Share
Andrea Cebula
Educational Consultant At Adobe Systems

Week 1, Professional Development Design, Your Experience as a Learner

Before we begin to explore best practices in adult learning, let's take a moment to reflect on out own experience as adult learners. Reflect on the questions below and share your thoughts with your fellow course members: 

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?


Ratings
5 / 5 • 33 Ratings

Comments (190)

Write a reply...
or Join for free to view all comments and participate in the discussion.

stephanie dicken

Posted on 4/2/15 7:45:40 PM Permalink

Marrying my husband and learning how to communicate effectively. Least effective experience as an adult learner would be.........hmm, still thinking about that.

steve kong

Posted on 3/16/15 5:19:00 PM Permalink

The most meaningful learning experience was to see how I was learning would be applicable in the classroom. Finding the connection to practice rather than theory in how I could use the PD to help my students is always the most powerful motivator to learning. The least effective experience is when the trainer literally goes off a set power point with no interactivity. Rather than allowing participants to become active, they are relegated to being passive participants who sit through a slide show of "training."

Tanya Hopper

Posted on 3/12/15 6:41:10 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful? What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

In pursuit of my Bachelors, I experienced traditional college semester long classrooms, as well as the shortened 5 week, one class at a time, online learning modality. I really appreciated the focus on team work and collaboration that the later provided. Knowing that your grade is partially dependent on your classmates productivity, tends to provide excellent motivation for accomplishing tasks in a timely manner, and allows room for the voice of individual creativity.
I do have to say though, that my most meaningful learning experience has been the last few weeks on the Adobe Education Exchange. I have considered myself a Photoshop power user for years, and I am humbled every time I learn a new shortcut or use of a tool I had not thought of doing before.
To be immersed in such a creative group of people is empowering. I have taken very little time for personal creative growth in my focus on my design career. I'm always working on projects for other people and clients, never for myself. Adobe offers a constructive platform for bringing out the best in people, and I'm loving the exchanges and getting to know the people who interact with AEX.
I recently enrolled to complete a masters in educational technology. Although the classes are packed with a lot of useful information, I find myself becoming bored and easily distracted. Took this semester off to regroup and rethink the educational path that I chose.

Carolyn Daigre

Posted on 3/10/15 5:11:22 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

My most meaningful learning experience as an adult is when I engage to learn on my own. When I am required to learning for which I have no interest, it is a task for me. I procrastinate until the last minute to complete work and assignments. What makes it meaningful is that I take the learning experience into my own hands. I make the extra effort to learn additional information and am more productive.


What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

My least effective experience as an adult learner has been when I take online courses and course information is presented as a memorization process. The learning environment consists of old information and it appears to be a task to achieve course objectives.

Andreas Freiberger

Posted on 3/5/15 11:52:18 PM Permalink

I am a visual person - learing by doing. when the instructors demonstrates examples and ways how to work.
I disapprove only reading from presentation slides.

Don Hoye

Posted on 3/5/15 6:02:06 PM Permalink

most meaningful?..that would be a 300 pound drill Sargent standing over me screaming to give him 100 pushups.

least effective?....that would be a 300 pound drill Sargent standing over me screaming to give him 100 pushups.

i guess the takeaway for me is that effective and meaningful can be mutually exclusive

Kim Sandford

Posted on 3/3/15 9:37:47 PM Permalink

I have a hard time sitting and listening without writing down notes or learning something hands-on. I think maybe that's why I teach technology. :) I believe the most meaningful learning for me is when I am challenged creatively. That's the area that I am least confident and the area that I usually struggle.

Lynne Tilley

Posted on 3/3/15 6:33:50 PM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experiences are those that I can learn with my hands on and that seem to be useful to me. These experiences are meaningful because I can "see" how to accomplish what I feel that I need to know and do. The lease effective experiences are those that are just listening to a "talking head". These are ineffective because I lose interest in them and they are not "showing" me how to do what I want.

David Knott

Posted on 3/3/15 12:20:39 PM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experiences were "learning by doing" tasks that I did when I bought my first desktop computer. By using simple word processing, spreadsheet, database and image editing applications I could be much more creative with the materials that I could use in my teaching and administration.

My least effective learning experiences have been "lecture hall" professional development presentations in which there was little or no relevance to the existing tasks I had to perform. Also, there was little incentive to put the presented skills into practice, nor was there any follow-up support.

Chad Perry

Posted on 3/1/15 4:46:03 PM Permalink

My most meaningful experience as an adult learner was having to teach Adobe software in workshops. I had to develop hands-on lessons that all of the students could practice. It required me to demonstrate a tool or two and then apply it.

Paula Droddy

Posted on 2/26/15 7:25:38 PM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experience as an adult would probably be the manual I used while studying for the Technology Applications educator certificate. I used it in conjunction with the programs that I had previously been teaching to myself. I learned so much during that time and it built a foundation for much more learning over the past three years.

It would be really difficult to weed through the acres of meaningless "professional development" I have sat through in 9 years of teaching. I will just say that I hope this training prevents me from ever making those same mistakes.

Paula Droddy

Posted on 2/26/15 7:23:29 PM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experience as an adult would probably be the manual I used while studying for the Technology Applications educator certificate. I used it in conjunction with the programs that I had previously been teaching to myself. I learned so much during that time and it built a foundation for much more learning over the past three years.

It would be really difficult to weed through the acres of meaningless "professional development" I have sat through in 9 years of teaching. I will just say that I hope this training prevents me from ever making those same mistakes.

Susan Mobley

Posted on 2/25/15 5:54:16 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

The most meaningful learning work expeience has been watching a YouTube video and being able to stop the video at anytime while i practice on another screen

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

My least effective learning experience is any type of lecture. I get easily distracted and will start working on a list of things I need to do or buy.

B Greer

Posted on 2/25/15 6:09:34 AM Permalink

The most meaning learning experience for me as an adult learner was Edu Law graduate course, simple because it was very relevant to my career. It held a deeply rooted purpose that induce a great number of debates and social awakenings.

The least effective will always be that that professional development in which you simply sit and listen with tons of hand out that has nothing to do with your content area.


Megan Deaton

Posted on 2/23/15 8:20:42 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

I have always had better luck with learning while I'm doing something. As an adult, I would say the most meaning learning experience is when I took a Drupal course in DC. Even though some of the things we discussed were not relevant to me because our website at work hides behind CAS. So some of the things I couldn't do on our site. But the instructor gave us real life examples and hands on instruction for a few days. It was quite beneficial.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

Last year I took a class that was supposed to prepare me for the Microsoft Office Specialist exam. It did no such thing. It was an online course and the instructor talked the whole time zipping through various features. The class was geared more towards how to use *insert Microsoft application* on a basic level. I got nothing from it as we didn't have anything to follow along with it was just sit at your computer, listen, and watch.


Renee Sarmiento

Posted on 2/23/15 2:49:13 AM Permalink

My most effective learning experiences as an adult continue to be interactive, hands-on, collaborative assignments. While I see myself as an independent learner, I do like to be "walked" through new or unfamiliar tasks. Among my best learning experiences are definitely these courses (thought at times challenging); and the fast-paced PLNs developed on social media.

My least effective learning experiences are district professional development sessions in which we are expected to sit and listen to a trainer "lecture" with very little opportunity for engagement or to see how can I bring this back to my classroom.

JOHN CARTER III

Posted on 2/23/15 1:13:52 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?
My most effective learning experience(s) have allowed me to demonstrate the subject matter in conjunction with actual knowledge based (lecture) components. I retained much more of the lecture because I saw it being used and I was able to aply with instand project- based learning.
What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?
My least effective learning experience(s) have always occurred in lecture based atmospheres with no hand on activity. There was no opportunity to interact with and ask questions with the expert of the subject.

Katie Morgan

Posted on 2/20/15 6:39:37 PM Permalink

One of the most meaningful learning experiences I have had as an adult was an Adobe Generation Video course. I enjoyed it so much, Each course was five sessions long, with one live, online session per week lasting 90 minutes. All the sessions were recorded, so if you missed the live event you could watch it again at a time that suits you. (This happened a lot with me because I often leave work late!). Each week you were set a piece of work to complete and there were weekly prizes awarded for the best work submitted. What was really special about this course was the people running the course who did the live sessions, they were so natural and it felt as if you were part of community, there were also some fantastic practitioners who were live each week who discussed their work - this was a great insight. I still have a tingly feeling when I think about this course - I loved it so much because they got it spot on, so far it's one of the best online courses that I have taken!

The least effective experience I have had is an online training session about safeguarding at work that took hours and hours to complete and was so ineffective, I didn't learn anything, and also an online course that just sent me a pdf and that was it..... I don't know how they could even call it an online course, there was no interaction, just an email with this one pdf...

roel ligterink

Posted on 2/20/15 7:52:31 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult?

Practical lessons with lots of examples and resources such as videos and reference books.

What made it meaningful?

Through missions themselves to get started, you will learn the mistakes made and you can find solutions that can be learned by students in practice.

What was your least effective experience as a mature student?

Dry verbal lessons that fly through the dust and no examples of giving orders.

Why was it not effective?

Too much information that are not directly linked to jobs.

dan aylesworth

Posted on 2/20/15 4:22:48 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful? Learning that I am more than just my economic input or what material possessions I have or how much salary I am earning was the most meaningful adult lesson that I've learned. I believe it was meaningful because I had to let go of past ways of viewing myself and the world and when I followed my intuition what I needed to learn and the learning were quite unique to my own self. Kind of like a course just for one person...although I know that I'm no unique is this journey.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?
I was enrolled in a Masters Cohort that I signed up for while I was teaching in a High School classroom. It was an intensive curriculum for reading instruction and each week material was presented and material needed to be turned in. The pace on some of the material, I needed more time with but the course really didn't allow for this and I felt several members of the cohort were interested in the endorsement or completing the course as a first priority. Also, implementing the new teaching ideas at the school I was working with was difficult. There were members of the administration not open or fully on board with the teaching methodology and I was released from my teaching position. Tough one!

Tiff Shaw

Posted on 2/19/15 3:53:37 PM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experiences as an adult have been hands on and relevant, such as when I work on film crews making independent films in the summers. These experiences make me a better filmmaker and I take back real skills to teach my students in similar ways.

My least effective experience as an adult learner is every time we have someone come to "train" us and they make us sit and listen to them read word for word off a Powerpoint presentation. It is ineffective because the lights are low, the heat is up, the time is during a workshop after a long week of teaching and there is little to no authentic interaction between the presenter and the audience. Plus I feel my time is being wasted. I can read. If a presenter isn't going to add more than is in the slides, just give me the slides and I can read it myself in less time and move on to more meaningful experiences.

Nancy Oliver

Posted on 2/17/15 2:04:32 AM Permalink

The most meaningful learning experiences occurred in my sophomore chemistry class. The teacher was sold out on what he was teaching and he loved all the students. If you were willing to try he would meet you half way with a good grade. I loved that. I did a ton of extra credit work and while it wasn't my best grades I loved it.

