5 training ideas for adult learners

Customising training to the appropriate learner is equally important as designing the right content. Knowing who your learners are and how they learn will help you develop effective training. We’ve shortlisted 5 ideas to consider when developing training for adult learners.

1. Self-directed

Online learning solutions suit adult learners because it is self-directed learning. Adults like to take ownership of their learning; they are highly motivated when held accountable for their own learning.

2. Personal experience as resource

Adults have a wealth of experience at their disposal. Using and linking to adult learners experience when designing training will ensure they engage with the learning process and add value by having meaningful exchange with other learners.

3. Make learning relevant

Adults like to know why they need to learn. Resistance to learning is common in organisations; time, deadlines, and often a lack of knowledge are factors, which make staff resistant to learning. When a trainer makes the learning relevant to a specific task, or a knowledge gap the adult learner is motivated to learn. Professional self-development and promotion opportunities are viable reasons for adults to learn.

4. Training method

A combination of blended learning solutions is best when designing content and structure for adults. Work/life balance is important so adults will want training solutions that can adapt and be flexible to their needs. Just-in-time training or learning nuggets in the form of self-paced online training are a great way to empower the adult learner.

5. Respect and feedback

Respecting adult learners experience and knowledge demonstrates that the trainer has considered them. Showing interest in their experience acknowledges the adult learners gained knowledge and experience to the learning material and invites them to consider what else they may learn. Treating adults as colleagues is also important as it gives adults professional recognition. Moreover, asking adult learners for feedback on the course will help you to improve the training.

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