Blended Learning for Adult Education
Escrito por MIRIAM CASTRO HUERGA, lunes 8 de enero de 2018 , 17:18 hs , en INNOVACIÓN

"Learning is a change in the individual, due to the interaction of that individual, and his environment, which fills a need and makes him more capable of dealing adequately with his enviroment." (Burton, 1963)

 

Defining the concept of learning might prove quite a challenging task, since it can be used to describe a product, a process, or a function. However, there seems to be a general agreement among scholars that learning is intrinsically connected to change in the individual as a result of experience.

It is widely accepted that learning should be focused on the learners in order to meet and best respond to their needs. Therefore, instructional design processes as well as the learning strategies used will depend on the learners’ profile.

Before proceeding, let us analyse two terms which are key in education: pedagogy and andragogy. Both terms are of Greek origin - the first makes literal reference to “guiding a child” whereas the latter means “guiding a man”, therefore pinpointing significant differences in the teaching approaches which cannot be ignored.

Adult learners tend to be self-motivated and self-directed since they experience needs that require being satisfied; this, consequently, brings their being highly responsible for their own learning. In connection with this, their learning is life-oriented as they draw from prior life experience, which greatly contributes to their learning process. To sum up, adult learners are more goal-oriented than younger learners, for that reason they require more meaningful learning experiences based on life experience rather than on content.

On the other hand, adult learning is also characterised by some constraints and circumstances which should be accounted for, such as time restraint, ICT competence, lack of self-esteem, prior experience in education, etc.

All in all, andragogy defends that adults learn differently from children and attempts at paying particular attention to the former’s needs. In this regard, blended learning means a good opportunity for adult learners since it adapts to their conditions suiting their needs.

The definition of Blended Learning in the participants' words.

The seminar “Introduction to Blended Learning in Adult Education”, carried out at CFPI from October to December 2017, was designed following this line of thinking and intended for teachers of English at EOI (Official School of Languages).  In the seminar, teachers have shared reflections on the subject as well as resources and proposals to implement in their teaching practice. The blog created as a portfolio of the seminar illustrates all the steps taken besides gathering all the suggestions shared by the participants.

 



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