Stephanie’s Tips for Supporting Adult Learners

  • Break up content into “bite-size chunks” which people are able to understand
  • Try to find out and alleviate any concerns they have regarding the workshop
  • Let them know at the beginning of the workshop that you will incorporate their experience and that you want to meet their needs
  • Show the whole picture/end product followed by the details and then a refresher with the overall picture
  • Show the relevance of the subject matter, demonstrate how will they actually use it
  • Explain why activities are used and their relevance to the overall course or training sessions
  • Provide plenty hands-on experience, with opportunities for success and praise
  • Incorporate small-group work, since participants will be more likely to converse and ask each other for assistance rather than ask the trainer in front of the whole group
  • Give them some choices by providing options and flexibility in their self-directed activities
  • Create a climate of exploration and encourage them to have a go at it themselves
  • Keep the learning objectives in perspective to the amount of time for the workshop; don’t try to cover more material than they can actually learn
  • Make certain the participant is equipped with enough knowledge and skill to complete any talks, rather than setting the person up for failure
  • Bend the rules, if necessary and appropriate, try new things and adjust to the participants’ needs