The answer is no. Many educators believe we all learn the same and they would be wrong. Some people are visual learners and others are oral learners. Adult learners pose even greater challenges to educators.
Adults bring baggage into their learning environment. There can be many reasons for this. Adults may have been out of school for some time. They may resent the fact they must renew or update skills. Sometimes they just aren’t to sit for that long in a warm classroom if they usually work outdoors. They may be worried if they don’t pass the exam their job may be in jeopardy. Yes, adults bring baggage.
Here are some adult education principles that will help you make your training sessions a more enjoyable experience for all.
- Adults learn best in an informal situations
Make the class relaxed and fun regardless of the curriculum. Don’t expect adults to put up their hands to answer questions or ask “may I use the washroom”. Use first names for everybody.
- Adults want guidance
You need to demonstrate for adults how the technique done. Don’t send them off to do an activity without guidance to later tell them they did it wrong. You have just wasted their valuable time.
- Experience affects adult learning
Appreciate anyone who is willing to share a relevant experience or opinion. Remember to thank them for their valuable input on the subject.
- Adult learning focuses on problems and the problems must be realistic
Any scenarios or tasks must be realistic and relevant to the subject they are learning otherwise adults shut down. One funny and crazy scenario is a great stress reliever.
- Adults will learn only what they feel they need to learn
Adults don’t care the timeline of the subject if they aren’t being tested on them. They won’t even hear those dates you’re telling them because it’s not relevant to their tasks.
- Adults must want to learn
This is hard when people feel forced to attend your class. You must make then see how this subject will affect their daily life whether at work or home, so they will find value in the information.
- Adults learn by doing
Lecturing nonstop to adults is boring for everyone. Plan activities or hand on practice every 30 minutes if possible.
You will need good planning to give adult learner an interesting and meaningful course but it will be so worth it.
Have fun my friends!