At last, after four years, I have completed my academic journey in the Adult Learning program. And what an amazing four years it has been! Earning two graduate degrees back-to-back is no easy feat, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The learning I’ve come away with is immense and continues to fuel my thirst for more. This week marks the end of an era, but by no means the end of my adventures in adult education and human resource development. The learning I’ve gained from this program has given me great insight and allowed me to make many valuable connections. I am especially excited to apply what I’ve learned toward enhancing my work. For instance, I am currently using skills obtained from Research Methods in Education (EDUS 660), Change Strategies for HRD Practitioners (ADLT 625), the Adult Learning Capstone course (ADLT 636), etc. to conduct a needs assessment and analyze employee satisfaction data within the Office of Instruction and Student Success at VCU. I love the feeling of being able to give back some of what I’ve taken away from this program!
Here are a few of the main highlights of my experience:
1) I have learned that reflection is key. Reflecting on new learning allows me to draw meaningful connections and make sense out of it. If I don’t take the time to reflect, I feel like I’m missing something.
2) Blogging really does help to facilitate reflective thought, particularly by initiating dialogue with others. I am so happy I had the opportunity to participate in ADLT 641 (Exploration of Digital Media) before graduating, as this course really helped blogging “click” for me.
3) I now have a much firmer grasp on the principles of andragogy and a better understanding of how adults learn. Having an academic background in adolescent education before beginning this program was interesting. I found that while there are certainly some similarities (i.e. the importance of hands-on, meaningful learning tasks), adult educational theories call for some different sorts of facilitation skills from those required of secondary educators. Quite simply– the needs of adult learners are a bit different from the needs of middle and high schoolers.
4) Helping others to help themselves is one of the most beneficial things that I can do as an HRD practitioner.
5) The technological tools and resources available to us are virtually limitless! ADLT 641 opened up a whole new world for me to explore in this arena.
To read more about my many and varied experiences in the Adult Learning program, I invite you to check out these “blog highlights“!
Before closing, I would like to express how grateful I am to VCU for offering a tuition waiver benefit to full-time employees. Without that assistance, my goal could not have been so easily reached. I am very fortunate to have the luxury of taking classes at no charge. I hope to take more classes in future! But first, I think a little breather might be in order. 😉
And now, without further adieu– my digital story: