As a result, an Educational Board was formed with membership from management, office personnel, union representatives, plant employees, and educational representatives from the Nova Scotia Department of Education. After considering the advantages of developing in-house training at Crossley, the Educational Skills Training program was launched. At the outset of the program, participants were the younger employees of the plant. Having a designated 40 week program completion time seemed to suit their needs in acquiring the skills that the company deemed necessary passing the General Educational Development (GED). However, as the program continued, the more senior employees wanted to participate as they witnessed the recent program graduates move into other types of positions. It soon became clear to the instructor, the employer, and the participants that the restriction of a time limited program hindered older individuals in their ability to learn. These individuals could not gain or retain the content necessary for acquiring a Grade 12 equivalency in the same way as the younger participants. Program restructuring became necessary in the area of content delivery. With this history in mind, action research planning provided the most appropriate way to investigate the following research question:
Understanding the Situation
Data Collection Methods
After reflecting on the root of the problem, four methods of data collection were chosen to answer the research question. The first method of data collection concentrated on gathering existing evidence from written and unwritten materials. A portfolio of readings associated with geriatrics and learning and retention characteristics of older learners was developed with key concepts. These were put on index cards for later analysis. Information concerning my own knowledge base on older adult learners drawn from classroom experience was put into a log-book and later indexed. Students also completed weekly journals for a period of eight weeks recording their likes and dislikes concerning the delivery of a particular topic and suggestions for delivery improvement. This information was then transferred to index cards for sorting purposes.
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