The instructors and trainers questions related to how they perceived the learning process from their vantage point. They were asked to give specific examples of new skills, attitudes and knowledge that learners take away at the end of the course; to describe these changes as observable indicators and to provide evidence that there has been transfer or application to real-life situations. The interview schedule for the Human Resources Manager was to some extent similar but focused more on evidence of transfer or application to work; methods to collect evidence of learning and ways to facilitate learner assessment.
The interview conducted with the university professor was more open-ended and converged on four specific areas relevant to learning indicators: what learners have to tell; what learners do (performance assessment); the instructors perception of change relevant to observable indicators; and products created by students. This provided an effective backdrop and springboard for the inquiry process.
A literature review of learner assessment in workplace education, although more difficult to locate than assessment in adult education, became the second source of data collection. Literature on learner evaluative strategies indicated the important role of evaluation as an integral part of planning instruction and understanding the learning process. In other words, assessment and instruction need to be integrated, seamless and ongoing. Evaluation of learners with reference to self-evaluation has not been a component of SIP, yet, the research indicated that learners need to self-regulate, to reflect on what they have done, and to take responsibility for assessing their learning progress and monitoring their own development. A certain theme in the literature also proposed alternative measures of evaluation which embrace portfolio assessment, individual conferencing, reflective interviews, self-evaluation process and summative evaluations.
The third method of collecting data to determine indicators of learning was the existing program related documents composed of attendance records; written feed- back in post-course evaluations; and products of learners accomplishments facilitated in class such as passing the GED exam, creating a web page, writing clear memos and producing a work-specific spreadsheet.
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