This paper is an examination of the various characteristics in which a faculty member responsible for teaching adults must have, in order to be an effective teacher. This is for both an online and on-ground teaching and learning environment. This paper will specifically identify these characteristics, and use examples in supporting the various facts identified. Palis and Quiros (2014) denotes that a variety of models and theories are developed for purposes of explaining this concept of adult learning. One such theory is andragogy, and this theory was developed by Malcolm Knowles in the year 1973 (Fraser and Hyland-Russell, 2011). In meeting the objectives of this paper, the researcher will have to identify the characteristic of an online learner, as well as identify a desirable characteristic of a faculty member aimed at satisfying the needs of the adult learner, based on his or her identified characteristic.
Andragogy is a theory designed for purposes of addressing the learning needs of adults, and it bases its assumptions that there is a considerable difference in the learning characteristics depicted between adults, and children (Palis and Quiros, 2014). To understand the various characteristics needed for adult teachers, it is first important to understand the needs of adult learners, and their characteristics. Knowles, Holton and Swanson (2011) in his theory of andragogy identifies five major assumptions and characteristics of adult learners. One characteristic of an adult learner is that they have the ability of independently directing his own learning. Knowles, Holton and Swanson (2011) denote that adult learners are always self-reliant, autonomous, and independent. On this basis, they always have a self-directed goal that they aim to achieve. Based on this characteristic of adults, Fraser and Hyland-Russell (2011) denotes that an online teacher has to act as a facilitator, and their responsibility should be to guide the adult ...Show more