A Guide to Understanding Adults as Learners

Adult learners present a unique set of training challenges because they respond differently to proven teaching techniques used for children. To effectively train adults, instructors must understand how adults learn best. Typically, adults will remember:

  • 10% of what they read
  • 20% of what they hear
  • 30% of what they see
  • 50% of what they hear and see
  • 70% of what they say
  • 90% of what they say and do

Encouraging adult learners to become more involved in the learning process can increase knowledge retention, learner satisfaction and confidence to apply new skills in the workplace.

We recommend using the following strategies to help motivate adult learners.

  • Use adult learners experiences to enhance learning by sharing experiences with peers.
  • Design training material to be relevant and applicable to the adult learners work responsibilities.
  • Provide practical, useable and pertinent information to help adult learners reach their goals.
  • This can be accomplished through hands-on evaluations, role playing exercises and case studies.
  • Show respect by acknowledging the experiences of the participants.

Before training your next course, take a moment to think about the adult learners in your class, their experiences and, how you can modify your teaching style and course material to suit their needs.

Looking for more training tips and tricks? Give us a call at 800.815.9980.

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