The least effective experience is our yearly online ethics training. Absolutely horrible.

Ryan Archer

Posted on 2/16/15 10:40:54 PM Permalink

I can't really pick a meaningful experience "out of the hat" right now but I find the best ones are a collaborative approach where the trainer is a 'guide on the side' as opposed to the 'sage on the stage'. Allowing creative freedom but also setting key objectives and goals and allowing me to go crazy and explore the tools and explore my creativity to achieve the desired outcome. Again I love collaborative approaches as they extend my creativity so much more.

Least effective experience is where the teacher/trainer has not demonstrated much guidance at all. Is not excited when they present (dull reading from a script) and then sends students to do web tutorials without even engaging with them much.

Megan Townes

Posted on 2/16/15 8:25:36 PM Permalink

The most meaningful learning experiences for me always involve seeing the learning in action and having conversations with the learners and instructors involved. For this reason, I found the poster sessions and playground sessions at ISTE extremely valuable. I made sure I attended as many as possible, took lots of photos and video, had countless conversations and kept a list of links and ideas on my phone. Of course, having the time to go back and revisit those ideas and links is important but because I had so many great conversations and saw so many amazing things, I often think, "Oooh, I saw that at ISTE" and I can go back and reference my notes and photos, and recall ideas. More than 6 months later, the ideas are still inspiring me.

The least effective experience was probably every lecture I ever attended at university, if I turned up ;)

Alan Humbert

Posted on 2/16/15 12:50:27 AM Permalink


What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

The most meaningful experiences have been the two, week long tv production teachers' workshops I have taken with the Academy of Scholastic Broadcasting in Springfield, MO. We were immersed in creating tv productions, similar to what we have our students do, and it was totally hand-on.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

Having an instructor read power points, point by point, for an hour straight.

Sandra H

Posted on 2/11/15 6:42:25 PM Permalink

The most meaningful learning experiences for me are when activities are relevant and immediate, when the instructor allows for variation and individual creativity, and when the instructor always finds something positive to say about your work. Negative experiences happen for me when activities are not well designed and the students doesn't see how it fits into the scheme of what they are learning.

Suzanne Arnott

Posted on 2/11/15 11:06:08 AM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experience was learning Flash. It was meaningful because it was something I had to get my head around in order to teach it... it was like learning a foreign language... and I knew I had "clicked" when I started dreaming the answers to problems I needed to solve... making a fish swim back and forth in an animated tank. The coding became a new language... I used parts of my brain I wasn't used to... I was so excited to have the ability to understand and interpret the language, and be able to use it to inspire my students. I wanted to learn, I had some face to face training , with paced clear tasks, I knew what the goals were and was able to continue the learning process in my own time.

I have experienced several less meaningful opportunities .. so meaningless I can't remember what they were about... the "teachers" were not clear in what they wanted achieved, the timing was at the end of a busy teaching day, there was no apparent "need" for what we were being instructed in...

Eileen MacAvery

Posted on 2/10/15 3:17:29 AM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experiences as an adult are when I have interaction with the professor and feel challenged.

My least meaningful learning experience has been when I've been operating in a vacuum and receive no feedback or input on my progress, or help.

Saif Smeirat

Posted on 2/9/15 8:55:21 PM Permalink

Great discussion Andrea, Thank you for it

In my point of view and also as an architect ,I think it is important to have a dialogue between students, talk and discussed some of the mistakes and experience and take advantage of, This will enhance presentation skills to me and also for students

Ed Bonhaus

Posted on 2/9/15 7:07:53 PM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experiences occur when I have a vested interest in what's being taught, and I have a chance to practice what I'm being taught. As far as a specific learning experience, I would have to go back to my geometry class my sophomore year in high school. I had never understood, nor could I remember, all of the geometrical formulas for area, perimeter, angles, etc. My geometry teacher that year brought the course to life by bringing in real examples and objects that finally helped me understand it and gave me a purpose for understanding it.

My least meaningful learning experiences would be all of the endless faculty meetings, or annual training sessions that go over stuff I already know how to do and am proficient at myself. These experiences are why I'm such a big proponent of differentiated learning for teachers.

mireille massue

Posted on 2/9/15 7:22:09 PM Permalink

Hello Ed

What you wrote about meaningful learning experiences occurring when you have a vested interest in what's being taught and you have a chance to practice it resonates strongly with me. I live in the corporate world and I offer pilot projects for fun projects like create a card for valentine's day (since it's coming up) or when there is an event that is coming up like Run for the Cure -- people want to learn about photography or graphic editing . The deal is they learn for something they are interested in and I get them to brainstorm ideas and do something for learning manuals on topics that will help them succeed.

My sister who teaches at risk kids in a high school is also very big on differentiated learning. Since I'm focusing on Photoshop Elements 12/13 I'm looking for interesting printable, ideas to help her. I'm offering to do a lot of the graphics since I'm learning PSE 13 and I need the practice.

Re endless faculty meetings - ditto that as well :)

Mireille Massue

James Adkins

Posted on 2/8/15 7:52:26 AM Permalink

Most meaningful experience was an experience I had with an old college history professor. The reason it became meaningful is the manner in which he refused to conform to the expected norms of the box, and was not afraid to express his true self. Few examples: rolling canon balls through doors to show impact result, firing a black power musket out of the second story window, ( was a blank and back in the 1990s), firing rockets off in the quad for wv history and rocket boys. He encouraged creative expression and thinking within all lessons, thus making learning memorable.

Least: online graduate education course: teacher was always wrong in quoting material, very opinionated, and never understanding of a different viewpoint or route of getting to the correct conclusion.

Richard Wood

Posted on 2/7/15 11:10:37 PM Permalink

My most effective learning experience was a 45 min telephone conversation with a film producer when I had just graduated from University. She gave me a masterclass one to one in getting my first start in a busy media industry. My least effective learning experience was myself in not taking the producers golden ticket and calling up a contact she gave me. I managed to get into the industry another way a few years later but I realised what the person gave me was they listened and guided me as to what I need to do. So now I tend to give students and anyone else the same attention if they show a passion for it.

Luke Sequeira

Posted on 2/7/15 8:44:50 PM Permalink

My most effective learning experience as an adult was at the age of 22 if you want to consider that adulthood. I was studying with a guitar teacher in Nashville who had a completely unorthodox style than what I had traditionally experienced from music teachers...Though our lessons were only for 60minutes lessons would often extend for 2-3 hrs. Sometimes I would learn a seemingly complicated technique from him and he would sit with me until I nailed it and than exclaim "see, that's all that is." His ability to simplify complex technique into digestible bits was amazing. What truly made the lessons powerful is that he would sit with you through your mistakes until you nailed it making incremental suggestions on form or efficiency. Each moment would feel like a win. I began to fully understand that being bad at something was the only sure fire way to get good at something. This experience was meaningful because I had not encountered this teaching style before where everything was communicated aurally though I know that this is the dominant method in Indian Classical music. Mind blowing!
I took some classes at Northwestern a few years after I completed by undergraduate degree and of the 5 classes I took 2/5 were just absolute crap. Not that I didn't learn anything but the methods of the instructors were so archaic..Both taught by MBA's. I should have known better but at the time I was open to anything. I just felt like there were so many meaningful and dynamic ways to convey the information and group work and they defaulted to the easiest least engaging. Granted I still learned a lot and enjoyed the classes...I just felt a bit slighted given the cost of education. The classes were ineffective b/c they were essentially just taught directly from the text without much else. This is understandable to an extent but the classes just dragged on.

Nelli Levental

Posted on 2/6/15 7:18:50 PM Permalink

The most meaningful learning experience by far for me, was "speedy" English learning when I moved to US 24 years ago. I had some theoretical knowledge from years of having English as a foreign language in school, but we all know how minimal that experience is from the practical use point of view. Anyway, I had to speak, understand and talk on the phone (OMG) right from the beginning and after couple months of excruciating headache I was able to do all of that. Why? I had no other choice.

The least effective experience was preparing and passing the TOEFL exam. I consumed the enormous amount of unfamiliar words that I retained for as long as I needed to pass the test, and shortly after it was all gone because almost none of those words are used on the daily basis.

Jenifer Pickens

Posted on 2/5/15 5:44:31 PM Permalink

Most meaningful: Quilting camp, because everything was well paced, something I was interested in, and did not make assumptions. Also the instructor was graceful.
Least meaningful: Two day tech conference. Was supposed to be state of the art practices for classrooms. Tech was not working, most of it was outdated, and the instructors did not have a good handle on the materials they were presenting.

Ramon Villa

Posted on 2/5/15 2:57:41 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

Taking an Intro to Cinema class. It really introduced the concepts of storytelling that I was fascinated by.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

A teacher without passion. I'd rather read a textbook if the teacher can't show me some passion about the material.


Najet Batnini

Posted on 2/4/15 3:10:33 PM Permalink

I am a very visual and hands on person. I like it when the instructor demonstrates all in clear steps to follow with easy understandable instructions.

I disapprove of instructors who only read from presentation slides.

Basim Assaf

Posted on 2/4/15 4:48:23 AM Permalink

I can think of many good learning experiences, but I would choose two that used different approaches. The first was a weekend course given by a company that sells developing chemicals for color printing. The course was called Bessler color developing and printing. It was a hand on approach that include practical showing of how to use drums to make color printing. The course included some audio visuals and pamphlets in addition to the practical approach.

The second one was a few days course given by Kodak given in their headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., dealing with scientific and medical photography. The course was meaningful because it was given by experts in the field. It included very useful and detailed handouts, and extensive demonstrations in their professional labs.

An e-learning course that was designed just like the printed textbook, but with added ability to send text messages to some assigned teaching assistants. The design should include interactivity, multimedia and collaboration.


Anne Paine

Posted on 2/4/15 3:56:09 AM Permalink

My most memorable adult experience in the classroom was when the instructor gave us a problem and as a group we were able to solve the problem with some coaching from the instructor. It was wonderful. The collaboration and the challenge of the assignment were meant to bring out our creativity.

The worst experience was and still on occasion to have an instructor read all of the bullets on a PowerPoint slide word by word.

Randy Rawlins

Posted on 2/4/15 2:15:06 AM Permalink

The learning experience that I can recall that was most meaningful in my adult years was a graduate class with an instructor that really understood the subject matter. Her lessons were truly engaging and well thought out. They were interactive and forced us all to be creative and much more collaborative then any of us would have been outside of this particular class. Not only did I learn the class content, but I made it my mission to remember, and someday model, her instructional format and expert handle of Knowles theory of andragogy. I was very impressed.


Laura Poveromo

Posted on 2/3/15 7:59:16 PM Permalink

One of the most meaningful learning experiences as an adult was when I attended a Kagan training. Being able to brainstorm ideas on how to implement Kagan strategies in the classroom with fellow teachers and participating in Kagan structures were the most meaningful.

