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I am a M.A. in industrial/organizational psychology. Most of my experience has been in human resources and change management. My passion lies in employee assessment, organizational development and employee opinions. Website: www.IanMondrow.com LinkedIn Profile: http://linkd.in/drBYoC

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Catering to Adult Learners

In a previous post, I discussed how to utilize an andragogy approach to training. Once again, andragogy is the approach that learning is focused around the learner and requires the learner to be involved. Other factors must also be considered when developing training materials for adult learners. The simplest things can make a dramatic impact. Below are suggestions when designing/facilitating a training session for employees.

  1. Use large font - When interacting with older employees, one must take into consideration that some individuals may distorted vision.
  2. Reiterate any question that an audience member may ask - Some of the participants may be hard of hearing.
  3. Create a comfortable environment - Ensure that the lighting, temperature and personal space are all at appropriate levels.
  4. Provide plenty of breaks - People get bored easily, therefore, allow people to use the bathroom or get food at a variety of breaks.
  5. Stay put during breaks - While the participants may get a break, the facilitator may not. The facilitator should stay in the room to allow learners to approach him/her with any questions or comments. (In other words, bring plenty of water and use the bathroom before training).
  6. Provide handouts - As stated earlier, learners may have difficulty with the vision. Providing them handouts of any presentation will allow them to see the content with ease.
  7. Arrange Chairs in a U or Circle - Using a circle or U format will allow sound to travel around the classroom easier.
  8. Check for clarity - Be sure to ask participants if they understand the topic or if they have any questions. Encourage participants to approach you during breaks if they feel uncomfortable asking in front of the group.
  9. Interactive Activities - To maintain the attention of learners, try to incorporate activities that require working together or moving around the room.

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