Good resources

Good resources for teachers are available on the net

on preparing or revising a course

If the course is new to you and has never been offered before, review textbooks on the topic of the course. Reviewing textbooks will give you a sense of the main themes and issues that your course might address, which is especially useful if you are preparing a course outside your areas of specialization. (Source: Brown, 1978)

Identify the constraints in teaching the course. As you begin to design the course, ask yourself, How many hours are available for instruction? How many students will be enrolled? Are the students primarily majors or nonmajors? At what level? What material can I safely assume that students will know? What courses have they already completed? What courses might they be taking while enrolled in mine? Will readers or graduate student instructors be available? What sorts of technological resources will be in the classroom? (Sources: Brown, 1978; Ory, 1990)

on Principles of Adult Learning

Adults have accumulated a foundation of life experiences and knowledge that may include work-related activities, family responsibilities, and previous education. They need to connect learning to this knowledge/experience base. To help them do so, they should draw out participants’ experience and knowledge which is relevant to the topic. They must relate theories and concepts to the participants and recognize the value of experience in learning.

Adults are relevancy-oriented. They must see a reason for learning something. Learning has to be applicable to their work or other responsibilities to be of value to them. Therefore, instructors must identify objectives for adult participants before the course begins. This means, also, that theories and concepts must be related to a setting familiar to participants. This need can be fulfilled by letting participants choose projects that reflect their own interests.

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