Teaching is not a one-style-fits-all profession. Different learning populations have different wants, needs, and learning styles. As teachers, we have to determine which teaching materials are best suited for students’ needs and teaching adult learners poses its own set of challenges. These tips can help you reach adult learners at their level.
- Know Why. Teachers often work under the assumption that adult learners want to be there. That’s not always the case. Sometimes they have to be enrolled in your class for employment opportunities or to keep a certification current. Make sure you know why your lessons are important so students never feel they are wasting their time in your classroom.
- Understand Various Learning Styles. Modern teaching theories have come a long ways since the “sit-still-and-listen” teaching format most of today’s teachers were brought up with. We all have our own learning style:
You can use simple assessments at the beginning of the term to learn which modality is the best for each student. While most students like a combination of the three, understanding which modality works best for them can be a lifelong learning gift for students, and a valuable piece of information for you as their teacher.
- Encouragement. Remember that the adult learner has been out of the academic environment for some time. They may have ingrained beliefs about being “bad students” that can block their ability to learn. Maintaining a positive and encouraging atmosphere will keep them motivated and engaged.
Labyrinth Learning offers computer classroom textbooks for every type of adult learner.
As a computer teacher or adult education instructor, you may find yourself working as a corporate trainer. Professionals seeking to stay on top in today’s corporate world can benefit from regularly refreshing their technology skills. Your job is to provide the knowledge and practical know-how to take their computer skills to the next level.
In order to be a corporate trainer, it can help to get into the mindset of your professional students and to get them fired up about their Microsoft learning opportunity. Here are some suggestions straight from Marianna Swallow.
Define Your Lesson. In the corporate world, a trainer needs to clearly define his/her message. Rather than stating, “This semester, I’ll teach you about Windows 8,” keep your message specific, “This semester you are going to learn how to ____, ____, and ______ using Windows 8.” This will help to keep your students focused and on task.
Provide Hands-on Examples. A corporate trainer might have the students create an Excel spreadsheet using company data, or embed their logo and other relevant images into a PowerPoint presentation. These actions help to reinforce the trainer’s message. As an instructor, you can use innovative textbooks and software that provide your students with real time examples of the concepts you are teaching in class. They will be able to take those back to their workplace and implement them immediately and successfully.
Labyrinth Learning is the ultimate resource for instructors who work in the corporate arena.
Distance and online learning programs provide the opportunity for students to take control of their own learning process, timing, and progress. As such, many educators argue it’s time to branch out from the traditional cohort learning paradigm and create programs that support self-paced learning.
There are several advantages to self-paced learning.
Complete Control. While it’s true some students need a structured academic schedule, many prefer to work at their own pace. This is especially true for working adults and those who are intrinsically motivated and/or adept at the given subject. It also benefits those who struggle academically and need more time and/or guided assistance from instructors. Self-paced learning allows students to control their own learning process.
Intentional Interaction. Self-paced learning advocates believe students shouldn’t be required to complete specific learning activities if they already grasp the subject matter. Or, why should a student be required to participate in a group event when individually they already grasp the lessons at hand? A self-paced learning platform allows students to be in contact with one another and/or group leaders and instructors as needed, rather than as required.
Terry Anderson, director of the Canadian Institute for Distance Education Research, writes, “self paced learning will become increasing popular as a model of education for all students and especially for busy working adults”. Labyrinth Learning’s Innovative approach has designed textbooks and accompanying software that make it easy for professors and modern students to enjoy the benefits of self-paced learning.
Contact us for more information on creating a self-paced learning curriculum.