Perceived importance and operations involved in program planning for adult learners

Beverly Marie Faust


An investigation was performed to indicate the significance of and the processes related to the provision of a systematic approach to program planning for adult learners. The multi-dimensional roles of program planners were discussed as well as those characteristics and personality traits deemed important to fulfill the responsibilities of a successful program planner. The stages of program development and the tasks of each stage were compiled to provide an easily understood discussion. A sample program model chart was designed by the researcher to include commonly used stages, categories and tasks involved in many of the program models studied by the researcher. The study was conducted in the fall of 2002 using a survey research methodology to determine which variables (tasks) were used by programs planners to ascertain their perceived importance to planning educational programs for adult learners. Program planners were asked to rate a number of tasks, using a Likert-type scale, on the criteria of perceived importance and frequency of use. Information dealing with participant's self-perceived possession of personality traits studied was collected to determine if their was a relationship between personality and tasks used in program planning. Participants for the study were chosen from community colleges in three southeastern states. The researcher used a correlation design to investigate the strength of the relationships of tasks used by program planners to the perception of the importance of tasks; the personality traits of the program planner to the tasks used by program planners, and the number of years of experience working as a program planner to the tasks chosen as important. The findings of this study revealed that program planning models were used moderately and perceived as moderately important. All program tasks were used often and perceive as important while the number of years of experience did not have any correlation with the tasks chosen as important to planners. There was a relationship found between most of the program planning tasks and one or more of the personality traits investigated. It could be summarized that program planning models are seen as moderately important to planners while tasks are perceived as important and used often.