Hi, I'm Caren Stalburg and we're going to talk today about the tendencies and preferences of adult learners We're also going to recognize the variety of learning styles that people use while learning. And how we can incorporate those and help our learners maximize their own potential. And then, consider very briefly how motivation affects learning. So let's get started. First thing's first, I want to talk to you about epistemology. Now, that usually makes people giggle a little bit, but really what epistemology is the individual belief about knowledge and knowing. So it, it really means how we think about how knowledge is constructed. Where knowledge resides. Whether it's you know, internal or external. And then how knowledge is evaluated. And so your view of how knowledge is created actually influences your choice of teaching and assessment methods. And if you don't sort of, understand that, then you may be using. Different philosophy or different understanding of how knowledge is constructed that it's a sort of a mismatch with your learner. there's an optional reference listed there, which is a development of a Epistemological theories. A lot of these, additional references that you'll see, what, you know, throughout these. Course, our rat, mainly going to be just that, optional, so that you can have some additional information, if you like. and you'll see those one the videos as we go through. So, what I'd like you to do, is to pause for a moment and go to this. Webspace and say, you know, what kind of things make you tick in the way you believe about teaching. And so the link is to something called the philosophy of adult education inventory, and it is a self-inventory that you take and score, and it will give you an idea of sort of your own beliefs about education and how people learn. So let's take a break for a minute, and I'll have you do that inventory and we'll come back. Great. Welcome back. I hope that didn't take you too long. So doing the inventory, you know that you came up with a bunch of different... Sor of titles for yourself. But I want to talk about just two specifically. One is the behaviorist notion of how education works. And the other is a constructivist notion. So basically many of us were brought up in the behaviorist idea. Which is that the teacher is the keeper of the information. And we sit and are sort of an empty slate, or an empty bucket that the teacher pours information in to. And our jobs, really are to absorb as much as we can and to then sort of spew out as much as we can on whatever types of assessments. another philosophy about education is that we co-construct our knowledge. And that we learn from one another, we learn from experiences that we've had prior to the situation that we're in. And then, by working together in an environment, we actually coconstruct knowledge. So, many of us like I said were brought up in this behaviorist idea which is that, the teacher is right, the teacher knows what you're supposed to learn, and that should be what you learn. and the constructivist says well, actually you know, people come to the situation with prior knowledge and prior understandings and what you want to try to do is work from those and move forward. this is an important idea and someplace that I, I like to start when I talk about teaching in health professions education because again, how we think about our learners is important. And so one thing that a lot of people like to remind me and remind the rest of us is that Individuals in health sciences, education, and health professions education are generally adult learner. And Malcolm Knowles has a number of, publications and information about sort of what is it about an adult learner? What motivates an adult to learn? Now, when we're kids, we are, you know? Motivated our parents, we're motivated by the tests that we're going to take but generally an adult learner really wants to know, like know why they need to know something, right. And you don't really want to learn it if I don't need to know it, if I don't have any purpose for it in the future, why do I need to spend time on it. People also come with a foundation of understanding. So, like I said before, they, they've had experiences or, you know, it may be that many of you who are watching right now actually have a PhD in cognitive psychology. And already know these theories. And so what I'm saying may be very basic for you. However there may be other folks who actually have never been exposed to the notion of, adult learners. And so this is all new. the other thing that people, as adults, come to a learning situation with, is, sort of, their own self concept. Which is, you know what is this going to do for me? How can I, benefit from the situation? What makes it worthwhile? and so, if we consider that the people we're teaching are actually adult learners, then applying that principle to sort of, how we teach and what we teach will help. So, let's think about. How we apply this theory. So basically, adult learners really need to know the results of their efforts. And they desire feedback. They don't want to sort of, act in a vacuum. They really do prefer to be self-directed and autonomous. So. the, you know, self-study. The, the, you know, I, I can learn it the way I want to learn it, is a lot better than, you have to be in class at 8:00 a.m. until noon and we're just going to sit there and throw information at you. Again, we talked about how their