According to Pointpark University Philadelphia, by understanding adult students, you can become a better educator or trainer. Here are six key teaching strategies for making lessons more applicable for adult learners.
1.Keep It Relevant
They have to understand how the skills they learn will improve their daily lives. If they believe a lesson will have a measurable impact, they will be far more likely to be engaged and internalize the lesson.
2. Remember Student Backgrounds
Adult students have far more life experience. This means that your educational content must reflect the level of education they have completed, what their daily lives are like and what they are looking for out of a course. Failure to do so makes your course seem less relevant.
3. Integrate Emotion Into Lessons
This will make your course more relatable and can give positive encouragement and motivation that a student needs to succeed. This can be achieved through storytelling. Draw on real-life experience, whether your own or your students’ experience. When content has an emotional connection to adult students, they will pay more attention to the lesson.
4. Encourage Exploration
Traditional student populations enjoy being taught, but adult learners would prefer to explore a topic on their own. This format is often called “didactic teaching,” The central theme of a lesson is a question or problem that needs to be answered or solved. This lets students integrate their own personal experience into what they are learning. Teachers should offer group projects that inspire true collaboration and exploration. If your students can arrive at the topic on their own, it will resonate more.
5. Make Assignments Convenient
Adult learners are much busier than traditional students. They have jobs, families and countless other commitments to manage. That means assignments should be convenient to complete. Small blocks of text, bullet points and numbered lists can help make content far more digestible than long readings. Some assignments can even be completed via mobile devices, so students can finish them anywhere. When you offer more opportunities for students to finish assignments, they are more likely to do them.
6. Always Offer Feedback
If students make an error, offering immediate feedback can make the lesson much more effective. When students are unable to grasp a concept, offer an alternative approach or explanation. Waiting too long to give feedback is never advised but especially when teaching adults.