Midwest LEND Consortiums Collaborative Quality Improvement Planning Project

September 4, 2014

Developing and Delivering Curriculum for the Adult Learner was chosen as the target area for the Midwest LEND Consortium's Collaborative Quality Improvement Planning Project, supported by TA funding through AUCD.   The profile of the "typical" LEND trainee is changing, with more non-traditional, older students who have developed more real-life skills and have more and richer life experiences. In addition, the expectations of all trainees is that their LEND training experience will be shared and participatory.  Thus, this project aims to help LEND programs move from the one-way delivery of information from the "sage on the stage" to the "inexperienced student" to a curriculum that strengthens interdisciplinary training by integrating the experiences of the trainee as well as the trainer and provides a richer learning experience for trainees and faculty alike.

Eighteen LEND faculty from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota met in Kansas City on July 16-17 for an "Effective Adult Learning" workshop, facilitated by Alexis Petri, EdD, the Director of Interdisciplinary Training at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Institute for Human Development. The first day of the workshop focused on the characteristics of the adult learner, including adult learning theories, motivation, barriers to participation and the implications for teaching adults in college classroom and professional development settings.   On the second day, participants discussed the adult learning environment and examined strategies for facilitating adult learning, including action learning, experiential learning, project based learning, and self-directed learning.   As a follow up to the workshop, the Midwest LEND Consortium is collaborating on strategies to infuse adult learning theory into current curricula and to develop at least one joint participatory training activity for use by individual training programs or by larger groups, such as the regional LEND Consortium meeting or other national training events.