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Adult Learners

February 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 162

Training and teaching adults on just about anything requires a different approach. Adults learn differently, and as a trainer, it's your responsibility to tailor your training appropriately. You can do this by becoming aware of how adults learn, and then designing your training to suit their style. Below, you will see a list of combinations. Each pair includes one learning principle (#1) and one implication for design (#2).

The learning principle is step #1: awareness.

The implication for design is step #2: adapt accordingly.

1: The adult is a partner to the instructor during the learning process. 2: Participants should actively influence the learning approach.

1: Adults are capable of taking responsibility for their own learning. 2: Incorporate self-directed learning activities in the design.

1: Adults appreciate two-way, mutual communication. 2: Avoid overusing lectures, but instead, encourage discussions.

1: Adults learn through reflecting on their experiences, as well as others' experiences. 2: Use interactive methods such as case studies, role-playing, etc.

1: Adults pay attention to what they perceive to be applicable and relevant to their life. 2: Fit the content and materials to assessed needs.

1: Adult attention spans are a function of their interest in the experience. 2: Allow plenty of time to process the material and activities.

1: Adults are most receptive to instruction that directly relates to daily problems. 2: Include applications planning in each learning activity.

1: Adults do not typically see themselves as learners. 2: Give participants a reason to become involved and provide opportunities for success.

1: Adults learn better in a climate that is informal and personal. 2: Promote the process of getting acquainted and comfortable.

1: Adults apply learning that they have influenced or planned. 2: Determine and prioritize needs and preferences before and during the session.

1: Adults learn when they feel supported to experiment with new ideas and skills. 2: Use learning groups as 'home bases' for participants.

1: Adults likely have fixed perspectives that make them resistant to new ideas. 2: Include interpersonal feedback exercises and opportunities to experiment.

1: Adults learn to react to the different statuses of group members. 2: Use subgroups to provide safety and readiness to engage in open interchange.

1: Adults are internally motivated to develop increased effectiveness. 2: Make all learner evaluations self-directed.

1: Adults filter their learning through their values systems. 2: Provide activities that focus on cognitive, affective and behavioral change.

Tailor your training to adapt to your adult audience in ways that become advantageous for everyone.

Doug C. Watsabaugh, senior partner at WCW Partners, understands how to meet your unique performance challenges. With more than 20 years of experience, WCW Partners is a performance-improvement company that helps businesses revitalize their results and achieve record-breaking performance.

If you are looking to excel in sales, service or leadership, let Doug develop the capability in you!

Source: EzineArticles
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