Week 2 Back Pocket Strategies (both teams)

2. Mini Session: Adult Learners Online

This mini-session task asks you to explore the different challenges and benefits that adult learners encounter when they begin to learn online. What is better, different, the same? How can we, as facilitators, help adults learn more effectively (and enjoyably!) online.

This mini-session task also poses a challenge to you as facilitators. If you choose to accept the challenge (and you don't have to), we ask you to consider ways you can engage other participants and...facilitate without a forum! surprise

The idea is to challenge you to think about and use tools other than the "tried and true" discussion forum tool.

Rest assured; we value forums, it's just that they're used almost automatically, by default. The name of this game is APPROPRIATE technology use (pick the BEST tool to support your goals). Also, we're curious to see what happens when we DON'T use one. Remember, we're all experimenting here in FLO!

Goals of this activity:

Explore the opportunities and challenges of online learning as they relate to the adult learner.

Or, put differently:

  • How/can adult learners get their needs met online?
  • What affordances exist online that match up well with what we know about adult learners?
  • What challenges exist about online that are of special concern to the online adult learner?

The task for your participants:

list/compile/collaboratively write, a short summary of the benefits and challenges that online learning can bring to the adult learner.

Your task as facilitator:

Lead your participants through this process (perhaps without a forum?)

Your participants need to (in the time allotted, on a schedule that you determine):

  • read the readings for this week to get a sense of the issues surrounding learning online
  • look around for other info/sources (optional, but worth a google)
  • share their thoughts in the collaborative tool you have chosen
  • prepare a short summary of the group's conclusions.
  • give feedback on this mini-session activity

What you need to figure out (with our help, if you wish - just ask!) is how you're going to facilitate this without relying on a forum.

How are you going to nudge, prompt, encourage, cajole, support your participants? Where are you going to ask them to contribute their thoughts? 

What tools do you have besides the forum? Plan ahead in case you want to book time with the FLO facilitators to plan/discuss/get something created in Moodle, such as the wiki. Or, choose an alternative that you are familiar with or want to try.

Some extra-special advice (based on past experience)
  • Keep things simple and brief: this means the task itself, and your expectations. Your participants should create a short summary together and share it on the course page for this week. Contact us (ISWo facilitators) if you need help embedding your final summary,
  • Make your instructions VERY (very, very…) clear.