For the 12 years we have offered our VCOLE (virtual classroom on-line education) course The Program Office for Laboratory Quality Management’s Certificate Course on Quality Management. Each year is essentially it presents as a new course because of all the refinements that are implemented based on our experience as faculty and the information that we gain from all the participant surveys that we run throughout 7 modules of the course. The course information is based on Quality principles, key to which is Deming’s Plan – Do – Check – Act and Repeat.
From the very beginning we were assisted by a course design expert who ensured that we focus on established Andragogy (Adult Learner) theory. It is, or should be intuitively obvious that when it comes to learning, adults are not just big children. Child learning is diffuse, adult learning is focused. Adult learning has been a focus of study for almost 200 years, developed by Kapp in 1830s. In North America, Kapp’s theories were popularized by Malcolm Knowles in the 1970 is his Principles of Adult Learning which include:
- · Don’t equate a big crowd with success.
- · Don’t drone on. Keep to the point.
- · Don’t speak to slides. Use slides to highlight, not as script.
- · And, while it is always an ego boost, to the extent possible avoid all invitations to speak at meetings where no one speaks your language or understands what you are saying.