Adult learning principles_handout


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Adult learning principles_handout

  1. 1. Using Adult Learning PrinciplesUsing Adult Learning PrinciplesOverviewGood training design should incorporate elements, which recognize the specialneeds of adult learners.This module will show you how adult - learning principles will benefit employees in theperformance of their jobs.It will provide a basis for the design of your instructional material show you how important it isto provide learning options so that the trainees can choose how they will learn a particularconcept or skill.Session ObjectivesAt the end of this lesson, you will be able to describe how following adult learning principles indeveloping and conduction training contributes to training effectiveness. • Define and distinguish between Pedagogy, and Andragogy • Identify the four laws of learning • Identify the five characteristics of adult learners • Distinguish between how we learn and what we remember • Identify the nine principles of adult learning (RAMP2FAME) • Identify three broad learning styles of adults 1
  2. 2. Using Adult Learning Principles • Identify the different roles that trainers need to play in the learning process to be effective • Identify the pitfalls of training adults • Document a plan of action to use these skills on the jobDefinitionsPedagogy – The art and science of teaching learningAndragogy - Andragogy is the art and science of helping adults learn (Knowles, 1970)Critical Elements of Pedagogy and Andragogy Critical Element Pedagogy Andragogy Teacher directs what is learned, The learner moves towards how the subject is taught. The independent self-direction. teacher encourages and nurtures Dependent/Independent this and acts as the sole arbitrator to see if what was taught was learned. People learn what society People learn what they need to Readiness to Learn expects them to learn know. (Learning around life (standardized curriculum) application) A rich resource for learning. Of little worth. Teaching is The Learners Experience Teaching methods include didactic. discussion and problem-solving The learning experience is based Acquisition of subject matter on problems since learners are Orientation to Learning (Curriculum organized by performance-centered when subjects) learning.Characteristics of Adult LearnersAs a person matures: 1. Their self-concept moves from being a dependent personality toward one of being a self- directing person. Dirkx and Lavin (1995) suggest that this could also mean that the adult learner will: 2
  3. 3. Using Adult Learning Principles (a) tend to be voluntary learners. (b) believe the decision to return to school is an important one (c) believe that education will be beneficial. 2. They accumulate a growing reservoir of experience that becomes a foundation and a resource in their learning. But it must be noted that adult learners in any learning environment will: (a) vary widely in age, ability, work experiences, cultural background, and personal goals; (b) range in educational backgrounds and (c) carry well-developed personal identities. 3. Their readiness to learn becomes increasingly oriented to the developmental tasks of their social roles. Dirkx and Lavin (1995) suggest that this could also mean that the adult learner will: (a) tend to be a pragmatic learner (b) study to improve their performance in other social roles. (c) let their schoolwork take a back seat to other responsibilities, such as jobs and families. (d) expect their class time to be well spent. (e) hope their courses will help them solve problems in their daily lives. 4. Their time perspective changes, they need to see the immediate application of the knowledge not a future use or application of the knowledge. 5. Their reason to learn changes from external motivators to internal motivators. They move from learning about a subject to learning how to learn and solve problems.Assumptions about Adult Learning 1. Adults need to know why they need to learn something 2. Adults need to learn experientially 3. Adults approach learning as problem-solving 4. Adults learn best when the topic is of immediate value. 5. Adult view learning is an active process in the construction of meaning. 3
  4. 4. Using Adult Learning PrinciplesThe Laws of LearningEffective learning experiences have things in common - whether we are learning to drive a car,make bread, repair a car or read a simple sentence.As trainers, one will need to be aware of what these things are and how you can use them todesign successful lessons.1. The Law of DoingStudents dont learn as the result of what trainers do, but as the result of what trainers get them todo. This basic principle is equally important for students and trainers to understand. The studentwho expects to learn by simply sitting back and listening is likely to be disappointed. The trainer,on the other hand, who relies solely on the "Ill lecture, you listen" type of teaching is not likelyto see much learning take place.Why is this? Learning is a change - behavioral change in an individual. Behavioral changes donttruly become a part of a person until he has reinforced them through use. For example, a studentcan memorize the operation of a piece of equipment or a new word for his vocabulary. But hedoesnt actually "learn" those things until he practices operating the equipment or using the newword. The student, in short, must be involved in the process of learning.2. The Law of EffectPeople tend to accept and repeat responses that are pleasant and satisfying, and to avoid thosethat are annoying. If an adult finds that he is learning to read and enjoying the process