One of my least meaningful learning experiences as an adult was when I attended a training that was rushed due to time constraints. The training lacked opportunities to process and discuss the strategies being taught.

Jay Wielkie

Posted on 2/3/15 6:12:47 PM Permalink

My best learning experiences have always been when I have had the opportunity to apply what I am learning in the safety of the classroom. There I can make my mistakes, learn from them, and then create the revision.

My least effective learning environment has been when the instructor is reading to me what I can read on my own. I fell this is a waste of my time and I tend to shut out the instruction. On the flip side of that, I know I can produce what the instructor wants with little effort. I am not challenged to synthesize information, but rather regurgitate it.

Sandra Webb

Posted on 2/3/15 6:03:51 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

My most meaningful learning experience as an adult was a workshop I attended regarding the use of Google apps in education. It was meaningful because it addressed issues that I dealt with as a teacher and tech. It was relevant to my job.The trainer provided visuals and hands-on activities that helped me to retain the information I learned there, but enabled me to continue learning on my own after I returned to work.


What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

I attended a training on how to use an application on the ipad to make flash cards. There were no ipads to practice on, it was presented on a handout, and the instructor didn't relate how the flash cards would be beneficial to my lesson plans. It was not effective.

Much later, after the bad taste left my mouth, I looked at the application and found some useful tools that were beneficial and shared them with my fellow teachers during a training. We worked together in a group using our Ipads to make vocabulary and picture flash cards for our different subjects - it was at that point it became effective.


Charlene Turman

Posted on 2/2/15 9:40:38 PM Permalink

I find meaningful learning for myself to consist of blended learning. I like to be shown the activity, what the completed activity should look like and time to work on it while having support around.

I have found the least effective to be educators giving training who do not have a background or understanding of adult learning principles.

Benny Villarreal

Posted on 2/2/15 2:38:54 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful

I am all hands-on person. I like when instructors creates easy to follow instructions so I can complete a project or assignment.

The least effective is when the instructor assumes you know how things works. When the instructions are hard to understand, it makes it difficult to learn.



Samantha Spencer

Posted on 2/2/15 6:36:50 AM Permalink

I learn well by doing, so I enjoy instructors who give some basic guidelines or resources and then assign a project. That way I am not learning in a bubble. I think my most meaningful learning experience as an adult was learning to play an instrument from resources on the internet.

My least effective experience as an adult learner were the times in my master's program where skills were being taught that were already a part of my knowledge base. I think it's important that learning is challenging.

David McGill

Posted on 2/1/15 10:13:59 PM Permalink

My adult experiences that have been meaningful most often include problem solving, that is resolving a circumstance or effort that I find personally significant toward facilitating my projects as an educator and designer.

Although basic, "how to" learning can be instructional, application generates more meaningful experiences.

Ginelle Hustrulid

Posted on 2/1/15 9:17:28 PM Permalink

Realizing that one is still capable of learning, evolving and changing as an adult is one of the most important things I have realized as an adult. Traveling throughout the world and learning that people are generally the same, that your only limits are communication, and that this communication can be done and experienced in many ways.

The least effective moments are those where people are instructing you or telling you what to do or how to do it. This creates resistance and rebellion which shuts down the learning process. I appreciate moments and direction that encourage interactive learning experiences, hands on projects, and supportive learning environments.

Suzy Linstrom

Posted on 2/1/15 2:46:43 PM Permalink

I consider myself a lifelong learner and am always tring to learn new things. The best experiences are those combined with a hands-on component. In order to make new learning stick, I have to be able to use it and work with it right away. Likewise, the worst experiences are trainings that have no hands-on component, delivery is a dry lecture with no handouts and it's something that I won't be able to share with my staff for at least 3 months down the road. In those instances, I have to re-train myself all over again before I can present it to my staff.

Christina Steel

Posted on 2/1/15 1:55:25 AM Permalink

I'm not quite sure what to do with this because I'm not sure how "adult learner" is being defined. Is this a college student? Someone in the workplace? Does my Ph.D. qualify? I can answer this in a more generic sense though: my best learning experiences occur when I am challenged and doing something truly new to me. Ideally, I prefer to have some guidance and then be left to explore. I'm a hands-off kind of person. This influences my worst educational experiences, too: as Randolph Lavery commented, I get very frustrated when people read to me off a projector (or a handout). I also find computer-based tutorials frustrating because I hate what feels like the snail's pace of "first click here, then click there..." I can figure out how to click on stuff. Tell me what the tools do and get out of my way, but be there if I have questions.

I know from experience I'm a solitary learner. I vastly prefer to do things on my own rather than with a group--my success or my failure is my responsibility, and I prefer that strongly. Part of the reason for that is that it enables me to drop into a state of hyperfocus, which is disrupted when I have to interact with others (if I'm just in a classroom, I can ignore them and still focus). I know I'm unusual in this regard but I also know that I am not alone; part of this preference has to do with how I was raised and the educational system that I encountered which still emphasized individual work rather than group work.

kiesha poole

Posted on 2/1/15 1:40:37 AM Permalink

I can not pinpoint exact moments, but I remember the feelings of meaning and frustrating experiences as an adult learner. My most meaning experiences as an adult learner came form classes where the teachers were knowledgeable and passionate about their subject matter. The teachers lectured and then required us to apply our new skills either by completing a project or through discussion. I responded well to professors who ran a tight ship and had clear expectations. I enjoyed learning with professors who were invested in their students learning. I always felt pushed to set the goals set by the teacher. Lastly my most positive experiences came from teachers who made me feel comfortable enough to take risks, ask questions, collaborate with others, step out of comfort zone and make mistakes.

I think my least effective moments are when the learning outcome is not clear, because then it feels like a waste of time. Also when teachers do not set clear standards and stick to them, although flexibility is required somethings should be set in stone. The real world has rules and standards and as adults we should be held to them. Finally the moments when professors give you that you should know that look, it makes you feel inadequate, I came there to learn teach me please.

Randolph Lavery

Posted on 1/31/15 8:00:37 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

Whenever I have a chance to do something as I am learning it I can consider it meaningful. It is then up to me to decide if it fits in my classroom or not but at least I have had a chance to experience it.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

Any time that someone is just reading information that they are presenting on a screen I consider that an ineffective method for me. I can read just fine all by myself, give me information that isn't already printed out.


Christina Steel

Posted on 2/1/15 1:56:02 AM Permalink

I agree with you! I can almost always justify something for learning, but I too am VERY frustrated with people reading the screen to me!

T King

Posted on 1/31/15 3:24:14 PM Permalink


Madra Ullrich

Posted on 1/31/15 2:21:33 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

The most meaningful learning experiences are the ones that I have learned by trial and error. In development you do not forget when you have made a mistake and the next time around you take every precaution needed so that you won’t make the same mistake twice. I guess it is on the old wise saying: “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

When you learn principles rather than practices. Just learning principle without applying them to something makes what you learned irrelevant to your life. Just talking without action is absolutely meaningless and a waste of time. Probably one of my greatest pet peeves is talking about something rather than getting it done at work. Unproductive (talking about it) vs. Productive (producing it).


Christina Steel

Posted on 2/1/15 1:57:40 AM Permalink

I think I understand your point about principles vs. practices. Don't just tell me to do something. I'm very poor at obeying instructions. Tell me WHY something is important (and it had better be a valid reason) so that I understand and I'm much more likely follow instructions!

Michelle Pacey

Posted on 1/31/15 10:36:14 AM Permalink

The least effective is very easy, seeing as I've just sat through 3 days of PD! 90 minutes of unbroken YouTube clips (of keynote speakers without showing the slides they were discussing); followed by bland PPT presentations delivered by people who then also have trouble with the technology (not always their fault).

Most effective learning: The content must be meaningful/relevant and engaging. The presenter must be personable. Ideally, the technology must be reliable.

Christina Steel

Posted on 2/1/15 2:03:05 AM Permalink

I'm very sympathetic to technology glitches. I'm very computer savvy and tech-oriented and it happens to me too, but I wholeheartedly agree with you about the presenter being personable!

Mohamed Mostafa

Posted on 1/30/15 7:42:27 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

i could easy train adults by focusing on work not to talk very much.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

the latest ineffective i could not control them to attend in class, they depended on the videos which i record in class.

Patrick Hourigan

Posted on 1/30/15 6:36:05 PM Permalink

Most meaningful - I can't say it was any one thing. Probably understanding that I could follow my own interests and not feel like I have to compromise. It's extremely liberating to be able to focus on what you love.

Least effective experience - Having a grad school professor insist we use the card catalog for research even though we all knew we could get better results through databases.

Amir George

Posted on 1/30/15 4:59:50 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful??
I would say it was definitely a PD I took once that was centered around youth trauma. It made me think of how to approach working with students keeping in mind that they experience alot of things outside of the classroom that effects their learning and development.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?
There have been some PD's that were not really effective, but I take every experience as a learning one.


Nikki Hensley

Posted on 1/30/15 4:48:37 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

The best was when I teacher who was teaching Domestic Violence said do not worry about your grade. If you come then we will get a good grade. She said I won't no stress about your grade I want you to focus on the material and learn. I know this doesn't work in all situations but I remember that class more than other classes.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

Lectures of just reading the materials or droning on and on. I don't focus or learn that way so it was ineffective.


Judith Wood

Posted on 1/30/15 3:18:41 PM Permalink

For me videos provide the best learning experience. It creates a self paced, non stressful way to absorb the knowledge. The resources and tools that this course is providing is excellent.

Probably my least effective experience has been taking a course taught by someone who doesn't have the practical experience. The textbook knowledge is not enough to stimulate and demonstrate skills.

Petra Perz

Posted on 1/30/15 11:20:05 AM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experience has been to accept life as a journey in which way you meet the good and the bad.The years lived made it meaningful.

I can't think of a least effective experience. I am one of those who think you always learn something if you are ready, alert or with your eyes wide open.

Neisha Leacock

Posted on 1/29/15 11:51:04 AM Permalink

Sadly, most of my adult learning experiences have been ineffective. These experiences (whether on-line or face-to-face) usually entailed training sessions which covered little to none of what I really needed to know to get my job done (and done well) and entailed loads of information which I didn't need to know. This seems to be the typical format for lots of training.

On the contrary, my most meaningful adult learning experience occurred during post baccalaureate certificate in instructional design. The content was authentic and relevant, so to were the discussions and assignments. I came through that program and at the end was able to understand how to apply what I'd learned.