prior experience is definitely used as a resource and helps provide existing mental models. For instance, when I'm. Working with a student I will almost always ask what their undergraduate major is, and that helps give me a context and an understanding of, sort of, what interests them, what prior experiences they have, what mental models they present. So I had one student who was, said that she was a geology major, which I actually found really interesting and, and so I asked, well, how does geology You know your background in geology inform your, Work as a medical student. And what she said was that, being a geologist you have to understand sort of 3D models and layers. And it really helped her in anatomy. So I thought that was an interesting way to apply her understanding. The other thing that adult learners like to do is solve real life problems. So if something feels realistic. Then it's more enjoyable. Right? So right now when I'm talking about theory we may get into that sort of, glazed over look a little bit. I promise not to make it too boring. But you know. It's, you'll see, that as we move forward, I'm really going to try to take this theory and ground it in real-life problems. And, and real-life experiences of how you're, you're going to teach. people prefer problem-centered learning, contextual challenges. And again, people are going to be motivated by their intrinsic value and their personal payoff, so. I mean it's, it's sort of in some ways, preaching to the choir because we're here on Coursera together and so you're obviously an adult learner who's self motivated, who's doing this extra work because you see a benefit into it, you know, in it. So hopefully that will all pay off. So, many folks like to talk about the notion of learning styles, you know I like to you know, read or I like to see video or and we'll, and we'll talk about a few theories but the first thing I want to get across is that actually Learning styles are kind of, like hunting for unicorns. people have done studies and, and looked and you know, there're they change over time. They're context dependent. they are task dependent. they may evolve you know, depending on what you're trying to do. So, while people may have certain learning predilections. Or, or they may you know, prefer a certain. Style in a certain venue. I don't think that we can actually label people specifically with, you know, you have this style and this is the way you have to learn. the other thing that's important, though, is for individuals to understand their tendencies, and either learn new strategies and new tendencies or apply their styles in a way that's helpful for them to maximize their learning potential. So many, many folks talk about Kolb's learning styles. And if I were a behaviorist, I would make us memorize all of these. Titles, and then I would test you on them. But actually I'm more of a constructivist, which you will find out as we move forward. So I'm just going to talk to you a little bit about this slide and the information. So in Kolb's scheme, there's sort of 2 ways that people learn. People perceive, and sort of how they think, and then they also process the information, so what do you do with the information. So, I actually am a converger, myself. So I like abstract concepts, and then actively experiment. So, perfect example of today is, in this studio, the chair was sort of, at a different height than I wanted. And so, I looked at the chair and I noticed that there were sort of. It was like a screw at the bottom and I said, well, I'm going to turn the chair one way because righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. And I did that and the chair didn't move. And so then, I went back and I said, okay. Well I looked at that and the chair didn't actually move, I need to do something different. So what I've realized by looking at it again was that I needed to hold the base of the chair, and then. Move again so that's sort of a way to learn from experience. And other people are accommodators where they have a concrete experience and they have active experimentation. So they're someone who wants to kind of grab things and do it and see it and test by example. Other folks are divergers, where they have sort of a concrete experience. They, they watch what happens, and then they take time to reflect on it and observe, and think about you know did this work, how could it, how could I do better, maybe I need to try it again. And assimilators really like to sort of think and watch. So they >> Think about abstract concepts, they watch how things are done and then sort of learn through assimilating the information. So, Kolb also applies his different learning types to basically an experiential learning cycle. And the way I like to think about it really, are sort of kids in a sandbox. And many folks watch kids and they see that some of the kids Actively get involved. And quickly you know, grab the buckets and try to figure out what to do. While other kids kind of, hang back a little bit. They like to watch. They like to sort of, think about things and then join in. and so everybody has a different way of sort of experiencing the real world and learning from it. And so Kolb talks about this experiential cycle where there, where you have a concrete experience, and then you take time to reflect on it and think about what happened while you were learning. and then you go on to actively experiment again, and try