Various studies show that adults prefer trainings that focus on the practical application of concepts. To retain and use new information they need to be able to integrate the new acquired knowledge with what they know. Here we present you some strategies to follow in order to trigger active participation and engagement by adult learner:
- Use self-directed learning
Plan some activities where students can direct their own learning, thus encouraging involvement and independence.
- Clarify and set expectations in advance
Keep in mind that adult learners, in comparison with younger learners, need to know why they are learning something, and they learn best when they can immediately use what they learn. Being clear about learners’ expectations from the very beginning, it will allow any instructor to shape a training program according to the needs of a learning group.
- Encourage questions and group discussions
Ask for feedback from adult learners and offer more freedom with lesson plans and activities. Use active participation and groups for social interaction.
Use real scenarios as examples in your trainings and utilise your learners’ knowledge where possible. You can use open-ended questions and draw on their own experiences
- Balance time and discussion
Spend less time lecturing and let students work on solving problems. Provide a supportive learning environment with multiple resources, breaks, and opportunities to ask questions.
Following those strategies can make a difference in your adult learners participation, so as to be active and assimilate new knowledge in their personal and professional life.