Principles of Adult Learning
Warner Pacific College
December 8, 2011
All of us spend the first 18-24 years of our lives learning and getting an education. When we become adults we all have different reasons and motivations to continue our education and to learn new things. Technology is something that people seem forced into learning and some organizations make an attempt to make this learning process a little easier for those who may not be naturally inclined to pick it up. One of these organizations that makes an effort to provide their customers with an opportunity to more easily adapt to technology is Verizon Wireless. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the Wireless 360 classes that Verizon Wireless offers on Saturday mornings to their smart phone customers. Within this paper the types of learning techniques and styles used in the class will be discussed as well as evaluated for effectiveness and tips for improvement will be provided. I will be looking for several key learning styles and evaluating if and how they were used and where the participants of the class may have benefited from some of these styles being supported in the class. These styles are motivation style, learning style, unlearning, attention style, linear vs. global learning support, togetherness style and Kolb’s learning styles.
Verizon Wireless Verizon wireless offers a smart phones for dummies class every Saturday morning for 45 minutes to one hour. The classes are offered inside of the retail locations where customers purchase their wireless devices. I chose this location because I work for Verizon and while I do not teach the class I advise my customers to attend it. I have received mixed reviews from customers as to the effectiveness of the classes. I felt that taking the time to attend a class and observe the person teaching them may offer myself and my peers a better understanding of what the classes are missing and what is being done well. At the start of the class the person instructing offered a seat for all of the attendees and advised them to stop him and ask questions whenever one came up. The instructor took a quick survey of the attendees to discover which type of device each person was carrying as well as whether or not the participants had used smart phones prior to purchasing the device they were currently carrying. Most of the group had never used a smart phone before and many made comments about being too old or too old fashioned to be able to ever figure out how to use these devices. The instructor offered words of encouragement that anyone can figure out a smart phone if they just relax and let themselves. At this point the instructor used his personal device to show the group some of the basic things about the phone like how to wake it up, how to put it to sleep, where to charge it, how to make a phone call, and how to add a contact to the phone book in the device. He went directly into talking to the group about how to move items around on the various screens, how to add widgets, how to arrange the screens. This part of the training seemed very fast paced and it was very apparent that the participants felt the same way because many of their faces turned from looking intregued to looking lost and some even looked terrified. The instructor seemed to notice the same thing because he stopped and asked for questions. One of the customers was having a hard time understanding the concept of a widget and why they would want one on their device. At this the instructor drew a small diagram on a piece of paper for the customer that drew out the difference between a short cut and a widget. Another customer made an attempt to pull the instructor to the side and to gain some one on one teaching time. The instructor was quick to pull away from the customer and to get back to speaking to the group as a whole. He wrapped up the class with providing some web