Lesson Planning

In this Lesson Planning assignment we are asked to pick 5 components that we will use

in future to improve our lesson planning and give a rationale for each of the five. The

five I have chosen are;

– Characteristics of Adult Learners / Knowles (Andragogy)

– Motivational Techniques

– Assessment

– Creating a Positive Learning Environment

– Instructional Process / Strategies


Characteristics of Adult Learners


Knowles breaks down Andragogy into the following assumptions. They are self learners,

they draw on their own experience, the readiness to learn is task orientated, they are

problem-centered, they have internal motivation and a need to know. (Roberts 2007)


The last assumption being the need to know, is something I have witnessed many

times. In particular just a few days ago, this individual saw no need to learn all the

material he was given. As my job being a facilitator of learning, I need to help the

learners become aware of

“The Need to Know”.

Motivational Techniques

Important parts of a lesson plan for adults, is motivational techniques. In the case of

recurrent training, motivation can be hard to achieve as the learner already achieved

that particular goal, purpose or relevancy. The use of a hook, anticipatory event or

suspense in this setting would be useful. I have used this in past but did not fully

understand the reasoning behind it. An example would be having an interesting

secretive live fire practice after the theory part has been taken. The Learning coach has

a fun take on this.



Assessment can be closely tied into the characteristics of adult learners. There are many

forms of assessment, some of which are diagnostic, formative, and summative. As well,

there can be various types, such as performance, authentic and holistic.tests

With adult learners the formative type of assessment can be more critical. Adults come

to us with multiple differences, intelligences, learning styles and experience. I really

notice this in the group of learners I will be instructing and in turn will be able to taylor

my instruction accordingly .


Creating a Positive Learning Environment

The following web site really hits home the differences between the adult learner

(Andragogy) and the youth learner(Pedagogy). The need of the adult learner to be

treated with respect, to acknowledge the adults life experiences and to treat any errors

in private should be the cornerstone in adult instruction and hopefully be so in mine.


Instructional Process / Strategies 

Instructional strategies consist of direct instruction, indirect instruction, interactive

instruction, experiential learning and independent study. The web site I referred to has

a great little wheel demonstrating instructional methods, I copied it below. Another

interesting tip listed in the web site that I may incorporate was, “Given the choices

between two techniques, choose the one involving the learners in the most active

participation” (Knowles, 1980).




Three Reflections

As part of my assignment I have been asked to reflect on the three following Guiding

Questions, “New Insights”, “Trends” and my “Web Conference Experience”.

New Insights

Through my research I have discovered some major differences in the way adults learn

(andragogy) and the way youth learn (pedagogy). Recognizing these differences will

help tailor my instructional techniques for my adult learners. In particular is my post on

being a facilitator. Adult learners need to know what they are learning can be applied

to their immediate situation. They do not respond well to the traditional lecture

method but prefer to be self-directed. Forced attendance with adults is likely to lead to

the adult learner being there in body not in mind. With adult learners it is better to tap

into the collective knowledge of the group and use this knowledge as a discussion

rather than dictating. As David Lobdell (1998) states “It is not unlike handling a major fire

or other incident using the Incident Command System where the Incident Commander

in effect facilitates the mitigation of the disaster using the collective knowledge and

experience of the group”.


Some of the trends in my field are the hiring of new firefighters that have a minimum of

a postsecondary diploma or degree. According to Stats Canada (see link provided) the

province of Quebec saw a rise in fire firefighters who have a post secondary degree in

1991 from 59% to 85% in 2006. Recurrent training is always ongoing and this new group

of firefighters is very media savvy. The use of Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, Skype etc. are all

becoming part of the norm and will continue to develop and be a part of teaching this

new age of Adult Learners.



It has been a few days since my last Skype call with my learning partner, so I have had some

time to reflect on this whole “Web-Conferencing” thing.  I can see web-conferencing as another

useful tool in the educators tool kit. It is a way to link the instructor and the student and even

fellow students together. Just as in Bloom’s taxonomy one can get the students to teach one

another. I personally was glad to have my learning partner and learned

numerous things from her, not the least of which was the comfort of knowing there was

someone else out there going through the exact same things I was.

Improving Classroom Training Through Facilitation

I have to admit that when I started to research articles about facilitation I did not

expect to find any articles so pertinent to what I am doing. As a teacher of a small

group of adults, I found it comforting, interesting and informative to find other persons,

in almost my exact situation have already been there done that. Please refer to the link

Spokan Fire Dept. I wish to share with you a few highlights that I discovered in this

article. The fact the Spokane Fire Dept. discovered that their adult learners were not

responding to traditional instructional methodology and that they were using fire

officers with no formal training really struck home with me. They hired and trained

professional facilitators until their officers gained sufficient experience. This was not a

small dept. it consisted of 134 members. David Lobdell’s paper even gave guide lines for

facilitation, that I though was worth listing here.

-Maintain enthusiasm – use a positive approach.

-Be knowledgeable of the subject – there is no set solution.

-Be able – recognize alternative approaches.

-Listen attentively to participants – be genuine.

-Support efforts of participants – there are no wrong answers.

-Keep it interesting – involve as many participants as possible, keep it moving.

-Manage the group – prevent anyone from dominating a discussion.

-Use active listening – paraphrase fro understanding.

-Use questions not statements – draw participation.

-Use open ended questions – stimulate thought.

-Keep the environment non threatening – participants must feel safe.

-Ask for benefits before barriers – put on a positive spin.

-Don’t lecture – the instruction is student centered not instructor centered.

-Summarize – provide feedback and paraphrase key points.

-Regularly evaluate progress – demonstrate movement toward objectives.

-Set time limits and stick to them.

The paper by David Lobdell listed many passages and quotes but the one that sums it

up for me was from Barr(1996) describing a “facilitator as a person who is not a judge,

teacher, or even a task leader, but rather an instrument to help people discover



Starting My PIDP Trends And Rolls (soaring for a brighter future)

So here is my first post, on my first blog. Talk about out of my comfort zone. I guess this

is the whole point ……….. following new trends.


Welcome to my first attempt at blogging. I have created this blog as part of my PIDP

course with Vancouver Community College.

I have a background in aviation, (hence the Mustang picture) and firefighting. In past I

have instructed new firefighters with a local fire department and now have been

tasked with instructing adult learners for another fire fighting endeavor.

I am not sure what this blog is going to end up looking like, but feel free to explore and

express any comments you are willing to share.