ED538 Adult Development

for F2P 2007

Printer Friendly

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.

School For Education Mission Statement
The School for Education at Park University, an institution committed to diversity and best practice, prepares educators to be effective school professionals, reflective change agents, and advocates for equity and excellence for all learners.

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.

School For Education Vision Statement
The School for Education at Park University is to be known as a leader in the preparation of educators who will address the needs, challenges, and possibilities of the 21st century.

Park University School for Education  Conceptual Framework


ED 538 Adult Development


F2P 2007 DL


Dennis, Kay S.



Office Location


Office Hours




Semester Dates

22 Oct. - 17 Dec. 2007

Class Days


Class Time



ED 500

Credit Hours



None required - all readings provided via eCollege.
Recommended - APA 5th ed.

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 helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.
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 helpdesk@parkonline.org or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the http://parkonline.org 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:
The course will provide learners with information addressing development across adulthood, from age eighteen (18) through old age, and examine the ways in which adults change or develop in both shared and individual ways. The course examines adult behavior, life style, crises in adult development, as well as cognitive, personality. And intellectual changes that occur with aging. This knowledge base will assist learners in their reflections regarding growth and development that occur in the live of their adult learners. Prerequisite: ED500

Educational Philosophy:
In all graduate level courses, I emphasize the following components: research, reflection & synthesis, practitioner context, and informed practice, to create a learning environment that promotes each area. The activities in the course are designed to promote application of the course materials to your context of practice. The course structure and design serve as a framework for a baseline of activity and application - to achieve a level of knowledge and mastery in the course topic. In addition, you can select activities (and grade level) commensurate with the amount of time and effort you want to invest.  These levels are described below in the Learning Contracts section.    

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe adult development from the following perspectives; a.Biological b.Psychological c.Sociological d.Cognitive e.Moral f.Spiritual g.Gender differences
  2. Describe memory and retention as adults age;
  3. Describe the learning needs of older adults;
  4. Examine the sociological impact of adult development in the current contexts of the 21st century;
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of life span and aging issues as they relate to one's personal and professional life;
  6. Exhibit an understanding of current theory, research, and practice as it relates to adults' lives

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:
 Core Assessment: Class Assessment:

Through individual Learning Contracts, you have the opportunity to individualize the assignments and projects so they are tailored to your personalized interests and explorations.  In keeping with the model of adult education, the primary goal of this course is simply to provide materials and learning opportunities which will promote your individual interests, enhance your professional and scholarly capabilities, and enrich your personal understanding and goals.  What you get out of this course will match the level of research and scholarship that you invest.  Please consider your professional goals, what you hope to gain from the course, the amount of time you have available to commit to the course, and your desired outcomes.  Then determine the level and type of work that you are interested in and select from the options below to tailor your assignments and coordinating grade.  Please complete and submit your individual learning contract to your instructor by week 1, Friday (midnight CST).




Option 1:
Minimum Requirements for Receiving
Grade of "A"

Option 2:
Minimum Requirements for Receiving
Grade of "B"

Option 3:
Minimum Requirements for Receiving
Grade of "C"

Reflection & Synthesis

  •  Exchange assignments
  • Exchange assignments
  • Exchange assignments


  • Contextual Checklist
  • Cohort Project
  • Contextual Checklist
  • Cohort Project
  • Contextual Checklist
  • Cohort Project


  • Research Paper
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Note: Research for this grade level
    is completed during the cohort project

* Complete Contract & submit to instructor by Sunday

Learner Contract for an "A"

Learner Contract for a "B"

Learner Contract for a "C"


Cohort Project (200 points)
During Week 1 of the course, students will select one topic (1 of 5 adult development topics covered in this course) that is of most interest to them. Based on that selection, which is limited to no more than 3 students per topic, the cohort is formed.  The Cohort Project will require groups of 2-3 students to create, design, and implement an assignment on their chosen topic during the course.  More specifically, the cohort will work together to apply the concepts, information, and research on adult development to the creation of their assignment, and your peers will complete the assignment and provide your cohort with feedback on the relevance and appropriateness of the assignment from the adult learner perspective.  During the implementation of the assignment, the Cohort will also facilitate discussion with classmates completing the assignment.  Please see the Cohort Grading Rubric for more detailed information.

Exchange (360 points)
During Weeks 3-7, students will complete an Assignment created by a peer cohort.  Students will find this assignment in the Exchange area on Monday each week.  The Exchange assignment contains two components: 1) completion of Assignment and 2) completion of the Assignment Feedback Form related to the cohort assignment.  Students will receive 90 points each week (during weeks 3-7) for completing the assignment and the feedback form by the designated due dates.  If a student fails to complete either of these items, no points will be awarded. Since teaching and learning are best done in a social context (not a spectator sport) all students should participate in thoughtful discussion online.  This opportunity to exchange concepts, thoughts, and ideas will provide various perspectives on class material and will enable you to learn from the expertise and life experiences of others as well.  You will most likely have expertise in a specific area(s) of the course and will hopefully share that expertise with your peers.  The quality of your experience will be directly related to your level of motivation and your commitment to review and respond to others' ideas.  (See Exchange Grading Rubric for details)

Annotated Bibliography
(105 points)
Each student contracting for a "B" will create an annotated bibliography of 15 resources on the topic of adult development.  The resources utilized for the annotated bibliography must come from scholarly work (i.e. publishing texts, peer-reviewed journals, and/or scholarly articles).  Please review this site for a definition of and samples of annotated bibliographies and assignment expectations. The assignment will be due Sunday by midnight CST Week 5.  NOTE: if you have contracted for an "A", you are not required to complete a separate annotated bibliography or submit any materials during Week 5, but will receive the points for your research references at the time your resear paper is submitted in Week 7. 

