Know About Adult Learners

In my March 20, post titled Technical Issues, I mentioned the free WordPress theme I choose, does not seem to support APA format.   To check APA compliance please activate this link: APA Format – Know About Adult Learners – final

Know About Adult Learners

The Organization and Delivery of Adult Education – Quote 1 of 5

The second quote that I have chosen to reflect upon is (Merriam and Brockett, 2007, p. 146) from the The Organization and Delivery of Adult Education (item 1 of 5).  See the graphic with the quote that I created below.

Learn more about adult learners

Objective:  This quote discusses how understanding adult development can help educators structure learning experiences that will create better responses from the learners.  This understanding helps instructors engage students because their different experience and backgrounds can be used to change how course concepts are taught for maximum impact.  What caught my attention was how knowing more about the learners can help predict how they may respond and allow trainers to have customized next step(s) ready to progress them to the next level.

Reflective:  After reading the quote (Merriam and Brockett, 2007, p. 146) and then doing further research, I realized that learning analytics, educational data mining and intelligent on line learning systems, can play a huge role in assisting adult educators understand learners better.  I will need to continue to research these areas because my understanding is only at the rudimentary stage.  “Learning Analytics” (Siemens 2010) uses learner-produced data, and analysis models to discover information and social connections for predicting and advising an individual’s learning.  The International Educational Data Mining Society defines the term “Educational Data Mining” a discipline concerned with developing methods for exploring the unique types of data that come from educational settings.  Using those methods helps educators better understand students, and the settings which they learn in.  Intelligent online systems (like Khan Academy) can provide immediate and customized instruction or feedback to learners based on their personal responses.  I will continue to review these resources every few months to insure that I stay current with new developments in these fields.

Interpretive:  From an early age, I have been fascinated with technology and how it can improve our lives and our productivity.  When I read the quote (Merriam and Brockett, 2007, p. 146) I had an “Aha” moment.  I realized that if I have a better understanding of students’ education, work experience, gender and cultural differences, I could adjust course content that could help them reach their own specific training goals.  I also realized I could not acquire this information on my own.  I would need to use analytics, data mining, assessment and other tools because the task of understanding each individual learner is gargantuan.  Educators may not always be able to provide each student with the one-on-one time needed to truly flourish.  However, the tools mentioned can provide educators with key insights proven to increase better learning outcomes and student satisfaction.  I will continue to research the existing tools as they mature in scope and capability to know how they can help me and my students improve learning.   I also plan to do a search for new emerging tools like this, every two months.  This is necessary because many new resources will be developed and utilize best of breed tools to maximize learning outcomes.  It is important to keep searching better tools, since resources are constantly changing and we want to maximize learning the best way possible for each individual.

Decisional:  This quote emphasises the need for educators to understand the individual learner’s needs, so we can construct positive learning environments.  I need to be aware what hot buttons are relevant for each person to respond to the course material in the best way.  I plan to use Consulting Resource Group International (CRG) assessment tools (similar to Myers-Briggs) to assist me in determining my clients learning and teaching styles.  I will use CRG resources to develop class discussions, examples and projects that are able to stimulate the individual styles and interests, so the opportunity to learn is greatly enhanced.  Moving forward in my role as an adult educator, I will use analytics, data mining, assessments, intelligent online systems and similar tools to help my students achieve the best outcomes.


Consulting Resource Group International (n.d.).  Learning Style Indicator.  Retrieved April 8, 2014 from

Consulting Resource Group International (n.d.).  Instructional Style Indicator.  Retrieved April 8, 2014 from (2014). Retrieved April 10, 2014 from

Khan Academy (2014). Retrieved April 10, 2014 from

Merriam, S. B., & Brockett, R. G. (2007). The Profession and Practice of Adult Education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Siemens, G., (2010). “What Are Learning Analytics?” Elearnspace. Retrieved April 10, 2014 from



About bobmccar

I have a B. Ed. from UBC. After teaching in private schools, I started instruction of business applications at BCIT evening courses. I later began a business development role, specializing in technology solutions for the education market. Over the past 15+ years I have done business development and consultative sales for IBM, Sun Microsystems and other large high tech companies. My focus has been on small, medium, enterprise and educational organizations involving current technology solutions, disaster recovery and information security. I recently completed the Consulting Research Group (CRG), Assessment Systems Certification Course. This has given me the ability to assist clients understand themselves and improve their communication with executive leadership, co-workers, family, and friends. My consulting services include Executive Coaching, Leadership, Management, Team-Building, Sales, Customer Service, Career Planning and Personal Development. I am currently enrolled at Vancouver Community College in the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program (PIPD) to better understand the rapid changes underway in the world of education.
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