Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

Critical/Real life Example Discussion.


Assignment 1 Outline

Ensure you answer these 5 questions when writing this essay discussion paper.

1)      Discuss an adult learning environment (Provide a Real life example: University Class.)Critical/Real life Example Discussion.


2)      Describe which aspect of adult learning and characteristics of adult learner. (Unit 1)

According to Mackeracher (2004) the characteristics of adult learners

a)      Learning takes place within a context

b)      Strong emotions affect learning

c)       Learning is a natural and dialectical process

d)      Learning involves learning how to learn

e)      Individual learners have preferred strategies for learning

f)       Learning is  non – normative

Examples:- Provide examples of each characteristics as it relates to the scenario in question 1

Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

3)      How were these characteristics taken into account (or not) by the teacher. Provide examples



4)      Describe the learning environments present (Unit 2). How were they conducive, or not, to adult?

There are two components that affect the learning environment:

–          the physical environment

–          the social/emotional environment

Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

Reference: – Sisco (1991) Setting the climate for effective teaching and learning.

Clark (1997) (in the reading by Riley) states that there are two components that affect the learning environment:

  • the physical environment
  • the social/emotional environment

·         Imel, S (1995). Inclusive Adult Learning Environments.

·         Riley, T. (2000). Creating a learning environment for differentiation. Retrieved February 9, 2005 from Ministry of Education, Wellington, New Zealand web site at Replacement

·         Sisco, B. (1991) Setting the climate for effective teaching and learning (Article Reprint)

Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

5)      What change, if any, would you recommend, taking into account the different learning environments discussed



APA style (5-7 pages) excluding coverpage and reference 1.5 line spacing with indented paragraphs.

Reference page – 3 sources

Real-life Example Discussion

Critical/Real life Example Discussion.


When it comes to the learning experience and process, adult learners pose a challenge to the facilitators, especially when it comes to the learning environment management. The facilitators thus must be in a position not only to ensure that the right content is available, but also enable the learning process to be conducive by ensuring the classroom environment and experience suits the learners. Through the application of the various teaching strategies, the facilitators should be able to transfer knowledge to the learners through various methodological approaches such as student-centered or knowledge-centered approach. This essay will focus on the learning environment, adult learning and characteristics of adult learner and what to take into account when it comes to the different learning environments that involve adult learners using a real-life context of a university class.Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

An Adult Learning Environment (Real-Life Example: University Class.)

An adult learning environment involves the facilitators handling students who are past the child-learner stage. The learners at this stage relate more to the environment that they are subjected to and thus their learning experience is much dependable on the existing nature of the learning environment. Due to the diverse demands that are presented by adult learners during the learning process, their complexities must be eased with the application of the right teaching methodologies that will satisfy and fit each and every learner in a given environment(Sisco,1991). Activity setting and group management by facilitators is vital at this point to facilitate engagement and meeting the learners’ needs in the whole learning process for a better learning experience.Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

In order to create a conducive learning environment, the facilitator must establish a positive learning environment. This is attached to three fundamental elements that will ensure the environment fits the learning process, especially when it comes to adult learning. Establishment of good relationships, clear communication and building of trust forms the foundation of a positive learning environment. For example, in a university class, all students are assumed to be adult learners and thus the learning environment that they are exposed to greatly determines their overall learning experience. As a facilitator handling such learners, building positive relationships with the students introduces a sense of security and value for them, enabling a smooth learning environment (Sisco,1991).Critical/Real life Example Discussion. This should be from the onset of the first day in class, as the first experience is much dependent on the learner’s attitude and learning experience. On the other hand, clear communication involves active listening, as well as prompt provision of feedback. Lastly, on trust, the facilitator must give room for creativity, as well as give chance for the student to make some decisions that concern the learning process. This establishes trust among the students and the facilitator, defines responsibilities and creates an environment that fits everyone due to the flexibility that exists.Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

Aspect of Adult Learning and Characteristics of Adult Learner

Adult learners are distinct and they preset unique demands, expectations, as well as challenges. As such, these learners hold unique characteristics that form important aspects when it comes to the overall learning process.  According to Mackeracher (2004), adult learners are diverse but the good thing about them is that they hold certain characteristics,which, when identified early enough, they will greatly assist both in planning and actualizing adult learning in the right manner. The first characteristic of adult learner that was visible is that learning takes place within a context. This comprises the physical, mental and the emotional environment that a learner is subjected to. In this case, the facilitators should be in a position to select the suitable content, repackage it and find the best ways to transfer knowledge to their learners. Certain conditions must exist in order for the proper learning experience to take place.In this case, the learners were supplied with the right content and at the right teaching methodology.Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