Laura Vogel

Posted on 1/28/15 6:46:03 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful??
It's hard to pick just one, but generally the more meaningful experiences have been experiential. Whether it was a collaborative project, learning on the job and being thrown into something or taking a hands-on/project based assignment, the ones where I'm literally working through problems as they arise and engaging different approaches and possibilities are the most meaningful.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?
Also hard to articulate this, but I guess I'd say the ones that don't accommodate differentiated needs or don't adjust on the fly. When you're sitting in a training that is above or below your skill level but is too "canned" to have any leeway for questions those typically aren't helpful. When a workshop is "out of the box" and is more of a blanket info approach it tends to not be very relevant for diverse needs. Also, there have been times where facts are given, but not a "let me give you a real life example." Examples help paint a picture and provide food for thought on how things could be adapted for my needs.

Hubert Simon

Posted on 1/28/15 1:27:56 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

My most meaningful experience is when I can leave the workshop with new tools for my students. I like when the instructor can take me from where I am and give me added information or tools.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

I have had workshops that were not tailored for an adult audience. Workshops for teachers should be different from the content and process that I would use for my students.

Alberto Odor

Posted on 1/28/15 5:26:15 AM Permalink

It was also a MOOC, This one was supposed to teach how to create MOOCs, but the authors created such a complicated evaluation and peer work structure that the course crashed after two weeks and was closed.

Alberto Odor

Posted on 1/28/15 5:24:52 AM Permalink

I have taken several MOOCs, among them a Specialization in Data Science from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, consisting of NINE courses. It was tough and time consuming, but I'm now teaching that to my students.

Cynthia Manrrique

Posted on 1/28/15 3:24:58 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

The hands on learning has been the most meaningful for me. Perhaps because when I was taking online courses I had to figure things out on my own. Even though it was frustrating, it was made more meaningful because I would figure it out after trial and error and I also had my peers that were able to share and discuss the assignment at hand while learning from each other.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

Lectures are the worst unless the presenter gets you involved. Sometimes too much information in a lecture only remains in your brain for the time it's needed and soon forgotten, as opposed to hands-on, involved activities.


Helen Castanedo

Posted on 1/28/15 3:17:11 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful? Professional learning that has been primarily based on student or group discussion and tasks while focusing on an authentic purpose ie. to be used effectively in the classroom or work situation.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective? I have been exposed to a huge amount of useless professional learning as a teacher involving listening to powerpoints or someone lecturing to a class and is too easily forgotten.


John Bimmerle

Posted on 1/28/15 3:10:46 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

Easily this was my work for my Master's Degree. Being that it was all online and 9 of the 12 classes were based on Tech products, so learning them without a teacher to help answer questions I was able to learn how to find help in other ways. There is a lot to be said about being thrown in the deep end of the pool and having to figure out how to swim on your own. This has helped me a ton in my new role with my school district.


What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

In each class we had weekly assignments that had to be turned in. This was done to help us keep pace and give us a chance to get feedback from the teacher, but the actual assignment of a few screenshots from our work was a waste of time. I felt like I had to prove I was doing something and did not appreciate having to do so. Of course it was a necessary part of a course, but I felt like I wasted time preparing that when I could have been doing valid work toward my continued growth with the software.


Cynthia Manrrique

Posted on 1/28/15 3:26:21 AM Permalink

John,

Boy I remember those days myself. It was frustrating trying to figure things out, but it sure helped us become problem solvers. It is a sink or swim learning style.

Stephen Michaele

Posted on 1/27/15 10:29:15 PM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experiences took place in graduate school where, in each class, we were challenged to bring our own experiences into the learning environment in order to apply them to the problems and situations that we were presented with. Our assignments were often group-based where we each had different roles to play thereby simulating the business environment that we were working in.

My least meaningful experiences were in any straight lecture class. It's not that I didn't learn anything because I still did, however, I could have learned the same things just by reading the textbook. It was a very ineffective way to master material.

CLAUDIA ACOSTA

Posted on 1/27/15 10:07:48 PM Permalink

Teaching others and solving problems has been my most meaningful learning experience. Not only it deepened my knowledge, but also it made me use my creativity to make my teaching accessible and understandable.

Lectures are the worse. I learn nothing, they are too fast, too boring, and in a different language. It is hard to be an immigrant student.


Aaron Metz

Posted on 1/27/15 1:11:44 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

One of the most meaningful learning experiences I have had as an adult would be developing a professional learning plan for staff. I was dealing with a diverse range of teachers with respect to age, nationality, subject expertise and confidence with technology. I was exploring mentoring and professional learning strategy for online teaching and learning. What made it meaningful was the real-world application of adult learning theories and development of rapport with my colleagues.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

One of my least effective experiences was learning Chinese Mandarin prior to Web 2.0. I had a very limited access to multimedia resources.


udesh naidoo

Posted on 1/27/15 10:28:22 AM Permalink

Throughout my adulthood I sought to maximise my learning experiences, when I had them, mostly because I better understood how I learned best. For all these times the elements that helped make these experiences momentous was because of the fact I was involved in the learning process, seeing, hearing and doing. The use of humour also added that fun element and motivated me more to try and succeed as well as the passion that the teacher/instructor had for their subject.

The times as an adult learner when learning was least effective were when the instructor/teacher projected an attitude that made the task seem tedious and mundane, as well as the drill Sargent approach, like many others I do not respond well when being shouted at.

KIM CAVANAUGH

Posted on 1/27/15 10:21:41 AM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experiences have been those where I have had the opportunity to follow the Learn-Do-Teach model in preparing new instruction.

Any forced exercise where someone attempts to dump information into my head goes on my least effective list.

Terrell Neuage

Posted on 1/27/15 6:39:27 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

I did not start university until I was in my late 40s then I did 14 years all the way through getting a PhD. Since my mid-50s I have taught in three countries at four universities and in both public and private schools in New York and at an international school in China.

Before then my learning experiences in life was as a party explore the world individual.

My most meaningful learning experience is that education has not stopped me from being a free and creative individual.

My least effective experience as an adult learner has been following others standards and ways of doing things. It was ineffective because my teachers were usually half my age and did not have a clue about life but they knew how to follow the common core or whatever standards they were championing at the moment because they were told to.


rafael nicolau

Posted on 1/27/15 5:11:58 AM Permalink

The exchange of information with teachers and friends was the most interesting way I found to go and acquire the knowledge necessary for the manipulation of Adobe programs .

Deborah Lloyd

Posted on 1/27/15 4:50:09 AM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experience was working through a book of tutorials to create a project when I was learning Adobe Illustrator. The entire book/course used scaffolded learning and built meaningful pathways of knowledge.

My least meaningful was an online course that consisted of webpages of text only. I bought the PDF of the course, printed it, read it and completed the course.

Sam Bizri

Posted on 1/27/15 3:19:42 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

I do a lot of on-line learning and the best learning experience is through this mode of me as it is flexible and adaptive. I did a whole masters degree that way while I worked and I loved it.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

again while learning on-line is meaningful for me not all are successfully. It depends on how the on-line course is developed and created and not all are developed or taught the same way. If the blend is not right between the content, the engagement and the collaboration tools, if the course doesn't come together with the support that it needs then it not very effective learning for me so I usually opt-out and move on to the next on-line course


Catherine Stephensen

Posted on 1/26/15 10:46:00 PM Permalink

My most meaningful experience as an adult learner was when completing my teaching degree as a mature entrance adult learner. We undertook a learning styles inventory and I found out that I was an action learner, not a reflective learner!

My least effective learning experience was probably when doing accounting as part of a Masters Degree. I got through but only by the skin of my teeth. I struggled because the mathematical demonstration was purely numbers & formula based. I need working examples and real-life situations.

Halle Cisco

Posted on 1/26/15 9:01:54 PM Permalink

My most effective learning experiences as an adult are ones where I was able to make personal choices for projects. In Graduate school, there was a lot more freedom in choosing the direction and end result I wanted from many of my assignments. When I teach, I give my students the opportunity to choose many of the elements of their project. I supply the guidelines, but want them to be engaged in what they are working on. Giving them the freedom to choose encourages engagement.

The least effect were courses that were lecture without anything to break up that information. For example, I discovered that I learn best through videos or hands on demonstrations rather than long lectures.

Richard Stejer

Posted on 1/27/15 11:22:16 AM Permalink

Hi Halle. I am a reflective learner and like best when a teacher presents a problem, lets me unravel options to solve it, then helps me understand which option is best for different situations. So I agree that making personal choices for projects is appealing.

My worst experience is boot-camp learning, where I spent several days in a room listening to the way an instructor did work when he actually had the job many years earlier. His discussion was mostly irrelevant to me. I sat there only to pass the test then clear my head.

Anita Thiernian

Posted on 1/26/15 7:41:45 PM Permalink

This one is tough to answer. Working at a liberal arts college gives me many opportunities, from taking classes myself to working with some excellent instructors. I also have the opportunity to work directly with students from time to time either by giving a workshop to the class or just acting as a resource person for projects. I almost always learn something from all of these experiences. If I have to choose I suppose that some of the interactions with students have been the most meaningful. Often instructors will invite me back to see the presentations that result from using multimedia tools that I’ve introduced to the class. I’m always thrilled to see the work of students who have put forth effort and creativity to complete the project well. It’s also a learning experience for me because I get a chance to see what works and where I can improve as a trainer/resource for the students.

My least effective experience as an adult learner was an online class I took several years back. The instructor was more about showing his expertise with a certain software tool than helping us learn it or understand good reasons why we should learn it.


Dorothy Yu

Posted on 1/26/15 2:52:25 PM Permalink

Most meaningful learning experience would be hands-on and minds-on interactive workshop. For example role play / dramatize a chapter in a novel. We have to use the limited resources provided, worked collaboratively to come up with a skit based on the chapter. Our skit had to linked in with the chapters before and after ours. All the performances have to flow smoothly to reflect what the novel is about. It was fun and creative. It is definitely a fun way to introduce a novel.

The least effective experience was to sit through lecture or presenter reading from the PowerPoint. In addition I found it really confusing where there was a lack of clearly defined goals in the learning experience.

Laurens Derks

Posted on 1/26/15 5:37:16 AM Permalink

least effective, ha ha ha haaa.... death by powerpoint! We have all suffered this so many times in our various schools no doubt. Here in NSW we are about to head back to school after a 6 week break and day one will no doubt again have a death by powerpoint sessions of some sort!

Best adult learning? Always hands on, activity based where get to collaborate.

Jonas Almeida

Posted on 1/26/15 12:44:15 AM Permalink

Be on a warehouse and hands on with tradicional tools was very exciting. We build half of an Alien in a prosthetics studio instead of making it all CGI.

Nowadays I tend to get easily distracted when trying to follow digital lessons in video, sometimes due to the amount of tasks one is doing at the same time, others due to the pace of the lesson itself. Luckily as they are recorded, we can always go back and watch it again.

Yevhen Plotnikov

Posted on 1/25/15 11:19:52 PM Permalink

I always try to find something useful even during very boring events and courses:) It's really difficult to choose the most meaninful one. Meaningful learning usually starts when you become highly interested in the subject (internal motivation) and the course structure and content enable you to get answers for every question you think about in the process of learning.

David Hotler

Posted on 1/25/15 10:20:08 PM Permalink

The most meaningful learning experience I have ever had would have to be during my 7th grade year as a volunteer at a Summer camp. I cleaned toilets, mopped floors, served meals, and helped make an experience for others a great one. The position was not designed to be one of gratitude, which means we were supposed to stay out of the way of campers. We were behind the scenes. The program taught me that Last is First Eternal, meaning those who put other before themselves will in the end be put first themselves.

The least effective learning experience was recently at a conference when the person lecturing just told us a story about something they did in their classroom and we just sat and listened for like an hour. Awful.

jennifer coombes

Posted on 1/25/15 9:42:30 PM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experience as the Multimedia Immersion course I took at SU. It was meaningful because it was all hands-on with one on one coaching throughout the process. The content was very intense and technically difficult but the support throughout was so tremendous that I never felt left behind.

My worse as actually an online course on education. It was very out of touch with what educators needed, much of the links provided were incorrect or led students to outdated information. The instructor had clearly been using the same online sources for the past 5-7 years. The content was also often repetitive and felt like busy work. The instructor rarely interacted with the class and did not give quizzes so it was difficult to gauge how she knew if we were learning or just letting the class run itself.

Halle Cisco

Posted on 1/26/15 9:27:20 PM Permalink

Hi Jennifer,

Your experiences sound similar to what would be helpful and not helpful for me. I like hands on courses. It is easier for me to visualize and remember than a lecture where I am mostly taking notes.

Lee Keller

Posted on 1/25/15 8:29:44 PM Permalink

It is difficult to select just one experience over the past 4+ decades of adult life. There are many that made a significant difference. I will select a workshop I attended on generational attitudes and learning styles. Since my work is primarily professional development for adults, this presentation was enlightening on the learning perspectives of the different adults I would have in classes. I work with age ranges from 25 to 65 every day. Understanding what they hear in communication processes helps me teach the way they learn, especially in individualized situations when someone needs help on a specific task. While most teachers in K-16 environments have most of their students from the same generation, teaching adult learners can have a variety. As an instructor, you should always recognize that what you say is not nearly as important as what is heard. Understanding the differences in generations can have considerable impact on effective teaching.

Least effective experience would have to contrast with the above. I have been in too many situations where instructors think one size fits all. Where they give everyone the same assignment, expecting everyone in the group to have the same level of expertise in the medium the instructor selected. I have used this to my benefit by creating assignments that have multiple options to express knowledge. For example, in my State program any assignment can be satisfied with an animation, a comic strip, a video, a presentation or an essay ( I hate getting essays, but for some that is their strength.) Under each response type I have 2 to 3 different questions on the topic they can choose from. Providing more opportunities to express knowledge through different mediums allows the instructor to evaluate learning instead of evaluating how participants can respond through a single medium.

One of my favorite quotes: When you have exhausted all possibilities remember this, you haven't.

Tonya Mills

Posted on 1/25/15 6:25:53 PM Permalink

I would have to say it was when by supervisor signed the paperwork to send me to Adobe Max 2014 in California. It was really the first time that I got a chance to go to a educational conference with topics that I found fascinating. To be able to walk and work with people that you only read about and to see software innovations that would come out to the public a year to two down the road…it makes you walk a little taller and work that much harder to be able to go back next year to show everyone else what you’ve done with the knowledge/skills learned.

We were sent for a week to a local ‘computer learning center’ to learn about a certain software package the district was starting to use in our classrooms with our teachers. The training was subpar; the instructor spent his time talking about personal issues, the instruction mainly came form a book that we were tasked to read on our own. After day 1, I tuned him out and started reading email, surfing the net, and catching up on work assignments.


Albor Moscoso

Posted on 1/25/15 2:44:14 PM Permalink

1. The most meaningful learning experience as a Adult was last summer while taking online course set to develop inquiry in students through the arts, as we shared and discussed throughout the seminar.

2. The least meaningful experience was when I attended a Professional Development seminar and it turnout to be a lecture instead of a collaborative process.

Tarek Bahaa El Deen

Posted on 1/25/15 12:53:22 PM Permalink

My most meaningful adult learning experience was when I studied advanced design and my professor decided to teach me the importance of relationship between design and printing method, so he rejected all my designs, and then he did the job with simple design consisting of Solid CMYK and when i confront him, he explained to us by one of his designs previous poor quality print, what means all of our designs will be poor quality while not take into account the needs of the printing.
We put in the case of critical judgment, and then brought us back once a interactive learner

Roberto Alejandro Nuñez Lévano

Posted on 1/25/15 4:39:38 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

As an adult, It think the best experience was when I search specific information on the Internet through different sources and my curiosity kept me searching.


What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

The least effective experience was when I wasn't really motivated in class. When the content was boring.

anna bach

Posted on 1/25/15 4:13:20 AM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experience as an adult has been online, because I could work at my own pace but the content has been clearly defined and the tutor gave authentic input and guidance during online tutorials. Small group instruction has also been meaningful when it has involved 'hands on' activities relevant to the topic, because you are making connections.

Least effective has been misguided or ambiguous online learning courses that have in turn become very frustrating.

Martin Guinn

Posted on 1/24/15 7:46:58 PM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experience was during one of my masters communications courses. The class was ran in a seminar type fashion. We discussed various topics guided by our instructor. It was a very talkative group and opinions were very plentiful. You learn about your classmates this away -- very memorable.

Least effective -- I took a seminar on web designing using Dreamweaver, Photoshop, InDesign, and Acrobat. He was very biased toward the software and techniques he uses, very adversarial towards Flash.

Brenda Tuncer

Posted on 1/24/15 2:15:10 PM Permalink

The most meaniful learning experience was my master program from Full Sail University. I got a degree in Instructional Design and the teachers and everyone involved in the program were there to help you from every aspect. You were responsibel for your learning but they were there to support you.

The least effective learning experience is the weekly meetings we go to as teachers that are filled with - this is how you need to do this in your class- boring and I hate other people telling me how to teach the students that they don't see every day.

Dawn Maitz

Posted on 1/24/15 4:56:46 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

I've had so very many meaningful learning experiences as an adult. One that comes to mind is when I realized, finally, that my son actually had been listening to me and internalizing what was thankfully good advice. I happened to overhear a conversation that he was having with a friend and he was using the same words that I had used. As parents, and, as educators, we sometimes forget how much what we say and do matters; how much influence we actually wield.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

Again, there have been so many poor learning experiences. This afternoon, I was checking out some online lecture videos dealing with management and leadership. They were horribly boring; lots of PowerPoint and the talks were passion-less, lethargic.


anil vithanage

Posted on 1/24/15 4:03:34 AM Permalink

I think i agree with Ginger, because as an adult theory won't give you much. experience place a significant roll in our lives. because adults thinking pattern is so different to young learners. sometimes they need more attention than other learners. because they are stubborn and don't listen much . they are not good listeners. they always try to interfere the speaker to relate their experience. so need more patience to work with them.

Ginger Armstrong

Posted on 1/24/15 1:33:30 AM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experience has been in situations where I have worked with others knowledgeable in a certain area. These experience have been either with a mentor or a small group. They always involved an issue/ problem that I needed to solve. Taking courses in the Adobe Education Exchange has been very helpful for learning new skills.

The least effective has normally been Professional Development in my school where someone come in with a powerpoint, talks for a couple hours and then I am suppose to do something in my classroom.

Sarah Buncum

Posted on 1/24/15 12:49:58 AM Permalink

My most memorable experience as an adult is when I was sure about using a particular software The professor was a great encourage and keep me believing that I could and I did!

I really become frustrated when I am ask to do something without clear instructions.

Kriss Scott

Posted on 1/23/15 10:53:48 PM Permalink

Learning how to apply critical thinking to implicit processes for the purpose of developing technical training.

Carlos Anjos

Posted on 1/23/15 7:26:56 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

Last year when I was doing a Digital Marketing Course how the interaction can transform communication between companies and customers , I realized that what I was doing was turning the my ideas on how to look and see the world in a creative and interactive way to transform the old in something new , fun, exciting and motivating for others people. The result was the change in my way to work , my work became great.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

I started doing course of Graphic Design and I realized that I needed to know more about the creation tools to be free to express my ideas and concepts . In this quest to improve my technique in creative tools I find that I can be better helping others create , taught them to express and now I can´t find myself able to express myself.


Philip Nyman

Posted on 1/23/15 5:44:00 PM Permalink

I've had many thoroughly enjoyable experiences. Recently, I enrolled in the UofI ION Virtual Classroom 48 week multi-course program that covers all aspects of instructional design, educational theory, assessment, and use of technology for online courses. As part of the program we develop a complete online course. I'm not in education but have always been interested in educational theory and design and this has so far been a great opportunity. The courses leverage my previous experience and what we cover applies directly to my future course development. Discussions with other members were great.

I would say that one of my least beneficial experiences was an online business intelligence course that I took last year. The course material was great and we covered hundreds of pages of demos and exercises but the one aspect that was missing was any significant interaction with other course members. We talked a bit online, but there was very little exchange of experiences, ideas of future projects. The course would have been great if that aspect was stronger.

Kathleen Rush

Posted on 1/23/15 5:24:45 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

My most meaningful learning experiences have come when I jump right into something and just go, as frightening as that can sometimes be. Practical, hands-on experience, or learning by doing. Yes, I make mistakes this way. And yes, I do have successes, but either way lessons learned tend to stick. Reflection is also important. Taking time to step back and go over what worked and what didn't and how I would adjust makes the learning extremely useful and meaningful.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

Just had one of these recently. As a requirement for our positions we had to attend a 6 hour long session on a particular topic. It was your typical workshop session. Guest speaker in front of the audience droning on and on. The audience becoming less interested the longer the presenter talks. The sad part was, it was interesting, valuable information and, if presented with a more hands-on, audience participation format could have been much more effective. Also, there was never any follow-up. A one time and your done type of thing.


Leonardo caroleo

Posted on 1/23/15 12:39:07 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

I found my most meaningful learning experience as an adult was developing flip learning resources with Adobe. The term had been banded around at my institute but with conflicting ways of working depending on who was talking about it. With Adobe, I was able to get great explainations from the live class, see resources in action and chat to other professionals who were using them and it was a lightbulb moment for me and has helped me to clarify it with my colleagues and feel confident in developing the resources for my learners. they get it and enjoy the freedom it gives them to develop their learning.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

I found parts of my teaching training least effective as I was being taught by people who no longer teach and felt that they were teaching in a way that is no longer useful. There were many times they would introduce a subject and then skim through it as it seemed they needed to keep to a scheme of work so there was no room for inquiry. I did find that many lessons if they were observed wouldn't do so well. It did seem a case of do I say teaching not do as I do.

