Tertiary education is the kind of knowledge that an individual is only allowed to access or acquire after they have successfully pass their high school studies. Higher education is also seen to be complex in a way that will only have to favor individuals that passed certain grade and ready to learn more in their field of specification. Tertiary learning equips the learners with adequate information and knowledge that is required in their field of study. It has been seen that tertiary learning only favors adults who passed their secondary education. The adult learners have been studied, and the statistics have shown that they are also in the position to have characteristics that are similar. The characteristics are seen as a trend to the successful adult learners.
Characteristics of an Adult Learner
Gershom Model of Self Direct Learning
Self-direct learning is a process of learning that has been in the position to see learners be able to learn and get educated. It enables learners to operate in an independent manner when it comes to their learning activities. Learners are seen to be in the position to ensure that they can understand and take important information from their researchers. Self-direct learning gives the learners the ability to be independent in their learning processes.
Adult learners are seen to be self-monitored individuals. They believe in themselves, and so this makes them feel confident in whatever activity they are doing. They are seen to be individuals who are always organized in the sense that they will not require someone to monitor them while they are working on a certain duty or activity (Brockett & Hiemstra, 1991). They time themselves so that they can be able to achieve whatever goal that they have set for themselves. Self-monitoring helps them to be focused and avoid disturbances from other individuals which will have to distort their concentration.
Successful adults are also seen to be individuals who will at all the time take responsibility for construction of personal meaning, initiation and the maintenance of effort towards learning and achieving set goals (Garrison 1997). They are always seen to be focused on the issues that are always in the position to help them be able to achieve the set goals. Responsibility is not acting that will only just come by itself, no, it comes after a series of commitments and also ready to admit the consequences after that. Successful adult learners have the tendency of ensuring that they take all the details of whatever activity that they are involved. They will always focus on the main agenda that has been set and be able to ensure that they work on the activity to completion. Taking responsibility for the action that has already happened will have to take someone who is ready to face the consequences and address them boldly. Successful learners will always be in the position to ensure that they are responsible for all the actions and consequences that may result.
Successful adult learners also have the tenderness of being curious and willing to try new things and ideas. Curiosity is the act at which an individual is seen to develop a liking for something or an idea. The liking will have to be taken in differently by different individuals in that some will like it and leave it at that while other will develop a liking and so try to implement the activity or the idea. They are seen to be willing to adapt and learn the new idea so that they are also conversant with the new trick that is being used at that point (Garrison 1997). They will also be in the position to try and ensure that they will get more information about the idea and share the same with the other people. They will also be in the position to also try and modify the learned idea so that it becomes more efficient to their use.
Successful learners are also seen to be self-managed. The fact that they are successful, it shows that they are well-managed individuals and orderly. This is in the sense that they can manage on all the factors that directly involve their success. They can manage the learning resources and be able to set goals for themselves. Managing of time is the most important activity that one has to take care of (Brockett & Hiemstra, 1991). Managing time will have to ensure that an individual can plan and allocate different and specific activities for their own time as this will make sure that they work on the timeline that they have set. It will be able to save on their time and so helping them achieve their set goals.
Learning In the Digital World
Successful learners in the digital world are seen to be innovative. The reason as to why the successful learners are creative is because they like coming up with new ideas and ways of doing or performing an activity. Innovation is not only about technical activities, but it is also seen to be in other fields that do not require technicalities. Critical thinking and coming up with ideas that will help in dealing with a situation is also seen to be as the innovation of a new idea. The successful learners are always seen to involve themselves with the innovation as they are always on the look out to see and tap an opportunity that requires action (Martin Trow, 1994). The kind of action that they will have to settle on will have to include a series of activities that will lead to an innovation activity. Innovation will have to include all the factors of the problem so as to come up with the best option to deal with the issue.
