Home > Adult Education, Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, Teaching & Learning > Understanding Adult Learners’ Needs

Understanding Adult Learners’ Needs

By Nachamma Sockalingam

Understanding learner needs is essential for providing quality education. One approach for accomplishing this is through the use of student evaluations. A common argument against the use of student evaluations is that students do not know their own needs. However, many studies have shown student feedback/suggestions to be reliable and valid. If we do not even attempt to understand their needs, we may fail to recognize the support they require to be successful.

To understand what adult learners need from their instructors, 2,719 students at a Singapore university were asked what their instructors could improve on as part of the end-of-course evaluation. The students’ suggestions were then filtered, analyzed and organized across seven categorizes, loosely reflecting the seven principles of good teaching outlined by Chickering and Gamson (1987).

Visit: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/understanding-adult-learners-needs/

  1. August 12, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    A less formal approach iis also possible. I sometimes make a list of all the types of activities I do with my class, then ask them to anonymously rate them–which activities work the best, which ones don’t work at all.

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