Robert G West

Posted on 1/23/15 7:55:46 AM Permalink

My most meaningful learning is when I bite off more than I can chew but then have to find a way to swallow it! I have taken on projects that ended up being beyond my immediate ability, and growing into those projects made learning intense and rapid.

My worse learning experiences occur whenever there are unclear or unnecessary objectives which bring about disdain toward the whole learning process.

Mark Janke

Posted on 1/23/15 7:24:08 AM Permalink

In 2009, I was one of eight teachers invited to the US Library of Congress to help write lesson plan materials, advise archivists who were digitizing materials, and to do some of my own research. This trip conincided with a grant I recieved to create a feature length documentary. The research, production, and marketing of that film has been invaluable. Furthermore, the network of highly expert people is also a great asset to my classroom. (i.e. the librarians will Google Chat with my classes and give virtual tours). The greatest reason it is meaningful to me is that it was self-guided, well advised, and practical.
Every year the teachers in my state have to update their Sexual Harassment and Child Abuse recognition certifications. The online program we use is aweful. It is PRESECRIPTIVE learning and regurgitation. I dread it every year. It is important information but poorly presented.

It is ineffective because of the pace at which information is presented, there is little opportunity for me to give feedback, and it is narrated by a choppy computer voice. It is simply a watch this then take a quiz format. It makes me want to suffer a heart attack just to get out of the room.

a p

Posted on 1/23/15 6:44:00 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?
The most meaningful learning experience have come from mistakes. What has made meaningful learning from these mistakes has been the honest and thoughtf feedback that has been provided to me.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

Least effective has been some professional development in which we simply sat and listen without little interaction with the content to learn.

Bob Tuttle

Posted on 1/23/15 5:17:32 AM Permalink

Least effective learning experience was Political Science in college where the professor just wanted the students to regurgitate his way of thinking. He was running for some office in government, and generally I am non-political, so I just didn't get it. It was the only C that I received in my under graduate work. PS: I taught at the college the next semester and had a locker right next to his.

Bob Tuttle

Posted on 1/23/15 5:13:23 AM Permalink

My most meaningful experience was when I was asked to write a paper to be presented at a medical conference on computers in medicine. The challenge was to put the paper and talk into words that non-technical doctors and healthcare providers would understand. Being a technocrat, I knew how to tech talk, and was challenged to change my mode of communications. This was the first of many lessons I learned in the job - 50+ papers later.

Deila Caballero

Posted on 1/23/15 2:18:13 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

  • Teaching the media program after-school has been my most meaningful learning experience, kind of reverse learning if you will. I learned a lot about how to be a better teacher from their feedback and their questions forced me to teach myself new things things that I could take back to the classroom. My most meaningful learning experience where I was in the student role has been in my master's program which was blended and very successful. This experience was meaningful because it gave me an opportunity to evaluate the e-learning process as a learner not just an educator.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

  • I took a course in editing that was not as effective as I would have liked it to be because it was just the instructor, a great industry professional, live editing in front of us and it didn't really give any practical hands-on learning, or theory for that matter. It would have been a better workshop to take once perhaps, but as a semester long course, I didn't feel like I learned much.


Valerie Agramonte

Posted on 1/22/15 11:36:20 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult?

In high school, math was a very difficult subject for me. As an adult, I knew that this was something I needed to remediate. So after I graduated from college, I went back to a community college, and took algebra and trigonometry.

What made it meaningful?

This was meaningful for me because it was something difficult, and I worked hard to improve it.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner?

Yet another mandatory "professional learning" session on a teacher workday. A session that has no value and is simply presented because that's the way it has always been done.

Why was it ineffective?

Most sessions such as these are things I am already doing. It would be far more valuable to be able to choose my own learning.


Konstantin Köhler

Posted on 1/22/15 10:50:39 PM Permalink

I think the most meaningful learning experiences are when you are really inspired by the educator, as a person and by what he is doing. You have to feel the passion he has for what he is teaching.

The least effective learning experiences are when you feel the educators only do their job.

Fabiana Salzano

Posted on 1/22/15 10:29:36 PM Permalink

Answer 1) I started working as an instructor on some of the Adobe softwares nearly four years ago, and since then I did and I still do many learning experiences, almost daily. Coming from previous experiences as a fashion and graphic designer, for me it was not at all obvious to relate with students to understand their needs and requirements, their limitations and potential to stimulate, trying alone new ways to engage and encourage them (I started directly as a freelance). This was for me one of the most meaningful experiences not only of learning, but of life.

P.S.
I sincerely say that Education Exchange was a useful support for my classes, especially in recent times.

Answer 2) I'm not a web designer, but my less effective learning experience was when I took a course in web design with Dreamweaver few years ago. The course was too fast and intensive and perhaps I had underestimated the arguments. On that occasion, I failed to really get interested in web design. Later I tried again and the experience was far better, I learned a lot with very practical lessons.

Ronald Byrd

Posted on 1/22/15 9:29:30 PM Permalink

My most meaningful would have to be ed leadership classes for campus administration I had. The professor wasn't some suit who never practiced, first of all. And, I got to put into practice to things I was learning on a daily basis.

Least effective was any class I took that involved group work or "collaboration" I do not like those who want to coast on the work of others. Drives me mad. I know the professors said they wanted us to learn to work together in class because, we would have to work together in schools. Difference is, at work, I am not paying thousands of dollars to have someone not pull their end of the bargain.

Kathryn Riley

Posted on 1/22/15 9:13:18 PM Permalink

My most meaningful experiences in learning as an adult is when I am taking courses or training where I am fully engaged, can participate, can create something, usually working in a small group. The topic must be relevant to me or my teaching. I absolutely cannot tolerate meetings and classes when someone just talks the whole time or reads off Powerpoint slides. My favorite is when the trainers try to be innovative and rather then them lecturing, they show a video of someone talking.

Emanuele Allavena

Posted on 1/22/15 8:34:34 PM Permalink

I have always learned what I liked and so I have learned to make me like things, above all as adult. As an adult person, I don't have problems to learn, considering that I can choose what to learn.

Shanlee Liu

Posted on 1/22/15 8:33:17 PM Permalink

The most meaningful experience I had as an adult is the Adobe Lead Educator training in 2012. The hands-on activities and the collaboration among my colleague internationally is a life-long learning experience for me.

The least effective experience is the state educator evaluation system I have right now. All I can see is the paper written rubric that I do not fully understand and it is meaningless to me when I think of the 130 students in front of me everyday.

Colin Byers

Posted on 1/22/15 7:57:45 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

I think some of the most meaningful learning experiences I've had as an adult have been hands on experiences. For example, one of the photography workshops I attended had us go and shoot, then review each other's work... we learned by doing and reviewing.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

I think my least effective experience was with some of my Master's courses in instructional design... Ironically the delivery of the courses were very much read and regurgitate, no real learning there.

Walter Glogowski

Posted on 1/22/15 7:46:19 PM Permalink

The most meaningful learning experiences have been those that I have been successful in completing, have been challenging, and have been something that I can use in the future. The ones that have been least worthwhile are those that I have not found any use for after completing or have been forced upon me to complete.

Roy Bailey

Posted on 1/22/15 7:21:05 PM Permalink

Most Effective?: As an IT Director with a background in Music Education, I thought I should learn to code. So I took a bunch of game programming course at a local community college. Very challenging content kept me on my toes and made the learning experience incredibly valuable.

Least Effective: Department of Ed Webinars which were poorly planned, badly executed, and on a very dull subject.

Cindy Leonard

Posted on 1/22/15 5:37:22 PM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experiences as an adult have been classes where I get to actually practice skills. The worst experiences for me are straight-on lecture (lot of college courses did this) where I'm sitting for three hours and trying to keep my attention on the instructor.

I took multiple programming language courses in my undergrad years (computer science degree) and most of them did not involve an actual computer in the room. We coded on handwritten paper and then had to go to the lab after class to do assignments. I "learned" enough to get through the classes, but the learning did not stick.

Recently, I discovered www.codeacademy.com and decided to work through the courses on that interface, even languages I had previously learned and that I use with regularity. The online, live coding interface makes a huge difference in learning retention! They give a small lesson, you do a little coding exercise and you get immediate feedback from the screen. Much better way to teach coding than the way I originally learned!

Jason Webb

Posted on 1/22/15 4:44:14 PM Permalink

Least: When an instructor is just stand and deliver with the content. I sat through a seminar on differentiated instruction and the instructor stood in the middle of the room and talked at us for 90 minutes.

Most: An instructor gave us each a camera and showed us the basics of how it worked and said to go video something that interests us. After a half hour we came back and applied different editing techniques to our video using software to manipulate and tell a story.

James Anderson III

Posted on 1/22/15 4:23:09 PM Permalink

My least effective experience... any presentation, workshop, seminar, class, etc... where it was the "sage on the stage" approach. If I need to sit someplace and just listen to someone bloviate for an extended period of time, I check out and do the minimum amount of work required. That goes for the sage that tosses in the ice breaker as some lukewarm attempt at engagement.

The most meaningful learning experience... A Thai cooking class I took. It was a short 3-hour class and we made three dishes. But the instructor, who wasn't even a trained trainer... but intuitively understands how to teach... inadvertently use a whole-part-whole methodology. She engaged each person immediately, and this was very much a tactile and hands on class.

Thomas Joseph

Posted on 1/22/15 3:51:08 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

I as a music teacher have to keep learning new instruments. When I see my students learned what I had learned it leaves me with a big sense of achievement.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

I feel if I'm not consistent in what ever I do I tend to not learn.


Andrea Marz

Posted on 1/22/15 3:47:28 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

The most meaningful experiences are the ones that I can put in practice straightway. I first learned Flash to make a portfolio, and because I was only one of the few able to use it when it was launched, I did it well before everyone put their portfolios on websites. That portfolio got me 2 jobs. I was paid to move countries, car etc.I saw the value of learning new stuff, I've became hooked on continuous development after that.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

A storyboard course at a reputable university. Nothing is more ineffective than a dull, boring teacher.


Lita Bledsoe

Posted on 1/22/15 3:42:40 PM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experiences have come when there has been a need for me to learn something challenging that I conquered independently. Least effect experiences have been when too much information that I wasn't interested in have been thrust upon me with no chance for synthesis or application.

John Foley

Posted on 1/22/15 2:25:19 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

The most meaningful experience that I have had as an adult is how to use the word but effectively. The work but is more powerful than most of us think. It does not create a side thought in the way using although may. When used to begin a dependent clause it cancels out the independent clause.

This is important to know because then a person is speaking you and they use but in a sentence, they know what you want to hear and they want you to know it does not matter to them.

Use of language is important and when you recognize this you can begin to communicate effectively, which is strength.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

The least effective experience is always cyber security training. These trainings tend to go towards the death by PowerPoint and get the information out method. They do not focus on if the student understands and can demonstrate that they have learned.