as well, hewill tend to keep returning to class. In short, "nothing succeeds like success". Students shouldexperience personal satisfaction from each learning activity and should achieve some success ineach class period.3. The Law of ExerciseThe more often an act is repeated, the more quickly a habit is established. Practice makes perfect- if the practice is the right kind. Practicing the wrong thing will become a habit too, one which ishard to break. The tutor should be sure that her students are performing a skill correctly.4. The Law of PrimacyFirst impressions are the most lasting. This means that those first lessons are all-important. Thetutor should arouse interest, provide subject matter that meets the students needs, and help himto learn it correctly the first time.How we LearnLearning Styles can be divided into three broad categories: auditory, visual and kinesthetic.Characteristics of each are:Auditory: "I hear" Learn best through hearing, using their ears and voices. These learnersremember what they hear and remember by talking aloud, like to talk through a concept,enjoy class discussions. 4
  5. 5. Using Adult Learning PrinciplesVisual: "I see" Learn best through seeing. These learners remember seeing things writtendown, enjoy pictures of what is described, like written assignment instructions, observe thephysical elements of the teaching situation.Kinesthetic: "I do" Learn best through doing, touching. These learners enjoy acting out asituation, making a product or completing a project, remember and understand through doingsomething. We learn: We Remember: • 1% through taste • 10% of what we read • 1.5% through touch • 20% of what we hear • 3.5% through smell • 30% of what we see • 11% through hearing • 50% of what we see and hear • 83% through sight • 80% of what we say • 90% of what we say as we act I hear and I forget --- I see and I remember --- I do and I understandNine Principles of Adult Learning R Recency A Appropriateness M Motivation P Primacy 2 2 – way communication F Feedback 5
  6. 6. Using Adult Learning Principles A Active Learning M Multi-sense learning E Exercise1. Recency – Tells us that the things that are learned last are those best remembered by theparticipant. That is, it applies to the content at the end of the session and, it applies to the thingsthat are freshest in the participants’ minds. Factors to be considered for Recency:  Keep each session to a relatively short period of time, no longer than twenty minutes if possible  If sessions are longer than twenty minutes, recap often. This breaks the larger sessions into smaller sessions with lots of endings so that you can summarize.  The end of every session is important. Recap the whole session, highlighting the key points or key messages.  Keep the participants fully aware of the direction and progress of their learning2. Appropriateness - All the training, information, training aids, case studies and othermaterials must be appropriate to the participants’ needs. Factors to be considered for Appropriateness:  The trainer should clearly identify a need for the participants to be taking part in the training. With this need identified, the trainer must make sure that everything connected with the session is appropriate to that need.  Use descriptions, examples or illustrations that the participants are familiar with.3. Motivation – Participants must want to learn, they must be ready to learn and there must besome reason to learn. Factors to be considered for Motivation:  The material must be meaningful and worthwhile to the participant, not only to the trainer.  Not only must the participants be motivated, so must the trainer. If the trainer isn’t motivated, learning probably won’t take place. 6
  7. 7. Using Adult Learning Principles  As mentioned under Appropriateness the trainer sometimes needs to identify a need for the participants to be there. Trainers can usually create motivation by telling the participants that this session can fill that need.  Move from known to the unknown. Start the session at a point the participants are familiar with. Gradually build up and link points together so that everyone knows where they are expected to go in the learning process.4. Primacy – The things that participants learn first are usually learnt best so the firstimpressions or pieces of information that participants get from the trainer are really important.For this reason, it’s good practice to include all of the key points at the beginning of the session. Factors to be considered for Primacy:  Again keep sessions to a relatively short period of time; twenty minutes is about right as suggested with the law of Recency.  The beginning of your session will be important as you know that most of the participants will be listening; so make it interesting and put lots of important information into it.  Keep the participants fully aware of the direction and progress of their learning.  Ensure that participants get things right the first time you require them to do something.5. 2-way Communication – The training process involves communication with the participants,not at them. Factors to be considered for 2-way Communication:  Your body language is also included in 2-way communication: make sure it matches what you’re saying.  Your session plan should have interactions with the participants designed into it.6. Feedback – Informs both the facilitator and the participant need information from each other.The facilitator needs to know that the participants are following and keeping pace and theparticipants need feedback on the standard of their performance. Factors to be considered for Feedback:  Trainees should be tested frequently for instructor feedback.  When trainees are tested they must get feedback on their performance as soon as possible.  Testing can also include the trainer asking frequent questions of the group. 7
