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The scenario selected for the given project focuses on Parker Online Community College (POCC) and the upcoming online education of adult students. The mentioned scenario was chosen due to my career goals, personal experience, and research results. In particular, it is evident that the future of education will be inextricably linked to online learning as a result of globalization processes and the ever-changing social, economic, and cultural environment (Kallison, 2017). In order to accomplish my career goals, I need to comprehend the mechanisms of online orientation programs to be able to assist the students in their preparation to enter colleges. As for my personal experience, having successfully completed several online courses, I understood that orientation programs that are also known as transition programs are rather useful for those students who have never been engaged in online learning. Since the courses I have taken allowed the students to communicate with each other, I was able to observe their feedbacks that included such points as difficulties with accessing some course issues or a lack of proper writing skills. Considering the challenges enumerated by the students of the given scenario, including time management, technology and writing skills, and the connection with other students, it is essential to provide them with the opportunity to prepare to study by offering a properly-designed orientation program.
Review of Articles and Two Methods
The growing body of evidence illustrates the increased attention to transition programs for adult learners. The pilot study by Kallison (2017) examined the effects of postsecondary transition programs, which offered the preparation in writing, reading, mathematics, and college knowledge within a short-term yet intensive period. According to the results, 18 of 20 assessments revealed positive changes, even though many students did not achieve college readiness benchmarks (Kallison, 2017). The above study demonstrates the value and the potential of transition programs, which need to be elaborated and implemented to help adult students.
As part of a rather significant effort to assist with entering a college, one may consider the research by McDonough (2014), in which the author explored Knowles’ approach to adult learning through blended courses. The paramount argument formulated by the above scholar refers to the fact that adults tend to be more engaged in studying while they feel special and have the opportunity to contribute to the program to some extent. In this regard, motivation acts as the key tool to engage them. As emphasized by McDonough (2014), such motivators as obtaining new friends, acquiring new knowledge, certification, personal development, and maintaining skills may be utilized by program creators. In its turn, the study by Karmelita (2017) also contributes to the identified theme by presenting fundamental elements of transition programs designed specifically for adult learners. It is stated that the establishment of effective relationships and aligning student experience with curriculum are the key elements. At the same time, remediation, technology, support, and genuine college experience are noted as the integral components of adult learning transition programs (Karmelita, 2017). The results revealed by the author seem to be relevant and justified by credible arguments and clear explanations.
In order to engage internal or external stakeholders in supporting the orientation program, it is appropriate to use stakeholder management and team collaboration methods. The first method will focus on creating a collaborative team creation by preparing tools to tailor communication, develop time management, and ensure technical access of every student to the program (Kerzner, 2013). In terms of the latter, custom online databases and a forum for discussions will be prepared to allow students to reveal their thoughts, feelings, and assumptions regarding the program.
|Decide to conduct needs assessment|
|Make a conscious decision to complete a needs assessment with a commitment from key decision makers.||As part of Parker Online Community College (POCC) adult learning program, a researcher will conduct a needs analysis to engage students in an orientation program based on learners’ specific expectations and requirements.|
|Identify people and develop plan for needs assessment|
|Identify individuals to be involved in planning and overseeing the needs assessment, and develop a plan.||A committee of three people will be assigned to conduct a needs assessment, containing a researcher, the college manager, and an outside consultant. One of the members will be appointed as a project manager. The majority of the committee meetings will be held online.|
|Determine context, purpose, and major questions|
|Determine important contextual factors, and develop purpose and major questions for the needs assessment.||Among the important contextual factors, there are social and cultural issues affecting the behaviors of the students. The purpose of the needs assessment is to accomplish grant requirements for an orientation program. Several questions are as follows: (1) what are the challenges, goals, and needs adult learners encounter?; and (2) what are the theories and strategies to be used to make adult learners’ orientation more effective? (McLean & Vermeylen, 2014).|
|Layout the target dates, time lines, budget, and staff.||A needs assessment is to be completed in two weeks. The committee members’ remuneration will compose approximately $20,000. No other expenses are anticipated.|
|Choose the specific individuals or groups to be the respondents||100 students will be selected for conducting a needs analysis. Such sample will ensure proper results and assumptions.|
|Determine data collection techniques.||Data collection will be made directly from the respondents in the form of semi-structured-interviews and a survey. At the same time, scholarly literature and official websites will be accessed to gather credible information.|
|Ensure that data are collected in an appropriate and timely manner.||All of the committee members are to participate in data collection.|
|Break down collected information to determine: (a) the basic findings in terms of quantitative (numerical) and qualitative descriptions, (b) points of agreement and disagreement, and (c) agreed-upon findings and conclusions concerning identified needs and ideas.||An analysis of the data will be made by a researcher and then reviewed by the committee to come to a conclusion. a) qualitative descriptions; b) agreement between the committee members; c) collective conclusions.|
|Sort and prioritize needs|
|Sort and prioritize each of the identified needs and indicate (a) which needs should be responded to first, second, and so on, and (b) needs for which alternative interventions are more appropriate (e.g., changes in the reward system, installation of needed equipment, changes in organizational structure).||A priority rating system and group discussions will be utilized.|
|Distribute the results of the needs assessment to appropriate individuals and groups within and external to the organization.||A needs assessment process, findings, discussion, and conclusions are to be presented to POCC director, and, after the approval, an orientation program is to be designed.|
Kallison, J. M. (2017). The effects of an intensive postsecondary transition program on college readiness for adult learners. Adult Education Quarterly, 67(4), 302-321.
Karmelita, C. (2017). Fundamental elements of transition program design. Adult Learning, 28(4), 157-166.
Kerzner, H. (2013). Project management: A systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling (11th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
McDonough, D. (2014). Providing deep learning through active engagement of adult learners in blended courses. Learning in Higher Education, 10(1), 9-16.
McLean, S., & Vermeylen, L. (2014). Transitions and pathways: Self-help reading and informal adult learning. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 33(2), 125-140.