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Focus On Basics

Volume 5, Issue D ::: June 2002

Indicators of Engaged Adult Learning


Indicator of
Engaged Learning

Indicator definition

Vision of Learning Responsible for Learning Learner involved in setting goals, choosing tasks, developing assessments and standards for the tasks; has the big picture of learning and next steps in mind
Strategic (and Transformative) Learner actively develops repertoire of thinking/learning strategies (and critical awareness to empower pursuit of individual and collective goals)
Energized by learning Learner is not dependent on rewards from others; has a passion for learning
Collaborative Learner develops new ideas and understanding in conversations and work with others
Tasks Authentic (and Builds) Pertains to real world, is addressed to personal interest (and on experience) rooted in the lived experience of the learner
Challenging (and Rewarding) Difficult enough to be interesting but not totally frustrating, usually sustained (and conveys clear and tangible benefits to the learner)
Integrative Involves integrating information of many types and from a variety of sources to solve problems and address issues related to daily life and work
Assessment Performance-based Involving a performance or demonstration, usually for a real audience and useful purpose
Generative Assessments having meaning for learner; maybe produce information, product, service
Seamless and ongoing Assessment is part of instruction and vice versa; learners learn during assessment
Equitable Assessment is culture fair
Instructional Model Interactive (and Accommodates) Instructor or technology program responsive to learner learning differences needs, requests (e.g., menu driven) (and adapts instruction to suit a variety of learning styles and preferences)
Generative Instruction oriented to constructing meaning; providing meaningful activities/experiences
Learning Context Collaborative Instruction conceptualizes students as part of learning community; activities are collaborative
Knowledge-building Learning experiences set up to bring multiple perspectives to solve problems such that each perspective contributes to shared understanding for all; goes beyond brainstorming
Empathetic Learning environment and experiences set up for valuing diversity, multiple perspectives, strengths
Grouping Heterogenous Small groups with persons from different ability levels and backgrounds
Equitable Small groups organized so that over time all learners have challenging learning tasks/experiences
Flexible Different groups organized for different instructional purposes so each person is a member of different groups; works with different people
Instructor Roles Facilitator Engages in negotiation, stimulates and monitors discussion and project work but does not control
Guide Helps students to construct their own meaning by modeling, mediating, explaining when needed, redirecting focus, providing options
Co-learner/co-investigator Instructor considers self as learner; willing to take risks to explore areas outside his or her expertise; collaborates with other instructors and practicing professionals
Learner Roles Explorer Learners have opportunities to explore new ideas/tools; push the envelope in ideas and research
Cognitive Apprentice Learning is situated in relationship with mentor who coaches learners to develop ideas and skills that simulate the role of practicing professionals (i.e., engage in real research)
Teacher Learners encouraged to teach others in formal and informal contexts
Producer Learners develop products of real use to themselves and others
Reprinted with permission from Practice Guide - Assessing Lifelong Learning Technology (ALL-Tech): A Guide for Choosing and Using Technology for Adult Learning by Regie Stites. Published by NCAL, Report PG98-03. (1998) Philadelphia, page 8. http://literacyonline.org/products/ncal/pdf/PG9801.pdf
Updated 7/27/07 :: Copyright © 2005 NCSALL