"If you had the opportunity to learn from students in teacher training, what kinds of questions would you ask?"
In the "Discussion of Learner Leadership" hosted on the Adult Literacy Professional Development Discussion List (formerly known as NIFL-AALPD), teachers listed several questions that they would ask of adult learners either during a teacher training, or in preparation for a teacher training.
Questions: (with an option to pass on any, to submit answers anonymously, and with a copy of the list of questions provided for them to take home, ponder, share).
- "How do you learn material or any task best?"
- "What keeps you coming to class?"
- "What are the [learning] motivations of adults in your situation?"
- "How does the teacher fit into your idea of accomplishing the goals you have set in your life?"
- "How can I provide resources for you and stay out of your way while you strive to accomplish your goals?"
- "What can I do better to help you learn and stay with the program until you reach your goals?"
- "Is the material interesting?"
- "What do you find most/least appealing about the program you are in?"
- "What is the number one reason why you are attending this training today?"
- "Try to recall a moment / an experience in an adult classroom when something or someone surprised you (positively or negatively). Write as many details as possible about that experience -"
- "Try to recall a moment/ an experience in an adult classroom that was negative [and repeat the question for positive -- or approach it with a "best /worst" or "frustration/success"] for you in some way -- write as many details as possible about it..."
- "Describe, with as many details as possible, what would be to you an "ideal" adult education classroom -- consider size, cost, location, equipment, # of students/teachers, time of class, length of class semesters/sessions, etc.)"
- "Describe, with as much detail as possible, an effective teacher... an in-effective teacher."
- "Do you think you would learn better if you had a learning partner or small team (someone that you would be regularly required to meet and work with on the same problem(s)-- or do you think you would accomplish more if you were assigned to work independently? WHY ? [If you answer partner/team, would your answer be the same if it were a partner/team chosen by someone else or only if YOU chose the partner/team?] WHY?"
- "What has been one of the easiest assignments or project or tests you have succeeded with during the past year? What has been one of the most difficult (or most distressing) assignments or projects or tests you have not felt as successful in during the past year? Can you explain why? Do you feel you were offered an option /a suggestion / an opportunity as to how to change the results? Explain. (If your answer is No, do you feel you should have/ could have been? Explain)"
- "Has there been a time, IN CLASS, where you have felt that a teacher was not qualified / not prepared to adequately explain something? Describe with as much detail as you can recall."
- "What educational qualifications do you think should be required for an adult educator? Why?"
- "Describe a good learner. Describe a good teacher. Compare your lists -- are they the same?? WHY? / Why not?"
- "List the responsibilities of an effective, qualified teacher. List the responsibilities of an effective learner. Compare your lists -- are they the same? Why / Why not?"
- "Do you use email and if yes, how often do you use email? (repeat Internet)"
- "Online course ("blended" course possibilities) -- Do you think you would benefit from a program that began with and involved continuing minimal but routine face-to-face interaction and support, but with the majority of interaction and assignments and feedback occurring via website and email? Why / Why not? Would you be interested in trying participation in such an endeavor? Why or why not? Do you think it would be fair to charge the same fee (or less or more) for such a course? Why or why not?"
- "What was the most valuable part of today's training for you? (why?)"
- "What was the least valuable part of today's training for you? (why?)"
- "Would you be interested in attending another training? If yes, what would you like to see different (# of people attending, location, topics, length, demographics of people invited to attend, etc.)"
- "Would you recommend a similar workshop/training experience to/for all of the other learners in the most recent class you attended? Why / why not? What might you change about a future training opportunity?"