Important Links

Assessing Employee Safety Motivation

Red Seal

Connect with ITA

WHIMIS- The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

Canadian Centre for Occupational for Health and Safety

B.C employment law

Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training

Technology and Adult Students in Higher Education: A Review of the Literature

Clayn Lambert, Luke Erickson, Ali Alhramelah, Derick Rhoton, Robin Lindbeck, Dotty Sammons

Idaho State University

Menko Johnson. (ND) ADULT LEARNERS AND TECHNOLOGY. How to Deliver Effective Instruction and Overcome Barriers to Learning. San Jose State University.


Michele Jacobsen. Canada Education


  • Effectiveness of Cognitive Apprenticeship Instructional Methods in College Automotive Technology Classrooms
Joseph R. Cash
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Michael B. Behrmann
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Ronald W. Stadt
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Harry M. Daniels
University of Florida, Gainesville

  • E-learning within the building and construction and allied trades

  • Student Safety in Secondary Technological Education Grades 9 to 12

Brooks Doherty.Tips for Teaching Adult Students

  • Technological unemployment. Wikipedia




Technology and Adult Students in Higher Education: A Review of the Literature

Clayn Lambert, Luke Erickson, Ali Alhramelah, Derick Rhoton, Robin Lindbeck, Dotty Sammons

Idaho State University

Menko Johnson. (ND) ADULT LEARNERS AND TECHNOLOGY. How to Deliver Effective Instruction and Overcome Barriers to Learning. San Jose State University.

The Critical Thinking Community


  • New Insights:

When I was a young man, it was a different time and learning process was of stringent practices and old technology. You would learn what was in written on a blackboard and either do the calculations by hand or use a heavy calculator. I still remember the endless 8mm movies of the 1960s, some with sound, and some so boring that it would turn out to be a snooze time. This is not practiced today; the evolution of instruction has changed and will continue to evolve.

The diversity of students who decide to become a tradesperson has definitely intrigued me. In today’s skilled trade education, we now have a mix of men and women of all ages interested in earning an income, while learning a skilled trade. Some of them, especially the young generation, are very technologically advanced, others who are older, might not understand the concept of using technology in the classroom. For example, I remember how at work when the first laser alignment tools came out they were a real learning curve for the older generation of tradesmen. They were afraid of using the new lasers as they did not trust them. Many times I had to demonstrate how the tools worked, and together we would discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using them.

I see one of my roles as an adult educator to introduce the new technology and teach my learners to be comfortable with blending the old and new technologies, so they can see the values of both. It will be a collaborative learning process when the students and the teacher learn from each other.

  • Trends:

Technology is advancing so fast that the industrial equipment becomes obsolete within 5-10 years. The challenge to protect the environment also encourages companies to install more efficient, modern environmentally friendly equipment. You are constantly being trained to install new technology, and you must be open-minded to the changes.

Another trend I want to mention is the expectation that a tradesperson should have knowledge in other areas. For example, nowadays the equipment is run automatically, which means you need to understand the importance of safe work with equipment controlled electronically. The technology has changed the industrial environment so much: it’s not pulling the switch anymore; it is using a computer to analyze and using special software to start or stop any equipment. As an instructor, I myself have to keep up with these technological changes, so I can introduce them to my students.

  • Web-Conference:

The conferencing with my partner was a very useful experience. We discussed how technology is affecting tradespersons’ attitude, and we agreed that the hardest thing about using new technology is the apathy of the trade’s people who are too comfortable with the results of the instruments. The variations of the environment, including temperature of manufactured products and even extreme lighting or darkness can make tradespersons uncomfortable. Because of the timeframes and constrains to produce the product, they don’t do a proper analysis of the equipment, which affects the quality of work. The tendency is to not be consistent with the basic trials and errors with checking the industrial equipment, such as bearings and seals, shafts, couplings, as well as stress and strain of fixtures and piping arrangements for wear-and-tear.

What I have learned from my partner, who is currently teaching apprentices, is that the students don’t appreciate the basic necessary skills for analyzing and assessing the problems with the equipment. We need to teach the students that the machine is a whole body and needs to be checked for its health.


Motivational Techniques

According to the article, for motivating adult, “non-traditional” learners, teachers have to keep in mind that adults have different priorities and commitments from those of the young learners. If teachers guide the learners through learning process without dictating the outcome of the experience, then learning will occur. Autonomy and independence, which means “freedom of pace, choice, method, content, or assessment,” will motivate students, empowering their self-esteem. Student-centered instruction and involving students in decision-making in assessing process are among motivational techniques for engagement of adult learners.

Engaging Adult Learners. Prepared by Michelle Schwartz, Research Associate, for the Learning & Teaching Office,


Characteristics of Adult Learners

The San Diego City College article briefly touches on historical roots of adult learning principals, compares adults with children as learners, and comes up with a number of characteristics which describe an adult learner, based on “Pike’s Laws of Adult Learning”:

  • Law 1: Adults are babies with big bodies.
  • Law 2: People do not argue with their own data.
  • Law 3: Learning is directly proportional to the amount of fun you are having.
  • Law 4: Learning has not taken place until behavior has changed.

For discussing the adult learning style differences, the article presents several approaches developed in adult learning theories.  According to the article, learning styles are based on the “senses that are involved in processing information; theories of intelligence, including emotional intelligence and ‘multiple intelligences’; and preferences for learning conditions, i.e., the environment in which learning takes place.”

Adult Learning. San Diego City College


According to the article posted on the University of Michigan website, the three key components of lesson planning are the following: 1) Identifying the objectives 2) Preparing activities 3) Preparing and planning evaluation of what students have learned.

The teacher should keep in mind that it is important for adult learners to create experiential knowledge, and encourage them to share it with their peers, ask questions and listen to suggestions, developing a routine of learning. An adult students’ instructor will always ask for students’ cooperative input by linking their suggestions to the objectives of the lesson. Students will develop and understand the values of peer and group work as they learn together, building each other’s individual strengths. As Milkova pointed out, “A productive lesson is not one in which everything goes exactly as planned, but one in which both students and instructor learn from each other.”

Retrieved from

Stiliana Milkova. Strategies for Effective Lesson Planning

Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. University of Michigan


Instructional Process/Strategies

Facilitating “barrier free learning,” according to the author of Engaging Adult Learners, means to employ strategies which make the material clear, interesting and relevant to students. The instruction of adult learners needs to be open for strategies, which would increase the participation of all learners, which would keep apathy and boredom out of the classroom. The use of actual case studies, for example, and experimental projects will inspire to motivate a discussion, increase students’ interest and promote learning.

Bryson encourages teachers to consider students’ previous experiences while designing and delivering instruction, as well as to use technology in teaching and learning and a process approach for assignments.

Bryson’s article is a great tool for instructors who want to link theoretical principles of adult learning with practice.


ENGAGING ADULT LEARNERS: Philosophy, Principles and Practices

Summer, 2013

Creating a Positive Learning Enviroment

A safe, respectful, caring environment in a classroom will motivate students and promote learning.Students should feel free and safe about asking any questions and sharing their opinions both with their peers and the instructor while the instructor should establish an environment of mutual understanding, respect and trust. “Connectedness,” according to the article, is an important aspect of a positive learning place where “Students share a common purpose and a sense of mutual care.” In a culturally diverse classroom setting, the instructor’s cultural awareness and sensitivity are also very important.

All these aspects of a positive learning environment are necessary to think about from the very beginning of the course because it is crucial to establish the trustful connected relationship at the time you start your communication with students.

Kathleen O’Connell. Creating a Positive learning Environment
University of Maryland, Baltimore County. December, 2005