Friday, June 26, 2015

Lesson Planning

Characteristics of Adult Learners

As I continue on this journey, one theme that seems to resonate with me is that adult learners do not learn the same way.  As a future educator, it is important to recognize this key point in order to make the necessary changes in my lessons so that I can connect with different learning styles.  I found Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences fascinating because I think that discovering more about my learners and their strengths can help me become a better educator.  Different learners have different ways of inputting information so I need to be aware of these ways and ensure that I am able to reach these learners.

Edutopia. (2015, April 9).  Multiple Intelligences: What Does the Research Say? Retrieved from:

Creating a Positive Learning Environment

According to Susan Imel (1994), "an ideal adult learning climate has a nonthreatening, nonjudgmental atmosphere in which adults have permission for and are expected to share in the responsibility for their learning."  This article provides suggestions on how to establish this type of learning environment for the adult learner.   They are easy to adapt and incorporate into the classroom and knowing how important it is to make your adult learners feel comfortable in the classroom is the first step to ensure learning success.  If the learner is not comfortable they may "check out" because their needs are not being met.  I especially connect with the suggestion of a good first impression and humour to break the ice.  I use these techniques while I am working in private practice as a lot of people bring anxiety or negativity to the clinic.  People will more likely to respond to you if you make the environment more comfortable for them.

Imel, S.  (1994).  Guidelines for Working With Adult Learners.  Retrieved from:


This article highlights some of the different assessment methods to use in the classroom and explains characteristics of a good assessment.  It also explains about feedback, which is important for every learner to receive in order to see their progress.  The questions in the article got me thinking about what assessments I would like to use in the future and how I would need to use different ones in order to reach different learners.  With my recent research into Social Media, I also thought about how Social Media could be beneficial to assessing learners such as a self reflection blog/journal or answering a question on a discussion board.  Assessments are an important component of a lesson plan because without assessments there would be no way to measure the learning that is or is not taking place.

Michigan State University.  (2015).  Student Assessment.  Retrieved from:

Instructional Process/Strategies

I chose this article because PBL was part of my dental hygiene program but I felt it was under utilized.  The advantages of student centred PBL according to Wood (2003) is that, "it fosters active learning, improved understanding, and retention and development of lifelong learning skills."  Dental hygienists are able to practice independently and need to be able to develop these skills so that they can think critically and make evidence based decisions.  Reciting things from memory can only take you so far as you need to be able to apply the information to various situations.  As a future educator, I would want my students to have these skills in order to be successful in practice.

Wood, D. F.  (2003). ABC of Learning and Teaching in Medicine Problem Based Learning.  British Medical Journal.  326.  Retrieved from:


I chose this article because of how it summarizes Gagne's Learning Theory and how the theory identifies general types of human capabilities that are learned.  The capabilities are behavioural changes in a learner and classified into 5 Categories of Learning Outcomes.  Being aware of these learning outcomes can be useful when creating my lesson objectives and considering what types of behavioural changes I want to see in my learners.  For example, motor skills when being able to pick up and use a dental instruments correctly or maybe verbal skills when using dental terminology.

International Centre for Educators' Learning Styles.  (2015).  Robert Gagne's Five Categories of Learning Outcomes and Nine Events of Instruction.  Retrieved from: