Teaching Adults Workshop1a/Facilitating Learning

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Facilitating Learning

The key to effectively facilitating learning is getting to know your adult learner.

When you are in a one to one learning situation this is the ideal opportunity to really get to know the learner you are working with and how they prefer to learn.

Finding out more about past learning experiences and how these influence the way in which an adult learns is very helpful.

Being aware of your own assumptions and personal learning preferences, offers insights into how these may impact on the way in which you facilitate learning.

There are a variety of tools and models you can use to help discover an adult's learning preference.

Learning Styles

It is important to remember that each learner is different. We all have our own preferences when it comes to learning that are influenced by the ways in which we think, our personalities, our backgrounds and our culture. In an attempt to capture and make sense of some of this, there are a large range of theories and models around learning styles and preferences. A popular model in the New Zealand context is the VARK – guide to learning styles. Neil Fleming has developed a tool to explore learning preferences that considers these in terms of the following modes of learning

  • visual
  • aural
  • kinaesthetic
  • reader/writer

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1. Complete the VARK questionnaire. (see the links below)

2.Print or download a copy if you don’t want to do this online.

3.Compare your results with the vark categories.

4.Read the page on understanding the results

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Do you think your learning preference impacts in any way on your teaching style?

Although they may have a preference, adults will often utilise a variety of learning styles to enable their learning.