The purpose of this paper is to analyze a traditional, lecture-based course that was not conducive for my learning and then redesign it applying Malcolm Knowles’ six assumptions for adult learning (as cited in Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007). The method of teaching adults who are self-directed learners is defined as andragogy. Based on this concept, instruction should focus more on the process and less on the content being taught (Andragogy, 2013). Teachers should focus on a more cognitive approach to learning by including more interactive activities and flexibility to motivate the student intrinsically (Cuellar, 2002). This is based on the assumption that adults need to know why they need to learn something; adults need to learn experientially; adults need problem-based learning; and the topic must be of immediate value (Culatta, 2013). This paper will focus on how the redesigned traditional course could have been enhanced if it were focused on the process of learning rather than the content based on Knowles’ six andragogical assumptions of adult learning.
Traditional Learning Context
My personal experience in the traditional classroom environment started after high school where I attended a community college for two years. One of the courses I was required to take was a statistics course which I attended as a live lecture for two hours twice a week. The majority of the students who took the course were young American-Hispanic adults ranging in the 18 to 22 age group who lived in the local area seeking their associate’s degree, two adults where in the 40-50 age range, and there was a slightly higher female attendance to males. The classroom had about 50 students in a small room which made it difficult for personalized instruction.
The instructor was very knowledgeable on the subject however; the lectures were monotone with no student interaction or opportunities for practice outside of the homework which lacked immediate feedback. As part of the program requirements, students had to attend all the lectures with the exception of two for the entire 10 week semester. This was the only opportunity for student-to-instructor interaction so the requirement to attend was established to ensure students had the opportunity to understand the material beyond the textbook. The instructor would review homework problems however, the content was complex and the class size limited the opportunities for answering all questions.
Each week started a new topic, and summative assessments were given as a mid-term exam and final exam. Therefore, this setting did not afford enough preparation, practice, and systematic assessments to determine areas which needed more attention to enhance cognition and learning. This experience was not conducive to my learning in part to the large class size, complex information delivered in a monotone voice which made it difficult to grasp, and minimal opportunities for...