Moundir Al Amrani

Posted on 1/22/15 9:01:03 AM Permalink

As an adult, my most meaningful learning experience has been the chance to learn by doing. I like watching other people do some skillful piece of work and then get the chance to try to do it myself. The worst experience, however, has been having to sit back and listen/watch someone do with no clear objective.

Shireen Ramjahn

Posted on 1/22/15 8:37:45 AM Permalink

Supported, feedback and learning by doing has been my most meaningful learning experience.

My most least effective learning experience is being taught by an unmotivated leader! Lack of enthusiasm results on a lack of learning

Billy Walker

Posted on 1/22/15 8:13:30 AM Permalink

Graeme, I couldn't agree more with the accuracy of your statement. However, I do consider the experience a true highlight of my life as it gave me even more motivation and self-confidence than anyone had previously. That one individual changed my life forever and I cannot say the same for the teachers I met in school, either high school or college.

Exceptionally difficult scenario to replicate in real life to say nothing that you need to appreciate what was being done for you. Although I did truly appreciate it at the time and in recent talks with this gentleman he did recognize my appreciation it is fair to say the appreciation has gone well beyond what existed when I was 18 and 19 years old and basically knew zero about life. I owe a debt of gratitude to this man and repay with compliments that he ignores and then tries to pay for dinner with his credit card as opposed to mine. Needless to say he doesn't manage to get away with that although sometimes I have to secretly hand my card to the waiter/waitress without him realizing it while I fake going to the bathroom :-) .

Billy Walker

Posted on 1/22/15 7:06:34 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful? Interesting question and the answer actually has nothing to do with technology. Just prior to graduating high school I was hired by a local Honda motorcycle dealer. Basically an idol of mine at that point in my life I found myself on an incredible educational journey courtesy of the employer personally. The gentleman basically took me under his wing and gave me every opportunity to learn the business inside and out. This occurred 43 years ago and remains THE experience in my life for the educational opportunity it provided. This experience was the primary factor allowing me to achieve skill sets that most others did not possess at any age. Ultimately allowed me to purchase my own dealership as I became one of the younger dealers in the country. What a wonderful opportunity in retrospect and this person had more to do with my career than any other individual around. As hard as it may be to believe I bumped into this gentleman a little bit over a year ago and we now have dinner together periodically. I always pay for dinner as I explain it is my opportunity to repay this gentleman for the educational opportunity he provided to me. Nothing in my life has come close to what this individual provided for me.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective? I've taken many classes along with a variety of subject matter for many years although the learning for the last few years has centered around photography as well as video as of late. If memory serves correctly by far the worst was a class held by BMW of North America and it involved warranty. A total waste of time and a waste of money and sad to say we were forced to go by BMW corporate. The class really provided nothing of value for anyone with previous industry experience.


Graeme Nelson

Posted on 1/22/15 7:40:56 AM Permalink

Your positive experience reminds me a little of my own, Billy, though in a slightly different context. I had an aikido teacher who took me under his wing. Although not shown favouritism during class time I was taken to visit other dojos and experience what other teachers were teaching and would meet up for coffee and gab about aikido concepts for hours. I'm sure you'd agree, Billy, that this individual attention has a dramatic effect on learning and motivation but is rare and more often than not, highly impractical in most teaching/learning contexts.

Lauren Abbott

Posted on 1/21/15 11:41:30 PM Permalink

The most memorable learning experiences for me are those that force me to engage with others and change environments. Interaction with different people and places are more memorable. I was involved in setting up an exhibition when I was in uni and I loved it - it forced me to be more confident around others I had never met and we were so proud of the outcome. The worst experience was failing at studying on online course because the content was so difficult to access and I lost interest.

Ian Gilbert

Posted on 1/21/15 9:41:32 PM Permalink

Most meaningful: learning different ways to teach my son to read. Seeing his progress and knowing that I helped him. A learning experience for us both.

Least effective: Having to watch the same powerpoint presentations year after year, with the same pointless animations in it. It was a requirement of the college I used to work at - i'm still scarred by it :) It was ineffective because it was nothing new, I knew the content and the way it was delivered wasn't engaging.

Graeme Nelson

Posted on 1/22/15 7:45:46 AM Permalink

Lovely story about teaching and learning with your son, Ian. Has it had an effect on the way you teach in your work?

Gail Dunn

Posted on 1/21/15 7:48:10 PM Permalink

I believe the 2014 Train the Trainer course was one of my most meaningful learning experiences as an adult. I have had so many trainings in teaching and in other careers that were simply watch this, now go do it. There was never consistent structure or any application to the real world. The T4T courses are grounded in solid learning theory, give me manageable amounts of content, and apply directly to things I need to do.

The least effective learning experiences I have had would undoubtedly be the mass training sessions where I sat in a room with a few hundred teachers and tried to find some application to the real world in what the speaker was saying. It's very hard to stay focused when you have no goals or expected outcomes other than being a warm body in a chair.

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:54:11 PM Permalink

Welcome back, Gail. Nice to see you again!

Jeredene Mayfield

Posted on 1/21/15 7:47:25 PM Permalink

I am a visual learner so I love youtube tutorial. I cannot stand to watch a powerpoint being read!

Viviani Barrera

Posted on 1/21/15 7:43:26 PM Permalink

As an adult the most meaningful learning experience I've had was the 2d Animation course I took in Vancouver in 2008. I've always wanted to learn animation but I've never really had a change to take a full time course and go deep in this subject before. One day I realized I could travel and study abroad and I did it. This course was very meaningful for me because, first of all, I acomplished something that was my dream, and second, my traditional animation teacher was great and I had all the time to work on my skills.

On the other hand, the least effective experience I've had as an adult learner was a 3d Animation course I took in Rio de Janeiro in 1990. It was ineffective because the teacher didn't know enough of what he was teaching. I was eager to learn and it was really frustrating.

Matthew Miller

Posted on 1/21/15 7:34:10 PM Permalink

I think my most meaningful experience was a personal growth seminar. It was so powerful because it had been specifically designed to lead me through a series of specific realizations, leaving me open to choosing a new path for my life.

Least effective, what comes to mind are the many workshops in which I've sat and listened to a presenter give a lecture, after which (even if it was interesting and the lecturer engaging) I rarely recall anything of value.

Viviani Barrera

Posted on 1/21/15 7:46:21 PM Permalink

Hi Matthew, this personal growth seminar you did looks fantastic. I've never seen such a thing here in Brazil, but I'd like to know more about it. How is it?

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:49:36 PM Permalink

Thanks again for engaging, Viviani. I love Brazil! I lived in Minas Gerais for a little bit. Welcome to the course!

Ashley Karr

Posted on 1/21/15 5:39:16 PM Permalink

Most Meaningful:
Realizing that I am good at math. I was in my mid-twenties and working on my CFP license. I had been labeled as the "creative one" in my family, which meant that I was not good at math, science, or engineering and would therefore have to endure a life of poverty and depression (read that with sarcasm, please...it is a joke!). I rebelled and went into engineering and finance - all the while thinking that I was bad at math. After getting 100% on all of my financial exams over the course of a year, I was finally able to let that belief crumble. Then, I went into a very challenging systems engineering program, and lo and behold, I got 100%s on my exams there, as well, and was asked to teach statistics at the university level. It felt really good to stand in front of a classroom of students and tell them that, until about a year ago, I held the belief that I was bad at math. I was able to connect with the young adults in the class, and I ended up getting rave reviews because I could empathize with their struggles and doubts. However, the funniest thing is that my engineering career has lead me to UX/UI, and now my artistic side is resurfacing. I love it!

Least Meaningful:
Review / "feedback" sessions / critiques. I have never - truly never - walked away from any of these experiences feeling uplifted, supported, or like I had any way to navigate the waters of "improving" my skills or expertise in any given area. I don't like the systematic practice of criticizing our team. It is a dysfunctional practice, and I do not want to acclimate to this dysfunction. If you don't believe me, venture into Bandura's work of self efficacy and Seligman's work on positive psych.

john dimitriou

Posted on 1/21/15 10:12:38 AM Permalink

Most meaningful.

Several experiences. What made them meaningful was that the presenter had personally invested into the presentation and made me realise why it was important not only to them but how it will impact. They were able to get me to invest.

Least meaningful.

Bored presenters going through the motions and presenting information that even they don't really take seriously.

Sue Howlett

Posted on 1/21/15 9:08:36 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience? What made it meaningful?

Nothing recently.I decided to take a course in Psychology having not taken a class for a long time. The teacher who ran the course was extremely encouraging, and gave me the confidence to continue the course, gave really good feedback and so gave you the encouragement to learn from your mistakes. She encouraged discussion and the sharing of ideas, we were able to learn from each other. That attitude towards me and the rest of her students, gave me the impetus to study further and allowed me to progress in my career. I wish I could go back and thank her.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

Part way through a part-time evening course I was attending, had a change of teacher halfway through that course, the teacher was particularly useless, was only interested in talking about herself, didn't give very good feedback or even when they set an assignment. Long story short I almost taught myself the last few months, consequently the grade was probably lower than it might have been and so a disappointment as well.


Mafaz Pun

Posted on 1/21/15 12:04:08 AM Permalink

effective marketing 2014 ; was one of my most meaningful learning experience, it has a great workshop, good trainer and encourage me to be more creative I felt like I never had any marketing courses before! as an adult my most meaningful learning experience is when I search , searching for uni or for my own interest,

the least effective is speed reading, was not effective because full of theoretical info, huge hall, too many participate caused me headache

Liz M

Posted on 1/20/15 10:14:40 PM Permalink

The most meaningful training for me is when I'm fully engaged in creating an outcome or product or improving on a current process. Being hands on and "doing" is one of the best ways I learn and stay engaged. On the other side of the spectrum the least meaningful learning is when the training is demo only and no hands on.

Mary Alice Schmidt

Posted on 1/20/15 8:39:06 AM Permalink

Most meaningful would be when the teacher engages you and captivates you. With myself and technology that would include hands on activity along with instruction and demonstration.

Least meaningful was going to a training session on photoshop where all you did is sit and watch the instructors edit their family pictures. If I'm not trying the demonstration, I may be impressed but I won't remember what they did.

Graeme Nelson

Posted on 1/22/15 7:59:46 AM Permalink

I had a similar experience, Mary (or is it Mary Alice? - sorry if I got it wrong). I went to a PD session while living in Hungary. The trainer merely presented some methods he used in class while telling us how much fun his students have. Not only was the presentation boring - the trainer (and I use the term loosely) often got lost in the use of technology and sidetracked on irrelevant anecdotes.

