Mind, Motivation, and Meaningful Learning: Strategies for Teaching Adult Learners

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author

Adults are attending college in record numbers every year. These students, many with families and careers, may have been away from an academic environment for many years and have unique needs in developing lifelong learning skills. Academic librarians have an important role as change agents in this dynamic learning environment through information literacy instruction, workshops, and individual consultations.

Mind, Motivation, and Meaningful Learning: Strategies for Teaching Adult Learners provides a blueprint that academic librarians can apply to their instructional design that facilitates a change in students’ motivation and learning strategies. It provides the tools necessary to teach learners to identify, evaluate, and apply appropriate cognitive, learning, and motivation strategies based on course content and a deeper understanding of the metacognitive component of meaningful learning. Five chapters explore the theories behind adult learning, culminating in a seven-unit curriculum scalable to a variety of learning domains complete with lesson plans, activities, assessments of the learning goals, and student reflections.

Mind, Motivation, and Meaningful Learning can help you identify the components of academic learning that contribute to high achievement; help students learn and practice effective learning and study strategies that lead to improved self-efficacy, self-regulation, and knowledge transfer; and improve instructional design for student, instructor, and academic teaching librarian success.


Chapter 1. What’s the Problem?
    Combining All the Pieces to Complete the Puzzle of Learning
    Agency for Meaningful Learning—Academic Self-Regulation
    Definition of Terms
    Organization of the Chapters
    Key Points
    Example Activities

Chapter 2. Understanding Learning
    General Theoretical Approaches
    What Is Andragogy?
    What Is Social Cognitive Theory?
    What Is Motivational Systems Theory?
    How Cognitive Science and Learning Theories Can Help Academic Librarians with Instructional Design
    Key Points
    Example Activities

Chapter 3. Understanding Motivation
    Self-Efficacy and Self-Regulated Learning
    Goal Orientation, Goal Setting, SMART
    Mindset: Growth-Mastery or Fixed-Performance
    Motivation and Metacognition
    Emotions and Learning
    Key Points
    Example Activities

Chapter 4. Learning and Motivational Strategies to Promote Learning and Retention
    Designing Overall Curriculum Goal, Outcomes, and Summative Assessment
    Understanding Knowledge Types
    Prior Attempts for Online Learning
    Theoretical Foundations to the Curriculum Design
    Cognitive Task Analysis (Information Processing Analysis)
    Major Steps
    General Instructional Methods Approach
    Reading, Taking Notes, Studying, What’s the Plan? Overview of the Learning Activities/Units

Chapter 5. Evaluation and Meaningful Learning through Reflection 
    Implementation of the Evaluation Plan: Evaluation Framework
    Evaluation Tools
    Conclusion: Curriculum Purpose, Need, and Expectations

Appendix A. Unit Lesson Plans and Materials
    Lesson Plan and Developer’s Guide: Unit 1
    Lesson Plan Curriculum Materials: Unit 1
    Lesson Plan and Developer’s Guide: Unit 2
    Lesson Plan Curriculum Materials: Unit 2
    Lesson Plan and Developer’s Guide: Unit 3
    Lesson Plan Curriculum Materials: Unit 3
    Lesson Plan and Developer’s Guide: Unit 4
    Lesson Plan Curriculum Materials: Unit 4
    Lesson Plan and Developer’s Guide: Unit 5
    Lesson Plan Curriculum Materials: Unit 5
    Lesson Plan and Developer’s Guide: Unit 6
    Lesson Plan Curriculum Materials: Unit 6
    Lesson Plan and Developer’s Guide: Unit 7
    Lesson Plan Curriculum Materials: Unit 7
Appendix B. Cognitive Task Analysis: Subject Matter Experts Success Strategies
Appendix C. Evaluation Instruments Pre-course Evaluation 1
Appendix D. Evaluation Instruments Post-Course Evaluation 2

About the Author

List of Figures
Figure 2.1: Andragogy in Practice
Figure 2.2: Triadic Reciprocity
Figure 3.1: Phases and Processes of Self-Regulation
Figure 3.2: Outline of the Necessary Steps for Effective Goal Setting
Figure 4.1: Features of Goals, Objectives, and Outcomes
Figure 4.2: Content Categories
Figure 4.3: First Principles of Instruction
Figure 4.4: A Schematic Training Blueprint for Complex Learning and the Main Features of Each of the 4C/ID Components

List of Tables
Table 3.1: Two Mindsets
Table 4.1: Knowledge Types and Activities
Table 4.2: GEL Lesson Structure
Table 4.3: Scope and Sequence Table
Table 4.4: Summary of Media Selection Considerations    
Table 4.5: Specific Media Choices
Table 5.1: Indicators, Metrics, and Methods for External and Internal Outcomes
Table 5.2: Critical Behaviors, Metrics, Methods, and Timing for Evaluation
Table 5.3: Required Drivers to Support Critical Behaviors
Table 5.4: Evaluation of the Components of Learning for the Program
Table 5.5: Components to Measure Reactions to the Program

Melissa L. Miller

Dr. Melissa L. Miller is a faculty member at the University of Southern California (USC). Her primary roles are the head librarian for the Hoose Library of Philosophy and a humanities librarian. She is the subject specialist, collection development and research, for the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences departments of philosophy, religion, anthropology, linguistics, comparative literature, and the history of science and technology, and offers research consultations, information literacy instruction, and assessment for both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Melissa is also a teaching faculty member for the Marshall School of Business, master of management in library and information science (MMLIS). As an assistant university professor, she teaches research and professional leadership applications for the internship program. Prior to USC, she worked in the corporate sector for nearly two decades (1991–2009), where she held several leadership positions.