Adult learners and faculty preferences for teaching methods: a comparative case study





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Adult Learners and Faculty Preferences for Teaching Methods: A Comparative Case Study examined undergraduate adult students' preferences for teaching methods among a set of ten methods in an organizational leadership program at a small Christian University. The ten teaching methods suggested by literature on adult learning were (a) in-class simulations (b) lectures (c) guest lecturers (d) movie clips (e) peer reviews (f) power point presentations (g) free-flowing discussions (h) writing case studies and reflection papers (i) problem-solving organizational leadership scenarios in small groups and (j) entire classes online. A second focus of the study was on what teaching methods faculty currently used in teaching the same adult students in the study. The adult undergraduate students in this study preferred to learn by in-class simulations, free-flowing discussions, guest lecturers, and movie clips. They did not prefer reflective writing, peer reviews and entire classes online. The faculty's preferred teaching methods overlapped the adult students' preferences. They were free-flowing discussions, writing case studies and reflection papers, movie clips, and power point presentations. But faculty incorporated more reflective writing and peer review of writing than students desired. The three themes that emerged from the study from both faculty and students' comments were the importance of building relationships, collaborative learning, and practical applications within the adult classroom.

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