|Adults learn best when...
||The role of the trainer is to...
They feel valued and respected for
the experiences and perspectives
they bring to the training.
Therefore, they wish to speak,
participate and contribute to the
training. They dislike long lectures
and one-way communication.
Create activities that use participants' experience and
knowledge. Don't ignore what they know. It is a resource for
Provide low-risk activities in small-group settings.
Validate and affirm their knowledge, contributions and
Provide for the possibility of a need to unlearn old habits.
Avoid jargon and talking down to participants.
Share personal experiences when asked and when appropriate.
Provide a quality, well-organized experience that uses time
Listen before, during and after the event.
Ask for feedback on training and provide input opportunities.
The learning experience is active and
Adults are accustomed to being
active. They should be given an
opportunity for active participation
Actively engage participants in their learning experience.
Encourage participation by all participants.
Allow sufficient time for all activities.
Ask open-ended questions to encourage discussion.
Use participants' names to encourage connection to the class.
The learning experience actually fills
their immediate needs.
Adults learn with relevance. The
learning must connect clearly and
directly with tasks faced by the
learner on the job or in life.
Identify participants' needs and tie training concepts into these
Follow up on answers to questions you don't know.
Provide background and supporting evidence for course content.
Modify the teaching plan to accommodate learner experiences.
They accept responsibility for their
Adults prefer learning situations that
allow choice and self-direction.
Make sure that training content and skills are directly relevant to
participants' experiences so that they will want to learn.
Build training plans around their needs and compare goals and
Share the agenda and assumptions and ask for input on them.
Ask what participants know about the topic.
Ask what participants would like to know about the topic.
Build flexibility into your plans so they can easily be shifted if
Suggest follow-up ideas and next steps for after the session.
Their learning is self-directed and
meaningful to them.
Adults prefer learning situations that
are practical and problem centered.
Involve participants in deciding on the content and skills that will
be covered during the training.
Give overviews, summaries and examples and use stories.
Plan for direct application of the new information.
Include collaborative, problem-solving activities.
Anticipate problems applying the new ideas and offer suggested
Guard against becoming too theoretical.
Their learning experience addresses
ideas, feelings and actions.
Therefore, the material and the
method of presentation must catch
their interest, touch their feelings
and stir creative and independent
Use multiple training methods that address knowledge,
attitudes and skills.
Promptly address participants' concerns, conflicts or difficulties.
Use a variety of educational methods such as discussion, role-
play or videos.
Use colorful slides or overheads.
Use colorful newsprints and markers.
New material is related to what
participants already know.
Adults want courses that focus on
real-life problems and tasks rather
than academic material. A strong
how-to focus is desired. They become
restless if they believe their time is
Find ways to assess participant knowledge before an event.
Help them recall what they already know that relates to the
Help them see how the new information is relevant to them.
Modify the teaching plan to accommodate participant
Process role-plays in a manner that reflects real life.
Use real-life problems and examples.
Ask participants to relate their own stories.
Minimize the use of statistics.
The learning environment is
conducive to learning. Adults learn
best in comfortable settings.
Therefore, physical discomfort will
distract or create negative feelings.
Provide for their needs through breaks, snacks, coffee and
Allow frequent breaks during instructional time.
Encourage participants to dress comfortably/casually.
Orient yourself and participants to the facility, especially the
locations of telephones and restrooms.
Create a classroom set-up that is conducive to participant
interaction and learning.
Learning is reinforced.
Adults want positive reinforcement of
desired behavior and feedback about
errors at the moment they occur.
Use training methods that allow participants to practice new
skills and ensure prompt, reinforcing feedback.
Handle unexpected situations or disrespect with minimal
confusion or emotion.
Process after each exercise, activity or role-play.
Give praise and encouragement.
Provides specific behavioral observations about errors.
|Learning is applied immediately.
||Provide opportunities during the training for participants to
apply the new information and skills they have learned.
|Learning occurs in small groups.
||Use training methods that encourage participants to explore
feelings, attitudes, and skills with other participants.
|The trainer values their contributions
as both a participant and a teacher.
Adults learn when mistakes are
honored as well as successes. People
learn from mistakes.
Encourage participants to share their expertise and experiences
Process by asking what was most dificult or challenging about
Ask participants what they liked or thought they did well in the
Encourage participants to take risks and try new things.