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Earlier on this week, my group did a presentation on how to fold a photo frame using an A4 paper. The goal of this presentation was to get each group to create their own group's frame and to understand how to fold a photo frame from scratch. Each group were given the following set of equipments such as construction paper, markers, stickers and postcard which used to gauge the size of photo the frame can hold. To understand how well our goal was achieved, evaluation forms were given to each team.
I shall relate the feedbacks given by the observer group with the reference of Adult Learning Theory.
Andragogy is a concept which gives assumptions on how adults learn. Andragogy emphasises the value of the procedure of learning. It uses techniques to studying that are problem-based and collaborative rather than didactic, and also emphasises more equal rights between the instructor and student. (Knowles 1980)
For our design of the learning program we adopted instrumental learning that involves step by step teaching visually and verbally. It is often task-oriented and involves the process of learning to control and manipulate the environment or other people (Delahaye 2011). In instrumental learning, it uses the combination knowledge generation process, which means that the explicit knowledge from my group is assimilated by our audience. Humans in nature are most likely to be motivated by rewards thus we are using behaviour modification by giving rewards to the top 3 teams which will result in positive behaviour.
These are a few ways that an adult learn as Knowles has identified. (Knowles 1980)
The six principles of adult learning:
Adults are internally motivated and self-directed; doing learning voluntarily and are usually keen in attempting to solve the problem themselves.
Adults are goal oriented or results-oriented; will drop out if the learning does not lead to intended results
Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences; they like to tap on previous knowledge when learning new things
Adults are relevancy oriented; meaning to say they have to find out how this activity allows them to improve or "gain" some knowledge after learning.
Adults are practical, if learning can be applied to real life
Adult learners like to be respected; as they are internally motivated, their learning are more self directed, would prefer their ideas and comments to be viewed more objectively unlike children where their learning are done in a rigid manner such as "follow these steps to achieve..."
With the above point mentioned, if any of the points were not well taken into consideration, the learning taken by each adult could be affected. My team mates and I try to craft our presentation in line with the six principles. Before the start of the presentation, we showed the class photo frames made by my group to let them have a head start on what they are going to do or what we were going to present. As we know adult learners are internally motivated and each of us is of different learning profiles and learns at different pace. We each made a photo frame individually and hope that this would act as a motivation for the class.
As the presenter standing in front of the class, it is natural to be seen as someone with higher authority over everyone else to soften this perceived image, I delivered the slides in a professional tone and kept it simple without having to sound as though I was commanding them. There were interesting images such as the currently popular memes from social entertain site-9gag placed in the slides to engage and interact with the class. It was to create a fun and light learning environment without having to seen as too rigid. There various ways to aid the class in learning how to fold a photo frame. We took into consideration that there are different types of learners such as Visual Learners, Kinesthetic Learners and Auditory Learners. (Materna 2007)
Visual learners learn best when there are images to guide them, Kinesthetic learners would require a hand-on practice, as for Auditory learners they learn best through listening. Therefore we have created a video for demonstration, step by step images accompanied by my explanation and every group had a hard copy set of instructions on how to fold the photo frame. Each group was told to fold and create their group's frame using the inventories prepared after the presentation and the best three groups would be given a prize each, by getting them to fold the photo frame from scratch, it allows them to tap on their previous knowledge on origami and apply it to the current activity. My fellow team mates were stationed around their class to facilitate the groups should they have any doubts or difficulties.
The process of creating the group's photo frame allows the group to gain a skill and it also allows individual to draw relevancy of what they each went through while creating it. For example " I realised I'm never a craft person but today's activity showed that I could do something that though I might be weak in the field, but so long I try I can." Besides that, giving just the equipments without any restriction on creating the frame allows their creativity to flow.
Feedback was given by the observer that "not everyone was involved" in the making of the frames which draws me to the point that every individual has different learning profile and pace and would like to attempt in making the frame themselves. If everyone was given a chance to attempt and this would have better help them to have a better understanding of themselves and how could they applied what they have learnt in real life more prominently.
These are some feedback given by the observer group.
Points that we could improve on as facilitators and designer per observer's feedback:
According to the observer team we did not achieve the objective of creativity as not everyone in each group was involved in the competition. Personally, I agree with the observer that not everyone in the team participating actively during in folding the frame, initially our group's designed this program with the idea of letting the team members interact and help one another to recall the steps to fold the frame and also to come up with the design together in a team. In my opinion, the failure to achieve the objective could be due the structure of the lecture hall as our tables are built horizontally and there are 8 members in each group thus it was difficult for them to interact. We fail to consider the fact that facilities constraint would affect the learning program in a way. Given a chance, if we are allowed to choose a different venue we will definitely choose a venue that allows team mates to be seated closely together that allows team to work together effectively. Observer team also pointed out that music played during the competition was too loud; perhaps our team could have lowered the volume during the competition this comes to show that the surrounding or venue of the program does play a part in learning process.
During the selection of the winners, we neglected the audience which left them unattended; maybe the presenter could have interacted with the audience while the other facilitators choose the winner. And also we did not highlight the more complex folding parts of the photo frame. There were no specific criteria set for the competition, audience did not have any target to move towards, perhaps we could have set a theme for the design of photo frame so that they can work towards set criteria. They also highlighted that the learning program was gender specified, as this activity may lean more to the ladies side who are craftier by nature.
Other than all the points we need to improve on, we've also received some positive feedbacks as well, our visual displays were clear cut, hand out instructions were given, and presentation skills were good and we had good audience interaction.
Photo frames that was made by learners at the end of the competition
Having to experience this learning program as developer and facilitators and receiving meaningful feedback from the audience has let me realized that the key thing to look out for when facilitating learning program is to involve the learners as actively as possible through participation so learning can take place effectively. And in order for the audience to learn effectively they would have to follow the 6 principles of learning. I have also understood that the environment surrounding would affect learning as well therefore when we plan for learning program we need to plan with cautious taking into consideration both design of the problem and the venue. These knowledge may be beneficial for me in my working life in future if I am working as a human resource develop I would be able to execute better experience to the audience as through the learning program's feedback received, now we better understand what affected the learning experience.
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