Sunday, August 8, 2010

Misunderstanding Andragogy

One of Adult Learning principles is that they learn when situations are practical and problem centered. No problem with this principle, but  to address the problem, the solution described is to allow creation of learning materials that provide for direct application of the new information.

But what is the point? Aren't we forgetting that the best part of our lives were spent in doing activities that aided in learning ? How can we eliminate the naturalization of this learning with a just factual presentation ?

I strongly wish to put forth hypothesis that "Adults too wish to learn through activities". They need to be as much simple as kids play. The look and feel (colors, handles, shapes) need to be as much intuitive and attractive as a kids toy. The activities need not be a real world activity. It can still be arranging of few blocks, clicking to move pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, etc and embed learning in them. The true learning happens when learning is shared/explained or sitting in a peer teaching session.

e-Learning of yore, relied on hyper text medium of clicks and taking you to the information you want. Look around at cool apps you get during searches and surfing the web. Any site, feature, functionality, content that gets you hooked is a cool learning activity that you need to adapt in your e-Learning program.

It could be the "Like" feature in Facebook, RT or DM feature of twitter with quick thoughtful posts, pinging a friend in Orkut/Wave and carrying a conversation. Or it could be the Note Taking Feature, copying the content to a pin up board, Adding more references and linkages related to content. None of these have any direct application to their real world problem. But they do allow for adults to mature in handling such problems and guiding more followers to the correct approaches.

Would you support me in this thinking?

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