Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Eleventh DATC Junto

Meeting Logistics: Tue, 6 March 2007 at the Wolf Law Building, Homer Clark Colloquium Room (4th floor)

Have you ever wondered about the fact that all of us have such diverse educational and professional backgrounds, yet we bring to the table a shared set of skills and knowledge that helps us do our jobs effectively? I believe part of this has to do with a natural ability within each of us to understand adults as learners.

My background happens to be in adult education, so I thought I would introduce you to some theories and principles about adult learning. This understanding has really helped me learn to become a better facilitator of learning and a better learner. I hope you'll find this topic worthwhile too.

The first article will give you a down-and-dirty overview of adult learning theory. As you read it, you may very well recognize some of the same learner and instructor characteristics in yourself as well as in your students (i.e., the faculty we serve). The second article is intended to give you a sense of how these theories influence approaches to faculty development.

Thoms, K.J. (2001, April). They’re not just big kids: Motivating adult learners. Paper presented at the Annual Mid-South Instructional Technology Conference, Murfreesboro, TN. Available at:
Chism, N. (2004). Using a framework to engage faculty in instructional technologies [Electronic version]. Educause Quarterly. 27 (2), 39-47. Available at:

Some questions to consider are:

  1. What have you learned about yourself as an adult learner and as a facilitator of adult learning?
  2. Knowing what you know about adult learners, what strategies have worked for you in motivating your faculty to consider using various technologies for their teaching, research, and creative works?
  3. What types of opportunities do you offer your faculty to: (a) learn about/learn how to use various technologies in ways that effect or improve learning among their students, (b) discuss instructional issues and identify technologies that could help?
  4. How do you promote sharing of ways in which technologies are being used among faculty and best practices?

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