Another characteristic of the adult learners that was visible is that strong emotions affect learning(Mackeracher, 2004). In this regard, adult learners are self-directed, receptive to change and less open minded compared to other learners. As such, they require time and involvement in decision making concerning their learning, so that they can overcome the emotions that the learning environment presents. As a facilitator, it is important to understand how emotions affect different learning aspects and come up with strategies that may mitigate such situations where strong emotions may be elicited within the learning context.Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

Furthermore, according to Mackeracher (2004), learning is a natural and dialectical process and therefore, adult learnerslearnnew ideas through linking the previously gained knowledge that assists in solving life issues at hand. Facilitators can best achieve or support this aspect through, forexample, in a university class setting, they can initiate an answer-question session or by encouraging learners to participate in a discussion group for the exchange of ideas to better understand the situations at hand. This was evident during the class sessions.Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

On the other hand, for another characteristic of the adult learners, learning involves learning how to learn (Mackeracher, 2004). This means that the facilitator must deviate ways and strategies that the students will quickly and best understand in the learning process. This for example given a university class session can be actively achieved through the facilitator engaging the students in the learning process and having a flexible interaction with them, thus creating a strong bond that will equip the students with the skills of expression and research, as well as build confidence in learners.Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

What’s more, another notable characteristic of the adult learners is that individual learners have preferred strategies for learning. With this situation at hand, the facilitator must strive to accommodate every learner, despite the diverse preferences of the learning process. By adopting a student – centered approach, the facilitator will be able to handle the learners with the application of a strategy that fits everyone across the board(Riley, 2000).Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

Finally learning is non-normative and as Mackeracher (2004) cites, this is also a unique characteristic when it comes to adult learning. As such, there exists no particular way of teaching or handling learners. For example, a teacher may engage students of the same level within different classes uniquely at the level of engagement is dictated by several other elements within the learning environment. This best understands that there exists no particular way of teaching and this depends with several key factors among them being the relationship between the student and the facilitator.Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

How the Characteristics Were Taken into Account (Or Not) By the Teacher

In the context characteristic, classes must be set in a certain way and in a conducive environment that will enable proper learning to take place. Class setting, including teaching aids such as speakers and screen projectors were present. On the emotion characteristic, students must be engaged in activities that relief emotions. Break times, as well as participate in discussion and sporting activities releases tension and these are a perfect way of controlling strong emotions that can affect learning. Such sessions were present.Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

As one understands that learning is a natural and dialectical process, this means that learners must be able to relate current situations with what they had studied before. The past experience is important and as such, field work and group discussion provide an exposure where learners can link situations and ideas from the previously gained knowledge. This was evident within the learning process (Riley, 2000). On the other hand, learning how to learn will involve equipping students with skills that will enable them to gain more knowledge and have a smooth learning experience. This can be done through teaching student on research and studying strategies to enable them build a sense of independence.Students showed enough skills as they would research and present reports on their own. On strategies for learning, various facilitators engaged students differently and each had a unique way and methodology for teaching as they best understood the needs of the learners.Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

The Learning Environments Present

There are two components that affect the learning environment:

  1. The Physical Environment

The physical environment involves mostly the infrastructures and the general surrounding environment. As such, the classes were up to standard and they were equipped with the teaching aid and learning equipment that are necessary for a classroom participation. The surrounding environment was quiet and this also provided a unique opportunity for a smooth learning environment. Social amenities and other supporting facilities were also available. In general, the physical environment was fit for the adult learning environment.Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

  1. The Social/Emotional Environment

This involves self-awareness and the emotional maturity, especially on how learners relate with each other. A focus on this environment showed that there is a good relationship that exists among the learners as well as between learners and the teachers.

Change Recommendations

The learning environment was quite organized and my recommendation will be that the learning environment that exists should be improved more into providing social facilities, especially for sporting activities as students can relax after the classroom session. This will also improve on the emotional and social environment by building strong relationships among the learners and this will foster good socialization which will eventually assist in strengthening the whole learning process.Critical/Real life Example Discussion.

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