Adult learning Tip 2: Understanding Principles
Understanding adult learning principles is the key to developing successful training procedures that engage trainees and facilitate learning. It is helpful to make a list of the characteristics of adult learning preferences in order to tailor your training methods to the needs of the trainees. By understanding these principles, you will find that the training will be more beneficial to the trainees and the organization.
Concepts you can practice:
- Dialogue - interaction between learners and instructors.
- Supportive atmosphere- comfortable environment facilitates learning along with a nurturing instructor; acknowledged support outside of the learning environment (management, available resources) is also helpful.
- Encouragement of cooperative communication - clear opportunities for discussion between learners and instructors and learners amongst each other.
Adults respond best to learning that is:
- Recognizing the learner as an expert
- Real-life centered
- Internally and externally motivated
Practice is important in motor learning
- How the practice is done makes a large difference.
- In the short-run: practicing skills in separate but concentrated blocks (e.g., learning to install a roof bolt as one block in a sequence of blocks) leads to better performance during practice than integrating one skill after another (e.g., performing the whole task of roof bolting).
But in the long-run: integrated practice (practicing the whole task) leads to better learning than block learning.
- People are often poor assessors of what they have learned.This can lead to serious consequences with a critical task (donning SCSR).You would be wise to incorporate evaluation into the lesson.
For additional information contact:
Dr. Kathleen M. Kowalski-Trakofler, 412-386-4531, KKowalski@cdc.gov
Dr. Charles Vaught, 412-386-6830, CVaught@cdc.gov