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ED 554 Adult Education Learning Theory
Gonzales-Walker, Roxanne M.

Mission Statement: The mission of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Park University is to provide leadership and directions to Park University's graduate and professional programs to assure that they are specialized, scholarly, innovative, and designed to educate students to be creative, independent, and lifelong learners within the context of a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.


ED 554 Adult Education Learning Theory


S1P 2007 DL


Gonzales-Walker, Roxanne M.


Assistant Professor


EdD Higher Education Administration
MS Counseling

Office Location

New Hampshire

Office Hours

0930 - 1640 Monday - Thursday Eastern

Daytime Phone

(603) 964-6354


Semester Dates

Jan 15, 07 - March 11, 07

Class Days


Class Time



ED 500 and ED 538

Credit Hours



1 ) Title:  Writing Literature Reviews: A Guide for Students of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Third Edition)

Author: Jose L. Galvan 

Publisher: Pyrckak 


2 ) Title: Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide (Third Edition)

Authors:  Sharan Merriam, Rosemary Caffarella, and Lisa Baumgartner

Publisher:  Jossey Bass


3) Title:  APA Publication Manual 5th edition (please note the web site has manual corrections in a pdf download)

Author: American Psychological Association

Publisher: American Psychological Association

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
This course will provide advanced study of adult learning, theory, philosophical foundations of adult education, and research relating to specific issues and approaches for facilitating adult education. In addition, the course will examine the role and characteristics of the adult learner in the 21st century. Prerequisite: ED 500, ED 538. 3 cr.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the characteristics of adult learners
  2. Critically analyze emerging research on adult learning theory.
  3. Examine the major philosophical foundations of adult learning
  4. Describe the major adult learning theory
  5. Describe theories of motivation
  6. Apply adult learning theories and research to contextual situations;
  7. Gain an understanding of philosophical foundations of adult education.
  8. Explore adult learning theory from a global perspective

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. 8. Identify a problem related to adult learning and compose a written literature review;
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:


Overview of Course Learning Activities


Please note: Grading rubrics are under the DocSharing tool


Each week, you will have regular learning activities:

  • Lecture - Each week there are presentations and/or reading guides on topics related to the learning outcomes for this course.
  • Discussion - Respond according to the Participation rubric 
  • Literature Review - Each week you will have related activity that will lead to a completed Literature Review.
  • Case Study Assignment (Week 4 & 7) - You will be assigned to a team the first week of class.  As a team you will review video clips and apply the course theories and analyze the implications when theory becomes practice. 
  • Journal Reflection - Starting Week 1 you will reflect on the content of the course and relate the learning to your own learning and philosophy of learning.
  • Activities - You will have three short activities related to your Literature Review as a means to completing the review successfully.
  • Final (Core Assessment) - As required by the School of Education, in Week 8 you are required to take a proctored final exam over the course content.  This will be open book and notes. You are responsible for the material covered in the texts as well as the lectures.
 Refer to the Course Schedule in the Course Home menu for more detailed information on the learning assignments and assessments.

Assignment Details


Discussion Participation: 80 points total
Graduate work is dialogic in nature and as such there are several opportunities to dialog with class members and the facilitator in this class. The purpose of the weekly discussions is to ensure an environment that fosters collaborative learning through a sharing of ideas, perspectives, and experiences that inform our interpretation of the course materials and content. Each week you are required to post an initial response to the posted Discussion Thread question by Wednesday with an additional two posts to other class members by the end of the week (Sunday 11:59pm MT). If additional questions are posted by the facilitator during the course of the discussion you are also encouraged to respond as these are also included and reviewed as part of the overall grade. Please review the grading rubric.



  • Post initial response to the discussion topic by midnight Wednesday;
  • Initial post must be two to three paragraphs and include at least two citations from that week’s readings (text or supplemental reading) to support comments;
  • Respond to two, classmates initial postings by midnight on Sunday (each at least one paragraph of meaningful content).


Journal: 70 points total

During the term you will have reactions, ideas, and thoughts about the content we are discovering, as such you are asked to journal your thoughts as a means of keeping track of how your thinking changes or evolves during the course. You will make a journal entry during Weeks 1 -7 on your reactions to the course content. Grading will not be related to citations or content, rather your overall entry and reflection on that week’s work.



  • Go to the Dropbox and click on Journal;
  • Log in your weekly entry by Sunday 11:59pm MT


Case Study: 50 points total (team grade)

During Weeks 4 and 7 you will work in small teams, which will be randomly assigned, to write a short one – two page paper discussing the case study video clips (can be located under the Course Home titled Case Study) and identify three critical issues as they relate to the readings from the weeks identified.  The team will then explain the three issues through an exploration and application of specific adult learning theory or concepts from the weeks identified. Finally, the team will identify implications when you apply theory to practice. This is intended to serve as a means to apply the course concepts to the practice of adult education. Your team will also post your paper in the Case Study Discussion Thread.



