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Facilitating Adult Learning

Acknowledge Experience

In order to motivate adult learners, you must remember that they are bringing unique skills and experience to the table. To create an environment in which they will be motivated, focus on the following:

  • Ask them questions about their past work and experiences;
  • Show the student that the information they’ve shared is valued;
  • Provide material and conversation that builds on things they already know and are currently working on.

Allow for Self-Direction

Another difference in adult learners is the need to be self-directed, taking some control over the process of their learning. When working with adults, focus on the following:

  • Allow the students to make decisions about the content and process of their learning;
  • Create an environment where students feel comfortable assisting their classmates, contributing to their learning as well as their own;
  • Provide flexibility in the process.

Applying the Information

Adult learners learn best by actually doing things that they will need to do in the workplace. To captivate an adult learner audience, focus on the following:

  • Create the opportunity for active participation
  • Provide a way for the students to immediately apply the things they are learning

Allow for time to practice or test the new skills or information from the session.

Teaching to adults is not the same as teaching to children.

Tforce Tool Kit