January 17, 2007

Adult Learning Principles, Part 7: Problem-Oriented



Today's post is the last in the Adult Learning Principles series. There's so much more information out there, but I just wanted to give a basic overview that can help any speaker, instructor or facilitator make a better connection with and create a better learning environment for your audience.

Adult Learning Principle #6:

Adults are practical and problem-oriented, and want to apply what they've learned

Probably the most important result for adult learners is to be able to apply their learning to their work or personal life - immediately. Help facilitate this by doing the following:

* Use examples to help them see the connection between classroom theories and practical application
* Use problem-solving activities as part of learning
* Create action items or task lists together with participants
* Help learners transfer learning to daily practice by offering follow-up coaching or mentoring
* Create an experiential learning environment that follows an experiential learning cycle

This has been a brief overview of adult learning principles. I hope you've found some of the tips in these articles to be helpful.

At its most basic level, adult learning tends to be self-directed and based on the person's individual needs and life experiences. Follow these tips when working with adults, and you will be on your way to creating a truly effective learning experience.

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