Research Paper (105 points)
Learners who wish to contract for an "A" in the course will complete a research paper (on a topic of their choosing) related to adult development.  The paper will need to include a complete list of references (minimum 15 references), appropriate citation throughout the paper according to APA guidelines, an introduction, rationale, review of literature, conclusions and application to your specific context in adult education.  The research paper can be completed and submitted at any time during weeks 1-6, but is due no later than Sunday (midnight CST) of Week 7 (submit to the Week 7: Research Paper Dropbox).  If you choose to select the research paper as a component in your course, you will need to include a proposal for your research topic in your learner's contract. (See Research Paper Grading Rubric)

Final Proctored Project: Cumulative Contextual Checklist
(230 points)
Throughout each week of the course, you will complete a section of the Contextual Checklist.  These weekly assignments are to help guide you through the process of applying theory in your own contextual teaching/learning environment...to make the material applicable to YOU and YOUR education of adult learners.  This checklist can serve as a useful tool to utilize when teaching adult learners in new environments and/or when your learner's demographics begin to shift.  The checklist is a tool you can use throughout your career of educating adults. 

To make this project more manageable, you will simply work on a smaller component each week (which will be outlined weekly in the "Checklist" content item).  You will have an opportunity to share your weekly checklist updates with peers for informal feedback, however, you are not required to submit these components weekly.  The entire, completed, cumulative checklist will be due during a Proctored Project time (in Week 8).  During this time, you will enter the information from your checklist and reflect upon how you will apply principles of adult development to improve your own instruction of adult learners....this is considered your "proctored final project" so to speak.  During a proctored session during week 8, you will submit your final checklist to the Week 8: Contextual Checklist Dropbox and complete a short reflection essay online. (See Contextual Checklist)

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late assignments are not accepted.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Respecful and courteous behavior is expected at all times. Please use appropriate grammar, punctuation and spelling in all work posted for others to see.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:



Due Friday

Due Saturday

Week 1

A Preface: The Adult Learner

3, 5

Online Readings -

The Role of Aging in Adult Learning: Implications for Instructors in Higher Education by David Crawford

Theorizing Adult Development by Carolyn Clark and Rosemary Caffarella

Boomers, Gen-Xer's, and Millenials: Understandingn the New Student by Diana Ellinger

Complete Personal Introduction

Complete Exchange Topic Selection


Review Contextual Checklist

Begin work on Cohort Projects




Week 2

Exploring Biological Perspectives in Adult Education

1, 2, 3, 5

Online Readings -

Our Complex Human Body: Biological Development Explored by Vivian Mott

"The Brain, Memory, and Cognition" Cohort ONLY:
- Submit Project to instructor

Complete the "biological" component of the Contextual Checklist

Week 3

The Brain, Memory and Cognition

1, 2, 3


Online Readings -  

Hyperlink to the readings found in the Week 3 Unit Homepage

"Sociocultural" Cohort ONLY:
Submit Project to Instructor

Complete "cognition" component of the Contextual Checklist

Complete Exchange Assignment

Complete Assignment Feedback Form

Week 4

Exploring Social and Cultural Perspectives in Adult Education

1, 4, 5, 6


Online Readings -

Researching Adult Learners' Lives by Lancaster Literacy Research Center

Racial and Ethnic Identity and Development by Alicia Fedelina Chavez and Florence Guido-DiBrito

"Psychological" Cohort ONLY:
Submit Project to Instructor

Complete Mid-Term Evaluation 


Complete "sociocultural" component of the Contextual Checklist 

Complete Exchange Assignment

Complete Assignment Feedback Form


Week 5

Exploring Psychological Perspectives in Adult Education

1, 4, 6

Online Readings -


* NOTE: Those contracting for an "A" or "B", the annotated bibliography is due by midnight Sunday, CST of Week 5

"Gender Differences" Cohort ONLY:
Submit Project to Instructor

Complete "psychological" component of the Contextual Checklist

Complete Exchange Assignment

Complete Assignment Feedback Form

Week 6

Gender Differences

1, 4, 6

Online Guest Panel

Audio is located in Week 6 Lecture


"Ethics and Spirituality" Cohort ONLY:
Submit Project to Instructor

Contextual "gender" component of the Contextual Checklist

Complete Exchange Assignment

Complete Assignment Feedback Form

Week 7

Ethics and the Spiritual Perspective

1, 4, 6

Online Readings -

Spirituality in Adult and Higher Education by Elizabeth J. Tisdell

Adult Moral Development, Experience and Education by Sheryl Armon

Complete Research Paper during Week 7 (the final paper is due no later than Sunday, midnight CST)

Complete "ethics" component of the Contextual Checklist

Complete Exchange Assignment

Complete Assignment Feedback Form

Week 8

Synthesis and Reflection

4, 6

 Online Readings -

Development and Learning: Themes and Conclusions
by Rosemary S. Caffarella & M. Carolyn Clark

Submit COMPLETED, cumulative Contextual Checklist to dropbox

Proctored Final Project - Short answer essay
(Submit Cumulative Contextual Checklist)


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 2007-2008 Graduate Catalog Page 24-26


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 2007-2008 Graduate Catalog Page 24-26

In this course plagiarism is viewed dimly and harshly. A first offense will be noted with a requirement to re-write within 24 hours. Any further offense may result in failure on the assignment OR failure in the course. Students are urged to be extremely familiar with APA 5th edition with respect to proper attribution of non-original works.

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 2007-2008 Graduate Catalog Page 28

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: http://www.park.edu/disability .


This material is protected by copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:10/24/2007 8:08:38 AM