy or methodology will most effectively and efficiently engage adult learners in mastering the outcomes of the session. Learners must understand these choices if they are to build metacognition and answer the question, “How will I learn this?”
While engaging in the Learning Process, the presenter gives adult learners ample opportunities to learn, whether independently, in a small group, or during whole group instruction. The presenter also explains their role in the learning—either as a model, as a direct facilitator, or as a monitor that provides feedback and keeps the learning on track. Instruction should feel flexible and fluid. The decision of how to engage adults in the Learning Process is based on what is being learned and the adults who are learning it. The presenter must determine which method best teaches the objectives stated in Learning Outcome so adult learners can successfully produce mastery during Learning Demonstration.
The Value of Engaging the Learning Process
If adult learners know how they will learn, they are more motivated to…
- Actively engage in and interact with the content and one another which produces collaboration and elevates achievement.
- Connect the learning to increased student achievement.
- Ensure that the learning is implemented and supportive of student success.
In other words, the value is having a session of adult learners who will be supported in and committed to elevating student achievement. Instead of just one teacher, students will have a community of support.
To help you make stronger learner-centered decisions, consider these questions as you plan:
- What strategy will you select to teach the adults in your session?
- How will this strategy support the learning outcome?
- How will this strategy support the learning demonstration?
- How will you structure participant-to-participant communications?
- How will you address the differing needs of your adult learners?
- How will you check for understanding?
- How will you share this information with your participants?
Keep Developing Learnership
As we’ve said before, students deserve a community of adults committed to learning skills that will increase student achievement. Therefore, it is critical for presenters to deliberately make the decisions that will increase adults’ engagement in learning and overall motivation. The best decision a presenter can make is to utilize a focused Learning Model for Adults when planning professional learning sessions.
That’s why we are providing these articles that take in-depth looks at each of the phases of the Learning Model for Adults, their value to student achievement, and the planning questions and tools needed for implementation. The following sequence for reading is recommended as you plan with a focused Learning Model for Adults.
- First, make sure you’ve read the article, “How to Motivate Adult Learners with the ‘Why’ and the ‘How’” so you know how to determine the Learning Context and the Learning Application. In other words, read this article to get the planning questions and tools you need to determine why the learning is important to adult learners and how they will use it in the future.
- Next, make sure you’ve read the article, “How to Ensure Adult Learners Use What They Know to Elevate Student Achievement” so you know how to determine the Learning Outcome and the Learning Demonstration. In other words, read this article to get the planning questions and tools you need to determine the specific skills adult learners are learning and what a demonstration of mastery will look and sound like.
- Finally, read this article to learn how to determine the Learning Process. In other words, read that article to get the planning questions and tools you need to determine the instructional strategy or strategies that will allow adult learners to most effectively and efficiently demonstrate mastery of the learning outcome.
Then you’ll be ready to backward plan a session and deliver instruction throughout that Then you’ll be ready to backward plan a session and deliver instruction throughout that session with the end in mind as you move through the five phases: setting the Learning Context, stating the Learning Outcome, engaging in the Learning Process, producing the Learning Demonstration, and implementing the Learning Application.
The Learning Brief
In this article you learned…
- The Learning Process is the phase of the session during which adult learners are actively engaged in mastering the skills stated during the Learning Outcome.
- Presenters decide which instructional strategy or methodology will most effectively engage adult learners in mastering the outcomes of the session, and participants must understand these choices if they are to build metacognition and answer the question, “How will I learn this?”
- Adult learners who know how they will learn something, will actively engage in and interact with the content and one another which produces collaboration and elevates achievement.
Can you imagine building an environment full of motivated, engaged, and eager students who own their learning?