Gary Crossey

Posted on 1/20/15 6:45:33 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

The recent Adobe Gen Pro Video class was an awesome experience. I realized while reading feedback from other enrollees that I was for the first time, taking a class with other teachers. I liked the sense of community. Most of the time, I work directly with my students. In a University full of other teachers I tend to be in my room, teaching - with little if any interaction with other teachers.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

Asheville Organic Growers School 2014 - Having attended the prior year for a weekend of farm related classes - I left so impressed. Filled with great ideas and knowledge. The following year however the classes were less than basic, and had very little if any information to share. Most of the presenters were there plugging products or services. The objective of teaching and "school" was lost to marketing. It was a very disappointing experience, mostly due to the prior year being so rich in information and community resources.


mireille massue

Posted on 1/20/15 5:32:53 AM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

Everyone I worked hard for. One in particular - a sailing championship. It was the worst weather we had in years with waves at least 7 feet tall. We came in a very close second. It was the comradeship, the realization that if we had not worked as team, put our training to good use we would have been in serious trouble. You don't fool around with Mother Nature but the weather came up suddenly and faster than we had anticipated.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

The things that come naturally to me. I don't think about it so it doesn't make an impact. I'm practicing to be more in the present and more aware of what I'm doing.

jessica millar

Posted on 1/20/15 5:07:02 AM Permalink

I agree that learning has to be meaningful and I have to be able to see where I can use it, I do try to take something away from any PD session but sometimes it can feel more of a waste of time which is why I think it is so important for us to know our audience when we are developing these sessions.

Leon Felipe Carrizosa

Posted on 1/20/15 3:11:30 AM Permalink

I find difficult to choose one experience. In general terms my most meaningful learning experiences has been those who feel relevant for the life and han produced a significant change in my life. Those are often outside of the academic context. I think the key here is relevance. As Pierre said before, it has to have meaning to me.
And the least effective learning experience could be this: I can remember a 3d animation teacher I had whose lessons were basically reading the software documentation out loud . Even when some information was there, it was so boring that I just couldn't understand anything.

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:53:24 PM Permalink

Striving to create learning that is relevant for the learner is key, Leon. I agree. Wow your least effective experience is a horrible one! One we strive not to create in PD or online learning.

Lori Valasek

Posted on 1/20/15 2:02:02 AM Permalink

most meaning full was earning my A&P airframe and powerplant. a certificate to be able to work on airplanes and helicopters. and I tock the direction of helicopters. and been with the field now over 18 years. A lot of the time I was on my own as a mechanic maintaining the ship. u have to be dedicated and accurate all the time.

the least is working with a learning disability and not being helped in school with it only being passed off as not trying but I have somewhat over came that to at least in the field of aviation its a lot of hands on work.

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:51:14 PM Permalink

Wow, Lori, what interesting experiences you've had! You're unfortunate experience as a student must surely make you a very insightful and effective educator.

Dominic McCall

Posted on 1/19/15 10:32:41 PM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experience I had was learning to pass my driving license, it allowed my such independence and responsibility. I felt euphoric when I passed significantly surpassing any formal school, college or university qualifications!

The type that makes me puff my cheeks is training forced upon you as a professional that doesn't take into account prior knowledge, interest or learning style. It can be a very negative experience for learner and trainer a room of teachers acting out as 16 year olds is difficult. (worse case scenario).

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:45:02 PM Permalink

Your point about the learning to drive is an interesting one. It speaks to the value of designing PD that is practical and empowering, and something you could immediately use in your life. Welcome to the course, Dominic!

PIERRE MICHEL

Posted on 1/19/15 6:33:34 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

As an adult, meaningful learning experience happens for me when the subject, philosophies and interaction are combined with my own experiences to form personal and unique understandings of what I am learning. Learning, I believe is more meaningful when I understand how I am going to apply what I am learning to real life situation. As a teacher, I educate as a facilitator, I lead the students through stimulating their interest in the topic and connecting what was learned before with the new info.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

Taking a course that has no meaning to me especially when lecturing is involved. I am more of hands on learner.


Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:42:40 PM Permalink

You make great points about the importance of offering relevant, practical PD sessions that are hands-on learning based. We explore this further in the course as well, Pierre. Thanks for sharing.

casey unangst

Posted on 1/19/15 4:04:08 PM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experience as an adult are the ones that provide hands on activities so I can learn by doing. These experiences are also the ones where the instructor acknowledged that I may not get it at first and explained it is ok- we will work it out together!

My least effective learning experience as an adult was in my current district. A fellow teacher was giving a training on the new technology in our building and spoke down to my peers for not being tech savvy. It was embarrassing for everyone and people stopped trying to understand almost immediately. I offered to walk people through the training myself privately, explaining that technology is tough to understand sometimes but we can get there together. I am now the 'go-to' for tech support in my building and fell proud to have that bond with my peers.

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:40:01 PM Permalink

Great points, Casey, and as I noted previously in this thread you address key guiding questions within this course. How can we make our PD sessions more experience learning based? How can we design eLearning that is experience learning based? Good for you for making a good experience out to that not-so-great PD!

Brian Dawson

Posted on 1/19/15 3:36:37 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

As an adult, I get the most out of learning experiences that have a specific meaning. In other words, when I can use a learning experience in my own work, or to enhance a work I am in the process of completing. This isn't always the case, but by being able to select the specific tools to learn about, I can gear my learning toward what I need to know in advance. I really like the way individual lessons are presented here as I can envision using these step-by-step tutorials with adults as they strive to learn these tools. My goal is to be competent in the Elements tools so I can "coach" others to begin to incorporate them into their curriculum. I learned today that creativity in images can be a great gateway into creative writing. That is a very cool way to use PSE in a creative writing class!

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:37:21 PM Permalink

Thanks for your thoughtful response, Brian. Your points speak to the importance of designing professional learning experiences that are as relevant as they can be for the audience. I love your point about PSE as a tool in a creative writing class!

Rachel Haselby

Posted on 1/19/15 2:04:56 PM Permalink

What has been your most meaningful learning experience as an adult? What made it meaningful?

This is kind of tough for me to answer. I actively try to learn something from every situation. Probably the things I have learned the most from are the things that I was able to do hands on and were relevant to me. For instance, I am taking this class because I want to be a better teacher, therefore I will be looking for both both Adobe specific tips as well as ideas that I can use in general practice.

What was your least effective experience as an adult learner? Why was it ineffective?

I shut down when people act like they are smarter than me. When that type of thing happens (the more training I get the less it happens) I generally start trying to look for things "not to do," which keeps the experience from being a complete bust.


Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:34:31 PM Permalink

Your points about creating learning experience that are hands-on and relevant are super important, and we discuss that further in this section. I admire your ability to create an informative experience from a poorly designed PD!

Firas Jadaan

Posted on 1/19/15 11:02:50 AM Permalink

Teaching adult student is my most meaningful learning experience, because i met many students ask me a challenge questions and they force me to learn more or my students challenge me in the class to create creative designs and they try to Overcome my designs in the class or home work :) and also i love watching inspiration creativity video on YouTube for the creative artists and designers around the world.

Viviani Barrera

Posted on 1/21/15 7:51:18 PM Permalink

Hi Firas, I also teach adults and feel the same. When some of my students know a lot about the subject I am teaching, I feel I need to study more and I learn a lot doing this. It is very challenging to teach adults, but it is rewarding at the same time.

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:45:55 PM Permalink

Thanks for engaging, Viviani!

kristin taylor

Posted on 1/19/15 5:39:43 AM Permalink

Hands-on learning is always best for me. I am definitely visual-kinesthetic, so just listening to someone lecture is very difficult for me. I also love collaboration, but I have been in situations where I am doing most of the work and it isn't truly a shared learning experience. I know that everyone learns differently, and I try to be mindful when teaching to include a variety of options for my students.

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:27:49 PM Permalink

Great points, Kristin, and key guiding questions within this course. How can we make our PD sessions more experience learning based, and how can we design eLearning in the same way?

Keyasha Johnson

Posted on 1/19/15 5:05:52 AM Permalink

In my first year of art school, I didn't catch on as quickly as I'd like. I would ask the professor to explain and explain again plus tons of other questions. As students we spent three times as many hours outside of class working in computer labs to complete our assignments. I found I learned better from my peers than my professors. That was the most impactful learning experience for me. It cam down to word selection, sometimes voice tone and the pacing of words. From that I learned, small details can have an impact on learning. As a trainer and in everyday life, when someone tells me they don't understand something, I try to find a completely DIFFERENT way to explain things. Its ineffective to re-explain something the exact same way as the first time when there is still confusion. I'll prepare myself with a few different ways to teach a subject and ask other learners to explain using their own words.

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:23:41 PM Permalink

Some great points, Keyasha. I particularly like the point about allowing learners to learn from each other. There is a lot of value in that in all levels of learning.

Michael Larocque

Posted on 1/18/15 9:41:27 PM Permalink

It is hard to pinpoint a single "most meaningful" moment, but I appreciate learning about techniques and methodology. I appreciate PD that allows me to continue learning on my own.

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:26:34 PM Permalink

Hi Michael, offering learners the resources to continue their learning after is a great PD tip. In your next experience as an adult learner (perhaps this one?) make note of the aspects that you find effective and ineffective and see how this reflection can help to inform your own PD design.

Even Culp

Posted on 1/18/15 5:22:03 PM Permalink

Project building w/ a team was meaningful. Memorizing low level information-the least effective.

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:21:44 PM Permalink

Are you able to incorporate aspects of this project building with a team into your professional development sessions? Are you involved with eLearning at all, Even? If so, any success making them project building based?

Rachelle Wooten

Posted on 1/18/15 3:40:45 PM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experience as an adult was taking the AET Train the Trainer course in 2013. I've been facilitating Professional Development for six years and I had never experienced such solid training on facilitating and designing PD for adults.

My least effective is almost any "sit and get" where there is no explanation or purpose to why I am learning this or it has absolutely no relevance to what I do in my role.

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:19:24 PM Permalink

I like that answer! Ha! Sit and get is so ineffective, and the challenge with eLearning in particular, is that making sure we are not designing "login and get" learning.

carolyn brown

Posted on 1/18/15 7:42:06 AM Permalink

My most meaningful learning experience has been teaching adults. I realize that is a circular answer to the question, but I learn so much from working with adults who are learning new skills. The adults I teach are unbelievably diverse in the background, culture, leaning styles, educational achievement, etc. What I learn isn't usually direct, I tend to learn the most from their confusion or misunderstandings. It really shows me how to improve my instruction and communication.

An effective learning experience that comes to mind was orientation for jury service. It was tedious, repetitive, and boring.

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:31:23 PM Permalink

Your point speaks to the importance of creating opportunities in our PD that allow participants to learn from one another, Carolyn!

Robin Boehlen

Posted on 1/17/15 11:19:02 PM Permalink

Althought I am not an adult, I will still answer this question!

My best learning experience was from my music teacher at my school. I feel that he really had a very interesting and diverse way of teaching. What really made him stand out was his ability to connect with his students and the fact that unlike most teachers he did not demand respect, he earned it, from each and every person in the class

Andrea Cebula

Posted on 1/21/15 10:30:32 PM Permalink

Hi Robin, glad to have you in the course! I hope you are able to get something useful from it! Are you in high school?