As the author describes at the beginning of Creating Courses for Adults, "The big idea of this book is that education for adults has to be designed." Whether in basic skills training, English language classes, professional development workshops, personal interest courses, or formal degree programs, good teaching tends to conceal all the planning and decisions which had to be made in order to present participants with a seamless and coherent process for learning. The author posits that nobody is a completely intuitive teacher and that everybody has to make a series of choices as they put courses together. The decisions they make are important and far-reaching, and deserve to be considered carefully.
Starting with the three core factors which must be taken into account when creating courses, Creating Courses for Adults walks readers through a manageable process for addressing the key decisions which must be made in order to design effective learning.
- Instructor factors are what the teacher brings to the teaching and learning process, such as experience and preferences.
- Learner factors are the influences that students bring with them, including their past experiences and expectations for the class.
- Context factors include the educational setting, whether in-person or online, as well as the subject matter.
Readers of Creating Courses for Adults will learn a systematic approach to lesson and course design based on research into the ways adults learn and the best ways to reach them, along with pointers and tips for teaching adults in any setting.