Sample Essay Paper on Your Professional Toolkit

Your Professional Toolkit

Introduction

Effective learning involves the active participation of both teachers and learners through sharing of ideas about the process and methods used in teaching. Participation of both students and teachers in the process of education makes learning interesting, which helps in boosting learning outcomes. The learners are able to understand and comprehend the knowledge they acquire in class, which contributes towards the effectiveness of learning as well as teaching. Active engagement by both the teacher and learners also helps in overcoming some of the challenges that are experienced in the teaching profession. Performance evaluations of teachers/educators are very vital in understanding the challenges of the teaching profession, as well as determining how teachers can adapt to some of these challenges.

Performance assessment is important even in adult education. One of the ways to assess the performance includes making some invitation to an observer while in class to come and suggest the aspects that the presenter could be portraying in the presentation (Taylor, Fiddler & Marienau, 2000). Mostly, it is important that the adult educator does not invite close friends to avoid the possibility of biased suggestions. It is also practical that the educator invite a professional who is able to apply his or her profession in assessing the presentation made in class. Before starting the class lesson, the educator briefs the observer on the goals that he or she has set for that specific class. The observer sits at the back of the classroom and takes notes while the educator makes the presentation. After the lesson, the observer gives his opinion and where correction is needed. This helps in improving future presentations by the instructor.

The other method of performance evaluation is through taking a video of some of the presentations given by the adult educator in class. The recorded video enables the instructor determine the effectiveness of the instructional methods used. For instance, it helps in assessing the behavior of students in class, which provide insights about the effectiveness of the presentation. The self-assessment method helps the adult educator in identifying areas that need improvement as well as the strategies of implementing the needed changes (if any). The third method of performance assessment is where the educator gives his teaching materials and syllabus used in class for review by a colleague. In most cases, the best colleague would be the one who has been in the teaching profession for quite some time and is well experienced (Rogers & Horrocks, 2010). The colleague will evaluate the materials and will give his or her opinion, which will depict the level of understanding impacted on the students.

The methods of performance assessment highlighted above have helped me in gathering insights about adult education. Some of the key insights I have gained in regard with working with adult students in online learning is that the effectiveness of a teacher is the main determinant of success in the learning of the students. Using more materials and quality skills in teaching them makes them gain more cognitivity after learning. Teaching is effective if the teacher is able to bring out good outcomes that are measured with the capacity the students are able to communicate what they learn. This is because their evaluations will directly reflect their perceptions about the course they are taking as well as the satisfaction the teacher is able to impact on them. This satisfaction is used to assess validity in the teaching profession. Validity on the other hand, is affected by two factors; effectiveness of the teacher and student in teaching and learning respectively and biases in the rating system (Nilson, 2013). A close relationship between learning and the rating will give weak biases and a strong validity and vice versa.

The validity explained above deals with the goals and needs of both students and teachers in adult education. Meeting the needs and requirements of each group of students being taught in class will increase the effectiveness in working with adult learners. This is because the teacher is able to identify the different challenges that different students in the class have in learning the subject matter. Offering supplemental academic support to those who are slow in learning increases effectiveness in working with adult learners. This is because the teacher will be able to offer any assistance that is required by respective students. If the teacher notices that a specific student needs some personal assistance, they will organize with the student of the meeting (Anderson, 2008). In addition to this, the teacher is able to solve a learning problem in a previous class with the student before the next lesson (Lave & Wenger, 2008). Fostering communication and respect among students increases effectiveness in working with adult learners. The teacher is able to know what the student feel about what is learnt and brings effectiveness in working with them because the two sides are able to respect the other side’s opinion concerning learning. Students are also able to respect fellow students and are free with each other in consultation, if need be (Rothwell, 2008).

The education needs and requirements of adult education students expose various challenges to the adult educator. Some of the greatest challenges of being an adult educator are keeping oneself engaged (Barkley & Benton, 2011). It is difficult to for an educator to be active in learning from the teaching profession he or she is in. Learning is perceived to be the work of the students, while educators perceive teaching as their work. Though there are new things to be learnt in the profession every day, which could bring better outcomes in the performance of the learners, it is difficult to change the way of doing things by the educator. Therefore, most of them end up using their old ways of teaching making students hard to learn new and modern things that are interesting (Brookfield, 2007). Another challenge is development of a teaching philosophy that could be relevant in the profession. Mostly an educator will see himself an intellect and will ignore those who challenge them in class. This is because when they are challenged, they perceive it that the learners do not trust their knowledge (Kearsley, 2005).

An adult educator can use various strategies of dealing with some of the challenges highlighted above. Meeting the needs of each student in every group will help solve these problems. This is because the educator is able to note the mastery trend in learning and will compare the old days and modern days. Therefore, one will see the need to develop a new teaching philosophy that will meet their needs satisfactorily (Ryu & Parsons, 2009). In the process, the educator will be able to keep himself engaged, as he will learn the changes that have led to changes in the current trend in learning. Offering supplemental academic support to slow learners will help in knowing where an educator could be contributing to slow learning, thereby knowing new things to adopt in the teaching philosophy. Additionally, encouraging communication and respect will help in meeting these challenges too. This is because the educator will be able to get immediate and genuine opinions from the students on the teaching philosophy used in class, which provides information regarding the need to implement a new one.

Conclusion

The effectiveness of the process of learning depends on how students gather knowledge from the instructions given in class. This implies that educators must devise ways of improving their methods of giving instructions to their students as well as improving their preferred methods. Performance assessments are useful tools that can help adult educators in determining the effectiveness of the teaching/instructional methods. Adult educators can use various methods of performance assessments depending on their own preferences. Performance assessments help in improving the process of learning and do not depend on the method used. Additionally, they help in identifying some of the challenges affecting adult education as well as the measures of dealing with these challenges. Performance assessments also require the participation of students who give feedback about various aspects of the learning process. The engagement of both students and learners in promoting adult education is an effective strategy of dealing with some of the prevalent challenges.

 

References

Anderson, T. (2008). The theory and practice of online learning. Edmonton: AU Press.

Barkley, R., & Benton, C. (2011). Taking Charge of Adult ADHD. New York: Guilford Publications.

Brookfield, S. (2007). The Power of Critical Theory for Adult Learning And Teaching. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill International (UK) Ltd.

Dana, N. F., & Yendol-Hoppey, D. (2009). The reflective educator’s guide to classroom research: Learning to teach and teaching to learn through practitioner inquiry. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press.

Kearsley, G. (2005). Online learning: Personal reflections on the transformation of education. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Educational Technology Publications.

Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (2008). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nilson, L. B. (2013). Creating self-regulated learners: Strategies to strengthen students’ self-awareness and learning skills. Quicksilver Dr, Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Rogers, A., & Horrocks, N. (2010). Teaching adults. Maidenhead, Berkshire, England: Open University Press.

Rothwell, W. J. (2009). Online education and adult learning: New frontiers for teaching practices. Hershey, PA: Information Science Research.

Rothwell, W.J. (2008). Adult learning basics. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Ryu, H., & Parsons, D. (2009). Innovative mobile learning: Techniques and technologies. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Taylor, K., Fiddler, M., & Marienau, C. (2000). Developing adult learners: Strategies for teachers and trainers. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-B