Teaching Adults Workshop1a/Action

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Action that you choose to take in terms of facilitating learning will depend upon may factors including the learner's:

  • context
  • past learning experiences
  • learning preferences/styles
  • motivation
  • readiness to learn
  • commitment and the impact of other distractions.

Learning preferences

If choosing actions/strategies considering the adult's learning preferences there are many different possible approaches If considering Neil Flemings VARK model:

  • For aural learners you could have conversations, discussions, use stories, audiotapes/mp3 recordings, even podcasts
  • For read/write learners you could use hand outs and encourage them to take their own notes. As Fleming suggests it's "words, words, words"

Of course there are many more learning styles and preferences and these are influences not only by individual preference but also by learning experience.

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Key points
*Find out who your learner is?
  • What preferences for learning do they have?
  • What has influenced their thoughts on, and barriers to learning?
  • What will motivate them to learn?
before deciding on action

If learning does not appear to be happening:

  • stop
  • reflect on why
  • be aware of your own assumptions
  • change the approach

Constantly hitting someone on the head with a softball bat will only reinforce the learning that it hurts to get hit on the head with a softball bat!