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CAHA 501
Fall Semester 2009
Professor: Lisa M. Baumgartner, Ed. D.
Northern Illinois University
Office: 201D
Phone: 753-8168
Fax: 753-9309

Office Hours: TUES: 4:30pm-5:30pm; and by appointment

I. Course Description

An inquiry into learning theories and their relationships to mature and aging
adults. Emphasis on the problems of changes in learning capabilities, incentives,
emotional development, and the social context of learning and their implications
for adult educators.

II. General Course Objectives

The following general objectives are provided to guide course activity with an
emphasis upon implications for practice in adult education and training. It is
assumed that it is important to include ideas from various positionalities including
various cultures, genders, races, ethnicities, etc. Students will be encouraged to
critique adult learning and development theories and practices through a variety
of lenses including those of race, class, and gender.

1. To identify and assess the several meanings of learning from a personal
experience and from the literature.

2. To identify factors that influence adult participation in learning including
social group factors and position in society.

3. To compare, contrast and critique various theories of development over
the lifespan and the nature of cognitive development and learning.

4. To identify factors related to self-directness in learning by adults.

5. To compare and contrast various theories of development over the lifespan
and the nature of cognitive development and learning.

6. To review basic theories of learning and determine how these related to an
explanation of how adults learn

7. To identify various adult learning orientations and styles of learning to
determine how these influence learning

8. To examine the nature of adult learning in informal and formal educational

9. To examine learning from a social context and its relationship with

10. To use technology (internet, Blackboard management system, e-mail) to
communicate and learn individually and collectively.

III. Required Texts

American Psychological Association (APA). (2001). Publication manual of the
American psychological association. (APA). (5th ed.). Washington, DC.:
American Psychological Association.

Baumgartner, L. M., Lee, M. Y., Birden, S., & Flowers, D. (2003). Adult learning
theory: A primer. Columbus, OH: Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and
Vocational Education, Information Series 392. Link to download: (PDF also
available on Blackboard under “Books.”)

Baumgartner, L., & Merriam, S. B. (2000). Adult learning and development:
Multicultural stories. Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishers.

Merriam, S. B., & Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in
adulthood: A comprehensive guide (3rd edition). San Francisco: Jossey-

REQUIRED PROGRAMS/SOFTWARE: 1) Access to PowerPoint. 2) Access
to Adobe Reader which can be downloaded from this link
3) Access to Word or the ability to write papers in Rich Text Format. I will
NOT accept papers written in any other format because my computer cannot open
files in other formats.

IV. Conceptual Framework

This course ascribes to the conceptual framework for all courses offered by the
College of Education and other programs at NIU that prepare professional
educators. During the semester, you should be aware of what we do in this course
that may reflect components of the following statement:

The NIU community of learners builds on knowledge, practice, and reflection to
produce exemplary educators. The community encompasses scholars, education
professionals, and pre-service teachers in an interaction that develops the
strengths that embody excellence in education. These strengths include creative
and critical thinking, scholarship and caring. Application of these strengths
emerges through the collaborative efforts of a diverse community which supports
lifelong learning.

V. Course Expectations

1. Regular class attendance and participation online and in class is expected.
Discussion rules are expected to be followed. Missing more than two (2)
course sessions will affect your final grade negatively.

2. Completion of assigned readings by the date due.

3. Late papers will result in a half-grade reduction per day. No exceptions.

4. Students who want to resubmit a short paper (e.g. best/worst paper) or
midterm for further critique and the possibility of a higher grade can do
so under the following conditions: 1) The final grade on the assignment
will be an average of the papers submitted. 2) The resubmission will be
accepted no later than two weeks after the return of the assignment.
(Exception: The final paper cannot be resubmitted). If there are any
complaints about my re-grading procedures, this option will be
discontinued for all students effective immediately. I have this option in
hopes that learning occurs, not to receive more complaints from students.

5. Students cannot submit work done in ANOTHER class for assignments in
this class. All work should be original. If a duplicate paper is submitted,
the student will fail that assignment and further action may be taken at
the discretion of the instructor.

6. Papers will receive no points when people plagiarize. (See Graduate
Catalogue for plagiarism guidelines). Plagiarism includes but is not
limited to: 1) copying others’ work verbatim and NOT properly crediting
the person(s). 2) Paraphrasing someone’s idea and NOT giving proper
credit to the person(s). In addition to failing the assignment, further
actions will be taken at the discretion of the instructor.

7. In general, incompletes will not be given. If an incomplete is granted,
the highest grade that can be achieved in the course is a B.

8. The syllabus can be changed at the discretion of the instructor(s) given
how the course sessions go.

9. Submit all papers via Blackboard DIGITAL DROP BOX to
instructor(s) in addition to submitting ONE (1) hard copy in class.

10. Cell phones must be turned off or turned to vibrate during class.

11. The instructor may elect to hold class online if she is not able to meet in
person. Students are responsible for checking their NIU e-mail account
and Blackboard announcements for instructor announcements.