again. So, for instance my chair [LAUGH] analogy today. I had the concrete experience that my chair was not in the right place. I looked at the chair quickly, [LAUGH] and thought, what can I do to make this chair move. I tried to do something. It actually didn't work, and so I tried the whole cycle again. And I actually also used this prior learning about how screws and other mechanical objects work, to try to figure out how to move the chair. Okay. Let's switch a little bit to other ways that. People conceptualized learning preferences. We can call them learning styles, learning preferences, but you'll hear people talk about sort of visual learners, auditory learners, learners who like to read and write, or kinesthetic learners. And the reference there is, from Doctor Fleming and Mills and you know, you can feel free to look that up. >> For additional. But the way I think about it is that visual learners like to sort of see things. You know? They, they learn by, seeing and watching. And, and then getting a sense of how to do things. So, there's many folks who go onto YouTube and watch, you know, how to change their garbage disposal. And then they're able to do it. Other folks prefer auditory learning. So folks who listen to books on tape or our learners who like to go class and listen to lectures. Other learners prefer sort of to read things and then rewrite them so I was personally was someone who Like to sit in lecture and hear it and then I would actually go back and rewrite my notes and highlight them in different colors, so, so I merged a lot of styles. Then there is other folks who are kinesthetic learners and, you know, those are folks again who like to learn through action. So You may like to learn a computer program by actually reading the instructions or the book to figure out, gosh, how does this work. if you hadn't figured it out yet, I'm the type of person who actually likes to push the buttons and see, you know, is this how I make this program work or, you know, so thank goodness for undo buttons, right? that's, sort of, the way I think of things. again, it's, it's a predilection. It, it's, it's contextual. So you know, I'll tell another story. So I had a. Medical student in the operating room with me and we were going to do an OR case. And I like to, sort of, talk through things with the student to figure out what they know about the case, again as a constructivist figure out where they are and then move forward from there. And unfortunately, he could not Sort of verbalize to me what we were doing, or what the care plane was. And I so I thought, I wonder if I came unprepared. So we did the exam prior to surgery. And again I asked him, can you explain to me, what I realized is that he actually kept sort of looking up and away. Which is sometimes a signal that someone is a visual learner. And that they're actually trying to visualize what it is that they're thinking about. So I asked him to draw what he had felt on his exam. On the whiteboard that was in the operating room. And he could produce it in about half a second. And I learned a lot from that experience, which is that just because I'm trying to get someone to verbally tell me information, if they can't, it doesn't mean that they don't have the information. It may be that I'm trying to ask them in a way That doesn't work. it's also important, however, for the learner to sort of recognize, you know, I don't do so well when I'm asked to say something, and so I may want to offer to draw something, or I may want to offer to sort of act it out, or to show you that I know how to draw blood. so again, just things to think about when we're interacting with learners. Okay. We all know about motivation and learning. So, you know, let's think about for a moment why learners may want to learn. So, obviously we are all here in this space together to learn to be better teachers. there are folks who are in school to learn because they may want a better job. Or they you know, feel that this is what their parents want and that's what they're doing. there are also important extrinsic motivations and learners need to study and learn. Because, usually they're going to be assessed. So tests are a very important motivator. sometimes you need sort of, extrinsic motivation to help people with their intrinsic motivation. So, often when I have a small group session. I will do sort of a pop quiz at the beginning. On the reading. To make sure that there is some extrinsic motivator to make sure they do the work. And the, reference there by Dr. Man is actually a, a nice one, that can help explain it. So, that's really sort of all I wanted to say right now about some of the adult theories. As we go through the modules for this week we'll, we'll get into some more depth, but right now there's a couple of quizzes that are online for you to be able to take. And there's also some questions Well atleast space within the forum for our behaviors colleagues, to I have a discussion together about what it means to be a behaviorist and why that's helpful and what are the advantages and what are the disadvantages and also space for our constructivisist to say, you know? No, this is actually how I believe learning happens and so this is helpful. so I hope that you take time to Participate in the forums. And share your knowledge. Right? That's my constructivist bit again. and you know, as we move forward through this module, I hope that you learn lots. See you soon.