Date of Graduation

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College/School

School of Education

Department/Program

Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Patricia Mitchell

Second Advisor

Betty Taylor

Third Advisor

Darrick Smith

Abstract

To protect society from incompetent, unskilled, or out-of-date practitioners; to keep abreast of advances in knowledge and technology; and to respond to public demands for accountability and consumer protection; continuing education (CE) and mandatory continuing education (MCE) programs have significantly increased in the past 20 years. Individuals and organizations invest significant time and financial resources to comply with mandatory education and training requirements. Although the mandates and demand for CE and MCE continues to increase, there is minimal research on the efficacy of various delivery methods. The purpose of this study was to examine and document the efficacy of andragogical instructional delivery methods in comparison to traditional (pedagogical) instructional delivery methods to improve teaching and training methodologies for learning government-mandated course content. The findings from this study enhance the understanding of how best to teach and train adult learners when they are required to learn rather than when they choose to learn.

This mixed-methods study employed an explanatory design to sequentially collect quantitative and qualitative data, and use the results to understand a research problem. Quantitative data was prioritized and qualitative data was used to refine the results based on a debriefing process with participants. This study reinforces prior research indicating the value and benefit of andragogical delivery in instructional settings. It confirms the value of andragogical delivery methods (ADM) with government-mandated course content. It confirms prior assumptions that adult learners desire learning opportunities based on their life experiences and personal situations; that adult learners desire an educational curriculum that allows learners to integrate their experiences into classroom efforts; that adult learners desire the instructor's role to be that of an "engager" of learning rather than a "transmitter" of knowledge; and that teaching strategies should consider learning times, place, styles, and pace. It was observed that ADMs require significant preparation, rigor, and "presence" to achieve the stated goals. Further research is required to determine to what extent ADM can be incorporated into online computer-based training and education and development of skills and andragogical techniques to deliver mandatory content in short sessions.

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