  • Watch the video clips from Real Women Have Curves and The Business of Fancy Dancing;
  • As a team, discuss and identify issues, relate adult learning theory as a means to explain the issues, and discuss the implications of applying theory to practice.
  • Write a short paper and turn in via the Dropbox by Midnight Saturday;
  • Post your groups paper in the Case Study Discussion Thread by midnight Saturday.


Literature Review: 200 points

The purpose of this Literature Review is to provide you an opportunity to explore an adult learning topic of your choice while developing the necessary skills for academic writing. You will identify a topic or thesis statement, develop two – three research questions, identify current academic literature that address and helps to inform the topic, and suggest ways the literature can inform practice. You may want to consider a topic that you are considering for your final paper in ED 629 and ED 630.


Each week you will complete a small portion of the paper so that you walk through the entire process and receive feedback that will enable you to develop a solid literature review.

A sample topic or thesis statement: Tribal colleges serve as a positive means to self-determination for Native American adult learners. In researching this topic one might review tribal colleges, self-determination, barriers to adult learning, and adult learning theory as it relates to cultural influences on success to marginalized populations.


This paper is a formal academic paper with APA citation required. The paper length is between eight – ten pages exclusive of the cover sheet, reference page, and any attachments. Please review the grading rubric and the Writing Center for additional information. You should have at a minimum six peer reviewed journals articles no earlier than 2000 (unless there is a historical significance to the topic) and one web site reference for data etc. (review the Internet Detective for site section). No newspapers, magazines, etc.



  • Select a topic and get final approval by the instructor Week 1;
  • Develop research questions week 2;
  • Develop a detailed outline Week 3;
  • Draft and submit your introduction section Week 4;
  • Swap draft paper with your reading partner Week 6;
  • Provide feedback to your writing partner Week 7;
  • Revise and submit via Dropbox Week 8 no later than Thursday.
  • Post a summary of your paper (600 word maximum) in the Activity # 3 Lit Review Summary section of Week 8.


Activities: 75 points

You will have three different activities during the term:

#1 Article Analysis - The purpose of this assignment is to have you critique a research article with guided questions to help you evaluate articles for your paper.



    • Read the research article titled #1 Activity in the DocSharing section;
    • Respond to the questions on page 8 of Galvan, # 1 A – E in a short one page summary;
    • Place your paper with your responses in the Dropbox by Saturday midnight of Week 1.


# 2 Paper Swap - We often learn from seeing others work, as such the purpose of this assignment is to provide you an opportunity to step back from your paper and provide constructive and professional feedback to another class member on their paper. Please see the grading rubric for this assignment. You are to provide a fully edited draft to your reading partner: your partner will NOT edit APA or grammar issues. Rather you will read the paper for paper flow, a logical discussion of the literatures reviewed, identify gaps in the paper, and provide positive feedback where the paper is good. Ask questions and add your thoughts on how to improve the paper. Please do this in Track Changes, a tool in Word.



?       Send your draft paper to your writing partner (please ensure the paper has been fully edited as if you were turning in for a grade) from the Course Email tool with a CC to the instructor no later than Saturday of Week 6;

?       At the same time, upload a copy of your draft in the Dropbox no later than Saturday of Week 6;

?       Return the paper with your comments to its owner from the Course Email tool with a CC to the instructor no later than Wednesday of Week 7.

?       At the same time, upload a copy of your feedback in the Dropbox no later than Wednesday midnight of Week 7;


 #3 Literature Review Summary - Condense your paper into a 600 word maximum summary and post in the Week 8 Lit Review Summary thread. Be sure to include: topic, research questions, literature you reviewed, a summary of salient points, and your suggestions to inform practice.



    • Post your 600 summary in Week 8 by Wednesday







Total %

Discussion Topics (10)




Case Study (2)




Activities  (3)




Journal Entry




Literature Review




Final Exam (core Assessment)










Letter Grade Policy


Number of Points



540 - 600



539 - 480



479 - 420



419 - 360



359 - below

Below 59.9

Late Submission of Course Materials:


Submission of Late Work


In fairness to those who accomplish the work on time, late assignments will NOT be accepted. If there is an emergency such as a death or sudden illness it is your responsibility to contact (or someone on your behalf) the instructor as soon as possible. Technical problems, vacation, travel for work, or other events are not considered emergencies.  If you are close to a Park campus center, you may also contact them and have someone relay a message to the instructor.    