12. The instructor may use plagiarism software to detect plagiarism in papers.

13. The use of Wikipedia as a source in any paper or project will result in
failure on that paper or project.

14. Texting, sleeping, playing on your computer, talking on your cell phone,
chatting with each other while I am lecturing and passing notes during
class, and coming to class consistently late are disrespectful behaviors in a
classroom. Your class participation grade will be affected negatively.

15. Communication from the instructor will be through your NIU e-mail
account. Check your NIU e-mail and Blackboard announcements for
course updates/changes.

VI. Assignments (see Blackboard “Assignments” tab for additional instructions
on each assignment.)

1. Best and worst learning experiences: Briefly describe and more
importantly analyze your best adult learning experience and your worst
adult learning experience. Connect the readings to your experiences. (4
page minimum, double- spaced pages; 1 inch margins). 10 points. (DUE

2. Take home essay exam: This exam covers session 1-7. 25 points (DUE

3. Group learning theory presentation: Students will be divided into
groups to over the following learning theories: Self-directed learning,
transformational learning, critical theory, and feminist theory/pedagogy.
Each group will make approximately a one-hour presentation on the
theory. Each group will distribute one research-based article to the class.
20 points. (DUE 10/27 or 11/10 or depending on assigned topic).

4. Research Paper: The purpose of the major research paper is to provide
students with the opportunity to critically analyze a specific topic or
problem related to the course. Students will be required to undertake
SUBSTANTIAL library research and prepare a paper between twenty
(20) and twenty-five (25) pages including references (but not including
title page, contents page, appendix, etc). The paper needs to be related to
some aspect of course material. All topics require approval. (DUE

30 points

5. Blackboard participation: Participating in all required aspects of
and Blackboard sessions. For Blackboard course sessions, you must
complete the required Blackboard assignments for the week in the time
allotted. These will generally involve reading articles and responding to
the discussion board questions in addition to viewing PowerPoints
online.15 points

VII. Grading: 90-100: A; 80-89 B; 70-79 C; 60-69 D; Below 60 F

VIII. Best way to communicate with me: E-mail: I do not
have remote access to telephone messages left on the office telephone at this time so
e-mail is the best way to contact me. I will answer e-mail within 24 hours Monday
through Friday and within 48 hours on the weekend. I will check my e-mail at least
twice during the day but generally not after 6 pm.

IX: ALL Announcements and updates will be on the announcements page on
Blackboard. Please check Blackboard every few days.


• Getting acquainted
• Syllabus discussion
• Overview of Context and Provision of Adult Learning in Merriam, Caffarella,
and Baumgartner (2007) (M, C & B Chapters 1, 2)
• PDF Readings: (under week 1 of Course Documents): Vandenbroeck et al.
(Digital Divide and Women), Norris and Conceicao (Narrowing the Digital
Divide). (Also see videos on informal learning in Week 1).
• Blackboard assignment: Answer discussion board questions by class time
on 9/1.(See guidelines for discussion board under “Assignments”). Review
PowerPoint(s) under Course Documents for this week’s material if you’d like.

• READINGS: SKIM M, C & B Chapters 1, 2;
• Read: M, C & B: Chapters 3 and 4; Baumgartner et. al Adult Learning
Theory: A Primer: Lee: Andragogy and Foreign Born Learners: PDF
Readings (under week 2 in Course Documents): Knowles reading (The Art
and Science of Helping Adults Learn); Wlodkowski (Enhancing Adult
Motivation to Learn), Grace: (Striking a Critical Pose), NCES Participation
in Adult Education; Higher Education Landscape (link), Video: YouTube
Video on Knowles

Session 3: (9/8/2009) LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT (Part 1):
• READINGS: M, C & B: Chapter 11, 12; Readings: PDF Readings (under
week 3 in Course Documents): Tennant and Pogson (The Life Course as a
Social Construct”); Cain (Theorizing the Effects of Class, Gender and Race on
Adult Learning); Lee and Johnson-Bailey (Challenges to the classroom
authority of women of color); Baumgartner & Merriam: Chan: (“You’re
Short Besides”), Leffland (“The Linden Tree”), Dorris (“Groom Service”).

ASSIGNMENT DUE TODAY: Best and worst learning experiences paper
due today (Remember to submit one copy to the digital drop box AND give
me a hard copy in class).

****ON-LINE SESSION FOR 9/15*****
Session 4: (9/15/2009) LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT (Part 2):
• READINGS: M, C & B: Chapters 13, 14; 15
• Articles on multiple intelligence
See also Gardner Multiple Intelligence Article in Folder for Session 4 on
Blackboard (Adobe Acrobat needed).

