The Best Handful of Tips 30 –
Helping Adults Learn
Adults learn best by doing things, sharing experiences and having fun.
As we age our hearing, sight and physical reactions tend to decline. Learning can be slower so allow extra time when teaching new tasks to mature adults. There is no lessening of the ability to learn as we age.
Don’t forget it’s harder to change old ways than to learn new skills.
Five of the best tips to help adults learn
Say why new skills are needed and required
Arouse interest to encourage people to want to learn new skills.
People learn best when they know they need new skills.
Structure training around tasks relevant to work needs, to problem-solving, or life situations.
List topics leading to work advancement, increased earnings and personal satisfaction.
Get people involved in planning their own training needs
List topics and let them help select what they believe they need to learn and which topics are most needed. If they identify their own needs they will be keener to learn.
Make training challenging and enjoyable
Lecturing is one of the most ineffective way to train, so keep talks to a minimum.
Set up teams and let the teams compete for solutions to problems or new ways to work.
People enjoy training games and challenging competitions. Try to make training fun, enjoyable and rewarding.
Give small gifts as rewards for achievements and successes.
Use a variety of training methods
People will learn more quickly if you use different training ways. Use group discussions, role playing, simulation or problem solving exercises, such as brainstorming or mind mapping. (See source books for new training ideas. “Training Secrets” for example, contains 49 different ways to train.)
Use plenty of good quality visual aids and handouts.
Short bouts of learning are usually better than one long session
At each new session get the participants to review the previous session. Short repetitive training sessions can help reinforce learning. Often our recall is not the best and we need reminding.
The greater the involvement the more we learn.
“Training should include creative and lateral thinking – linked to real business situations.”
Source: “Training Secrets – Helping adults learn”. Available from Moss Associates Ltd, New Zealand & Cengage Learning Asia. Also available as an e-book from Amazon.com.