Dr. Samuel Amponsah Delivers Inter-College Lecture

Dr. Samuel Amponsah of the Department of Adult Education and Human Resource Studies of the School of Continuing and Distance Education, has delivered an Inter-College Lecture on the topic: ‘Understanding the Academic Experiences of Graduate Adult Learners in Ghana’.

Dr. Samuel Amponsah

Introducing the lecture, Dr. Amponsah noted that his personal interaction with an adult learner spurred him on to study the experiences of graduate adult learners in Ghana. He recounted the story of a student whose journey to achieving higher education started through the University of Ghana diploma access course. This student passed through various stages of his education and eventually pursued a Master’s degree programme.

Sections of the audience at the lecture

Dr. Amponsah identified life-long learners as adults who have returned to institutes of higher education to gain more knowledge and skills to enhance their lives. Adult learners are ready to learn, self-motivated and move from being dependent learners to self-directed learners during the learning process. They are engaged in programmes whose approach is problem centered. While children are taught things which they have no control over, adults are helped to learn and characteristically draw on their previous experiences in their learning process.

Question time

He elaborated on technological and economic factors that have led to changes in the academic environment and approaches to teaching and learning, and also highlighted the academic challenges of adult learners and how these affect their educational achievements. These challenges include difficulty in combining studies with family and work, computer illiteracy, the stress involved in studying, funding of education, the diversion from one course of study to a totally new course of study, and scoring low grades.

Despite the many challenges they encountered in their bid to engage in higher education, the majority of adult learners in the study were highly motivated and passionate about their academic journeys.

Adult learners in the study were excited about the use of ICT tools and social media for academic work, attainment of knowledge, skills and attitudes which would enable them solve problems, being seen as a role model by children and colleagues, the prestige associated with attaining a higher educational degree, and promotion at work.

It was suggested that instructors of adult learners should make use of applications such as Sakai as this would encourage the adult learners improve upon their ICT Skills and aid the learning process.

Dr. Emmanuel Adjei and Dr. Samuel Amponsah

The lecture was chaired by Dr. Emmanuel Adjei, Head of the Department of Information