| Adults bring life experience and knowledge to the learning environment. This experience and knowledge includes work-related, family, and community events and circumstances.Adults learn best when they can relate new knowledge and information with previously learned knowledge, information, and experiences.
- Provide opportunities for learners to reflect upon and share their existing knowledge and experience.
- Create learning activities that involve the use of past experience or knowledge.
- Ask learners to identify the similarities and differences between what they are learning and what they already know.
| Adults tend to prefer self-directed, autonomous learning?but this is often not an expectation of educational institutions and society.
- Design training around participants' needs and goals.
- Ask participants what they want to learn. Learners learn best when they establish a specific learning objective or goal for themselves.
- Provide learner action-planning tools and templates to help develop and focus their self-directed efforts and facilitate learning.
- Provide opportunities for learners to direct their own learning through guided inquiry and self-facilitated small-group discussions.
| Adults have self-pride and desire respect. They need their experience, beliefs, knowledge, questions, and ideas acknowledged as important.
- Because learning involves risk and the possibility of failure, design training to minimize each learner's risk and embarrassment.
- Provide opportunities for learners to share ideas, questions, opinions, experiences, concerns, etc. and to create an environment that honors and respects everything that is appropriately shared.
- Create flexible training programs that honor participants by accommodating their contributions and questions as much as possible.
- Make it safe for learners to express their confusion, anxieties, doubts, and fears.
- Provide opportunities for "small wins" and little victories in the learning process - to build competencies incrementally.
| Adults want practical, goal-oriented, and problem-centered learning that can immediately help them deal with life's challenges.
- Ask learners to identify what they would like to learn about a topic.
- Establish clear learning objectives that make the connection between participant's needs and the learning content.
- Share examples and stories that relate the learning content to participant's current challenges. Ask learners to share their own examples that make this linkage.
- Engage learners in identifying the challenges they face and the value of learning to addressing these challenges.
- Follow theories with practical examples and applications to demonstrate the relevance of the learning.
| Adults desire feedback on the progress they are making at learning something new.
- Provide opportunities for learners to get immediate feedback to their own learning through case examples, role-playing, quizzes, and responses to trainer questions.
- Encourage learners to self-evaluate and assess their own learning and performance.
- Praise any level of learning improvement and encourage continued learning.
| Adults have preferences for the way in which they learn. Some prefer learning by doing (kinesthetic), others prefer learning by observing (visual), while still others prefer learning by listening (auditory).
- Recognized that not all learners will respond to a given teaching method or technique.
- Use a wide variety of methods that tap into all learner preferences in training delivery.
- Use all three learning modes (kinesthetic, visual, and auditory) in every 20-minute teaching interval.
- Make trainers aware of their own learning preferences and make them wary of favoring this approach in their own teaching.
- Free learners to learn in the style that best suits them by using small group work, dyadic discussions, and individual activities.
| Adults learn best through collaboration and reciprocity - an environment where people learn with others while sharing what they already know.
- Provide a low-risk environment for learning while capitalizing on the different levels of knowledge and skill within a group by using small group work and didactic discussion.
- Strengthen learner self-esteem is strengthened through team-based learning, based on mutual trust and respect.
- Use small-group learning to more accurately reflect participants' interdependent and collaborative work environment back on the job.
| Adults are motivated to learn by a wide variety of factors. These are the most common: personal aspirations, externally imposed expectations, internal desire or interest, escape from a situation (boredom or fear), growth and advancement, and service to others.
- Inquire into the reasons participants are interested in learning.
- Invite learners to identify the link between learning and the satisfaction of a personal need or a reduction in an external stress or threat.
- Make a connection between the learning content and each learner's long-range objectives (in work and life).
- Ask participants to discuss in dyads and small groups the short- and long-term benefits of learning the program's content.