• TAKE ONLINE EQ TEST (under Course Documents)

• PDF Readings (Under Course Documents Week 4): Dirkx: The Meaning
and Role of Emotions in Adult Learning (pp. 7-18), Kasworm: Emotional
Challenges of Adult Learners in Higher Education (pp. 27-34), Taylor and
Lamoreaux: Teaching with the Brain in Mind (pp. 49-59).
• BLACKBOARD ASSIGNMENT DUE : 1) Answer EACH question on the
Blackboard Discussion Board. 2) RESPOND to at least ONE classmate’s
comment PER QUESTION. (SEE rubric under course documents to
determine an adequate response or at the end of this syllabus). For
example, “I agree” is not a sufficient response.

View Power Points online.

*****ONLINE SESSION FOR 9/22****
Session 5: (9/22/2009) ADULT LEARNING THEORY AND MODELS (Part 1):
• READINGS: M, C, & B: Chapter 7 ; Baumgartner & Merriam: Brown
(“Learning to Work”), Martin (“La Torterilla”), Watanabe (“Talking to the
Dead”). PDF Readings (under week 5 in Course Documents): Zepke &
Leach (Contextualized meaning-making); Hansman: ( Context-Based Adult
Learning (pp. 43-52))

• BLACKBOARD ASSIGNMENT DUE : 1) Answer EACH question on the
Blackboard Discussion Board. 2) RESPOND to at least ONE classmate’s
comment PER QUESTION. (SEE rubric under course documents to
determine an adequate response or at the end of this syllabus). For
example, “I agree” is not a sufficient response.

Session 6: (9/29/2009): ADULT LEARNING THEORY AND MODELS: (Part 2):
• READINGS: M, C & B: Chapter 5, PDF Readings (under week 6 in
Course Documents): Grow (Teaching Learners to Be Self-Directed), Rager
(Gender as a context for interpreting self-directed learning experiences of
prostate and breast cancer patients), Terry (SDL with undereducated adults),


****ONLINE SESSION FOR 10/6*****
Session 7: (10/6/2009): ADULT LEARNING THEORY AND MODELS (Part 3)
READINGS: M, C & B: Chapter 6, 10, PDF Readings (under week 7 in Course
Documents): (Cranton: Teaching for Transformation), Moore (Is higher Ed

Ready for TL?) Isopahkala-Bouret: (Transformative learning in managerial role
transitions), Merriam & Ntseane (Transformational Learning in Botswana: How
Culture Shapes the Process). Kilgore (Critical and Post-Modern Perspectives in
Adult Learning).
• BLACKBOARD ASSIGNMENT DUE : 1) Answer EACH question on the
Blackboard Discussion Board. 2) RESPOND to at least ONE classmate’s
comment PER QUESTION. (SEE rubric under course documents to
determine an adequate response or at the end of this syllabus). For
example, “I agree” is not a sufficient response.

Session 8: (10/13/2009): OF DALOZ and ETHICS: M, C & B: PDF Readings
(under week 8 in Course Documents): Daloz “Beyond Tribalism,”/ Daloz “The
Story of Gladys Who Refused to Grow.”), Ethics PowerPoint (under Course



****ONLINE SESSION FOR 10/20/09****

Session 9: (10/20/2009): NEWER APPROACHES TO ADULT LEARNING: M, C &
B: Chapters 8 & 9;

Session 10: (10/27/2009): Group Presentations (2)


Session 12: (11/10/2009): Group Presentations (2)


Session 14: (11/24/2009): THANKSGIVING—NO CLASS

Session 15: (12/1/2009): RESEARCH Paper Due/ Course Evals


Academic integrity is expected of all students. The attempt of any student to present as
his or her own work that which he or she has not produced is regarded by the faculty and
administration as a serious offense. Students are considered to have cheated if they copy
work of another during an examination or turn in a paper or assignment written, in whole
or part, by someone else. Students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they
copy from books, magazines, Internet or other sources without identifying and
acknowledging the source(s) (see current Graduate Catalog). If academic
misconduct is suspected, the faculty member will follow the “Faculty Guide to
Academic Misconduct” issued by the University Judicial Office.


Students should inform the instructor as soon as possible so appropriate accommodations
can be made.

Helpful Blackboard Links for information:

Please consult the following sources if you cannot log on to Blackboard or have
difficulty with your password. ITS can help you with these issues.
Link to Blackboard courses:

A word about passwords: Initial/default passwords:

• Students: If your Z-number is between Z097424 and Z900001, your initial
password is your birth date in the form of YYYYMMDD. If your Z-number is not
in this range, your initial password is the last 6 digits of your student
identification number.
1. ITS Frequently Asked questions about Blackboard, password info, logon info, etc.
2. If the above link is too hard then just go to On the
left side of the page you can click on many options including “Blackboard” and
3. If you want to contact ITS via e-mail
4. You can also call them at 815-753-8100
5. If you are not REGISTERED for the course, you may not be able to access
Blackboard. Please register for the course.