Successful individuals are seen to be focused and result oriented. Successful learners are seen to be driven by the kind of results that they want and have predicted. Successful learners are will at all point focus on whatever activity they are doing so that they can achieve the set results. Their focus is at times so intense because there is competition in the current market and so this makes them work extra hard so that they achieve their set goals. As the technology keeps on advancing, it means that the focus is also shifted so that it suits the changing times and so this will also have to affect the results posted directly. Focusing on a certain idea or activity always has to be with the aim of achieving something. Successful learners are always seen to be in the position of seeing the results before the whole process has been completed. The results are the ones that will have to make them focus more than before so that they achieve the already set goals for their results.
Successful learners have also been seen to be dynamic. This is in the sense that they can put new knowledge into action immediately. The fact that there are innovations that are discovered every time, it means that the learners have to ensure that they are also conversant and able to incorporate it. Successful learners will also be in the position to quickly learn the new knowledge and put it into action so that it can produce results for them. The swift move and quick action will help them to upgrade their system of functioning and so to boost their actions and results.
The successful learners are seen to be more of experimental. This is in the sense that they will be seen to be testing their knowledge, experiences, and expertise with the new knowledge that in the market. The testing is always with the aim of gauging the functionality and workability of the new knowledge. They will also be in the position to also be learning a new knowledge and at the same time will be able to combine the two and come up with the best and hybrid knowledge. It is always aimed at ensuring that they are also up to date with the current trends.
Self-directed is where the successful learners are seen to be in the position to work on their own without much help from their teachers. This is a character that distinguishes them from the others as they are seen to always be in the position to try and figure out ideas and problems by themselves (Martin, 1994). They may also be able to seek for advice and more information from their peers, yes, but this will not always be done. They are also seen to ensure that their work is neat in a way that they will not allow room for any mistake and that is the reason as to why they are seen to work independently.
Re-Orienting Self-Directed Learning for The Creative, Digital Era
Successful learners are seen to be good team players in whatever team or group they are placed. They believe in the fact that when they work as a team, then they will have to be able to accomplish the task fast and easily. Working as a team also helps them to be in the position to share different and useful ideas that will have to see the task completed and done with accuracy (Karakas, Fahri & Alperen. 2012). The accuracy comes in because they believe that the team members have different and relevant knowledge on the task and so the combination of their knowledge will give the best results.
Creativity is one of the characters that have been associated with the successful learners. In the digital era, creativity has been seen to be important as it is directly associated with innovation. Successful learners are viewed to be creative because they can develop something or an idea that is perceived to be different and unique from the existing ideas. Successful learners are fond of trying to ensure that they are unique in all the activities that they partake and that is where the creativity comes in. They will always have to create new ideas now and then so as to suit them.
Successful people are always ready to learn new ideas and ways of doing and activity. They are seen to be willing to learn and be corrected at any point that they may have gone wrong. Learning new ideas of doing an activity does not matter on the mode and way at which they will learn, they are ready to learn using either formal or informal way as long as the point is taken and understood. Learning of a new concept or idea is one of the important aspect and times of successful learners. They like getting to learn new ideas as this is in the position to improve their knowledge and understanding of doing or performing certain activities. They are also seen to positively accept corrections as they are sure that the mistake would have been carried on to the other level and could temper with their activities. Successful learners are also seen to be patient individuals. They are patient in all the things that they partake so that to ensure that they get the accurate results that they have desired (Cari Kenner &Jason Weinerman 2002). The patient is always at the forefront as they believe that whatever they have put in place will not just give results overnight.
In conclusion, successful learners have been seen to possess almost the same characteristics that are used to define and distinguish them. They are seen to be innovative, focused, self-motivated, self-managed, self-monitored and patient. Any successful learner will always portray the characteristics. All the characteristics may not be able to be portrayed by an individual at the same time, but most of them will have to be portrayed.
Brockett, T. & Hiemstra, (1991). Self-direct learning in Spain.
Cari Kenner and Jason Weinerman (2002). ‘Adult Learning Theory: Application and Non-traditional students.’
Garrison, A. (1997). Self-Direct Learning: preliminary validation and the relationship to Academic achievement.
Karakas, Fahri and Alperen Manisaligil. (2012). Reorienting self-directed learning for the Creative, digital era. European Journal of Training and Development.
Martin, A, Traw (1994). Sociologists. Tendency of ICT to an individual.