  8. 8. Using Adult Learning Principles  All feedback doesn’t have to be positive, as some people believe. Positive feedback is only half of it, and is almost useless without negative feedback.  When a participant does or says something right, acknowledge it (in front of the group if possible).  Prepare your presentations so that there is positive reinforcement built into it at the very beginning.  Look for someone doing it right as well as always looking for someone doing it wrong.7. Active Learning – Participants learn more when they are actively involved in the process. Factors to be considered about Action Learning:  Use practical exercises during the instruction  Use plenty of questions during the instruction  A quick quiz may be used to keep the participants active  If at all possible get the participants to do what they are being instructed in.  If the participants are kept sitting for long periods without any participation or questions being asked of them it’s possible for them to nod off or lose interest in the session.8. Multiple-sense learning – Learning is far more effective if the participants use more thanone of their five senses. Factors to be considered about Multiple-sense learning:  If you tell participants about something, try to show them as well  Use as many of the participants’ senses as necessary for them to learn, but don’t get carried away.  When using Multiple-sense learning make sure that the sense selected can be used. Ensure that it’s not difficult for the group to hear, see and touch whatever it is you want them to.9. Exercise – Things that are repeated are best remembered. Factors to be considered about Exercise:  The more we get trainees to repeat something the more likely they are to retain the information. 8
  9. 9. Using Adult Learning Principles  By asking frequent questions we are encouraging exercise or overlearning.  The participants must perform the exercise themselves; but taking notes doesn’t count.  Summarize frequently as this is another form of exercise. Always summarize at the conclusion of a session.  Get the participants to recall frequently what has been covered so far in the presentation.  The law of Exercise also includes giving participants exercises to carry out.It is often stated that without some form of exercise, participants will forget one quarter ofwhat they have learnt within six hours, one-third within twenty-four and round ninety percentwithin six weeks.Methods of InstructionTelling when used alone, results in 70% recall three hours later and 10% recall three days later.Showing when used alone, results in 72% recall three hours later, and 20% recall three dayslater.Blend of telling and showing results in 85% recall three hours later and 65% recall three dayslater.Each of these studies, of course, is applicable only to the specific situation in which it wascarried out. But the fact that every study comes up with roughly the same results leaves littledoubt of the power of audiovisuals to communicate effectively, on a long-term basis as well asshort term.Your Role as a TrainerTraining roles are an important function played out by trainers in any learning situation. Beloware some of the roles that you will need to play out depending on what you’re teaching and howyou’re teaching it.  The Expert Role: transmits information about a subject to an audience.  The Planning Role: Designs or plans the learning experience or the learning environment.  The Instructor: Guides or directs the learning situation often telling the student what to do.  The Facilitator: Responds to the students needs and lends guidance and support. 9
  10. 10. Using Adult Learning Principles  Resource Person: Provides materials and information to the students.  The Model Role: Models or influences behavior and values.  The Co-Learner: Learns along side the student. Mutually plans the learning goals.Pitfalls of Training Adults 1. Don’t treat adults like children. 2. Ensure that the Adults you’re teaching want to learn. 3. Ensure that Adults feel there is a need to learn before you teach them. 4. Don’t throw statistics and facts at adult learners. They are goal-oriented and opportunity driven, not statistically driven. 5. Use their experience to help out their learning. 6. Adults learn best in informal environments, and pleasant social atmospheresSummaryIn this module, you learned the difference between Pedagogy and Andragogy, characteristics ofadult learners, assumptions that are made about adult learners, the four laws of learning, howadults learn, nine principles of adult learning, three methods of instructing adults, your role as atrainer, and some pitfalls of training adults. As you go through the rest of the modules, andcreate your own instructional experiences, keep these principles in mind.In the next lesson we will cover the first activity in developing training - analyzing the trainingrequirement.Resources on the webThe following are resources on the web that you can go to, to learn more about this topic. Name of Web Page URL Seven Characteristics of Highly Effective Adult Learning Programs Teaching Adults: Is it Different? The Skillful use of questions in teaching adults Learning to Learn Site Teaching Tips Index evCom/guidebk/teachtip/teachtip.htm On line training manual 10
  11. 11. Using Adult Learning Principles Adult Learning Principles .htm Using Adult Learning Principles in Adult Basic and Literacy Education Adult Learning Online Handouts and Learning resources notes 11