Classroom Rules of Conduct:


Communications modes


The Announcements tool in eCollege is an important way we communicate with you during the course. You are responsible for reading each of the Weekly Announcements, including the FAQ's and the Home Page for each week in the course. If there are any changes required in assignments or due dates, they will be posted in the Weekly Announcements.

The Instructor’s Office page contains a welcome message and information about your instructor. You will also find contact information on this page and the preferred mode of communication with the instructor.


If your question is related to the weekly course content, you should bring up the question in the Instructor's Office, so that all students will benefit from the reply from the instructor.

If your question is personal, such as grades, or a personal problem, please contact your instructor through email. Send the email using the Email tool within eCollege, but only select the instructor from the list!


There is a Virtual Café provided for students to communicate with one another.

In the first week, you will post an introduction of yourself to the Introductions page. If you have general questions that are outside the scope of the weekly discussion topic, please post it here. You can also post other messages to your fellow students on this page. This is the preferred method for you to communicate with your fellow students.


Follow the procedures for submission of electronic assignments.

You will be required to submit them to the instructor via the Dropbox in eCollege. This will allow the instructor the ability to download the files and view the code for the entire project. Detailed instructions are found on the assignment directions.

Use the Dropbox (located at top of screen, second tab from right) to submit papers and exams.


Class Participation in the Online Learning Environment


Some helpful information about participation in an online classroom is found in the Netiquette section on the Help and Resources page.


Additionally, at times we will discuss controversial topics and have people who disagree with each other. We must remember that while each of us has a right to our own opinion, we must respect the right of others to have differing opinions. Calling someone or some idea "stupid" creates a defensive communication climate and hampers the ability of all of us to learn. Think before you criticize.


If anyone in class makes a comment you are uncomfortable with, please contact the instructor immediately and first. Apologies and policy changes are best handled in the classroom.

Finally, talk to the instructor when you have questions, concerns, or suggestions about the class. It is less frustrating if you ask questions before the assignment is due, rather than after it has affected your performance.



Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Below is a week by week schedule for the course; please ensure that you review the assignment rubrics located in the DocSharing tool. .





Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner = MCB  


Activity & Assignments Due:  


Week 1: Introduction to Adult Learning  


MCB: Ch 1 -3  


Galvan: Ch 1 - 3  


Discussion: Wednesday first post  


Journal: Sunday  


Activity # 1 - Galvan page 9; #1 A - E: Saturday (Dropbox)  


Paper Topic: Sunday  


Week 2: Older Adults & Aging  


MCB: Ch 12 & 14  


Galvan: 4, 5, & 6  


Discussion: Wednesday first post  


Journal: Sunday  


Research Questions: Sunday (Dropbox)  


Week 3: Cognition  


MCB: Ch 13 & 15  


Galvan: 10  


Ryan & Deci (DocSharing)  




Discussion: Wednesday first post  


Journal: Sunday  


Detailed Outline: Sunday (Dropbox)  


Week 4: Adult Learning Theory  


MCB: Ch 4 & 11  


Galvan: 7 & 8  


Discussion: Wednesday first post  


Journal: Sunday  


Case Study: Saturday (Dropbox)  


Introduction Section: Sunday (Dropbox)  


Week 5: Adult Learning Theory  


MCB: Ch 5 & 6  


Galvan: 9 & 11  


Discussion: Wednesday first post  


Journal: Sunday  


Work on paper  


Week 6: Adult Learning Theory  


MCB: Ch 7 & 8  


Galvan: 12  


Discussion: Wednesday first post  


Activity # 2 – Paper Swap/Feedback: Saturday (Dropbox)  


Journal: Sunday  


Work on paper  


Week 7: Adult Learning Theory  


MCB: Ch 9 & 10  


Galvan: 13  


Schell (DocSharing)  




Discussion: Wednesday first post  


Journal: Sunday  


Activity # 2 – Paper Activity # 2 – Paper: Return paper by Wednesday (Dropbox)  


Case Study: Saturday (Dropbox)  


Revise Paper  


Week 8: Reflections  


MCB: Ch 16  


Discussion: Wednesday first post  


Activity # 3 – Paper Summary Post: Wednesday  


Literature Review: Thursday (Dropbox)  




Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 23-24


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct. Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 23-24

Attendance Policy:

Professors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences in excess of four (4) class periods, in a 16-week semester (or 2, in an 8-week term) will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Dean, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified by mail that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2006-2007 Graduate Catalog Page 27

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:1/13/2007 8:14:29 AM