ERIC Number: ED308750
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar-31
Reference Count: N/A
An Examination of Similarities and Differences among Adults' Perceptions of Instructional Excellence.
Donaldson, Joe F.
Information is presented on a study to explore similarities and differences among adults in their perceptions of attributes associated with exemplary instruction. Three purposes were to: determine how returning adults describe the instructors they find exemplary and compare these findings with the findings of previous research about younger student perceptions; explore similarities and differences in perceptions; and use the findings to generate propositions for further study. Bases of comparison were gender, age, level of study, subject matter, profession, and stage in professional career. A content analysis was done on 176 letters of recommendation received from adult students in an excellence in off-campus teaching award program at a large midwestern research university. Content analysis yielded 971 data elements in 28 categories focusing on instructional techniques, instructor-student relationships, course outcomes, instructor as a person, and instructor professionalism. Much commonality was found between characteristics of excellent instruction reported by adult students and those reported by traditional undergraduate students from other studies. Findings suggest students' expectations of instructors arise from the interaction of such factors as content studied, student status, and personal situation. Common patterns of normative evaluations or expectations can be extended via the additive and diversifying experiences of adulthood. Also, these common patterns can be modified through the particular experiences of academic preparation and adulthood. Tables are included. Contains 17 references. (Author/SM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989).