Andragogy is a theory of learning that focuses on the learner; increasing educational experience and motivation by active participation and learner experience (Aucoin, 2011). The theory emphasizes a learner-directed approach to education rather than the traditional teacher-directed approach (Aucoin, 2011).
Andragogy and Art-Based Learning
One interesting learning experience that I found discusses an andragogy-informed art-based learning strategy (Nguyen, Miranda, Lapum, & Donald, 2016). The authors assessed the experiences of 155 undergraduate nursing students after one 24-week course that involved learning activities using arts and andragogical principles (Nguyen, Miranda, Lapum, & Donald, 2016). There were three nursing concepts that were focused on, adherence, uncertainty, and empowerment; the study incorporated arts using drama, illustrated narratives, and reflection exercises (Nguyen, Miranda, Lapum, & Donald, 2016). The findings showed that most students favored this approach and felt that their learning experiences were enhanced (Nguyen, Miranda, Lapum, & Donald, 2016). The study suggests that the approach of andragogy and art-based learning helped the students develop empathy, which enhances emotional intelligence (Nguyen, Miranda, Lapum, & Donald).
I enjoyed reading this study because I find that my learning is enhanced through similar activities such as small group discussion, reflection, and simulation activities. I am often the one in group discussions who shares many stories; not only do I want to share my experience, but I am hoping that I will learn of others related experiences through sharing my own. This study used the learner-based principle of andragogy and combined it with an arts-based learning approach.
Keeping in mind the andragogical principle of focusing more on the process of teaching and less focus on the content (Roebuck, et al., 2015), educators can assess learning preferences of their students to develop interactive activities to enhance learning experiences. In a survey of 272 nurse practitioners, learning needs and learning preferences were assessed in relation to skin cancer prevention, assessment, and diagnosis (Roebuck, et al., 2015). Using andragogical theories, preferences for learning were assessed in the survey with the most desired learning tools being a pocket guide, online continuing education activities and presentations (Roebuck, et al., 2015). By determining learning preferences, educational programs and curriculum can be developed in the student-learning style of andragogy.
Aucoin, J. (2011). Theoretical basis of e-learning. In T. J. Bristol, & J. Zerwekh (Eds.), Essentials of e-learning for nurse
educators (pp. 13-23). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis Company.
Nguyen, M., Miranda, J., Lapum, J., & Donald, F. (2016). Arts-based learning: A new approach to nursing education using
andragogy. Journal of Nursing Education, 55(7), 407-410.
Roebuck, H., Moran, K., MacDonald, D. A., Shumer, S., & McCune, R. L. (2015). Assessing skin cancer prevention and
detection educational needs: An andragogical approach. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners 11(4), 409-416
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