Five Trends in Adult Learning to Help Your Training Efforts in 2018

When it comes to learning, there’s endless literature and research that explore the best way to educate today’s youth. They are the future, after all. But, learning doesn’t end when you leave your school-age years behind. Learning is never-ending, and education is a life-long endeavor. This is especially true when it comes to health and safety education and training in the workplace.

There has been more research and discovery in the adult education field to try to discern how adults learn best, how educating adults differs from the education of children, and how to ensure that adults retain the important information that they’ve set out to learn. When it comes to adult learning, the methods and trends are ever-evolving. Below, we look at the top five current trends in adult learning.

1. Mobile Training:

To make learning accessible to adults, it needs to be on-demand. Being constricted to a classroom schedule just doesn’t fit into most adult’s lifestyles. They require learning that they can access anytime, anywhere. Mobile training offers this flexibility. The technology that makes mobile training possible also affords opportunities for adults to use advanced learning technologies, including augmented reality, virtual reality, and videos. We discuss videos in more detail in point 3.

2. Instructor Quality:

Adult learners demand more from instructors. They learn best from, and value, instructors that can offer enriched learning experiences through discussions and stories that stem from the instructor’s own relevant experiences. Adult learning and instruction is also moving toward more collaboration between learners and instructors, creating a learning environment where both instructors and learners create value and learning opportunities by bringing their unique knowledge and experiences to the table.

3. Microlearning and Video Training:

To go along with the concept of making training accessible, the idea of microlearning has gained a lot of traction in the adult learning sphere. Microlearning takes an idea or concept and presents in a small, easy-to-digest format. This is typically and most commonly found in video form. Five-minute how-to videos are sometimes just as effective, or more so than longer, drawn-out lessons that lack video components.

4. Self-led Learning:

Adult learning trends have been moving away from a lot of hand-holding, and toward an atmosphere of accountability. Since adults require learning at their own discretion and that works within their busy schedules, self-led learning is more ideal than traditional classroom-style education. It allows adult learners to be proactive in their educations, and to contribute to the learning process.

5. Game-based Learning:

Games aren’t just child’s play! Gamification of learning can be a very effective tool for adult learning. It involves using game concepts to deliver educational messages. For example, using jeopardy-type activities in a training program and inciting a competitive spirit as opposed to just delivering multiple-choice review questions. Gamification increases engagement with, and retention of, learning materials.

Occupational Safety Group Inc. (OSG) can Help! 

Did you know that OSG has trained over 5000 successful workplace trainers? Trainers learn to deliver dynamic and effective programs when they take any of OSG’s Train-the-Trainer courses, which include a mandatory Train-the-Trainer Day where participants learn about adult learning techniques and effective program design. Let us help you train your workplace trainer. View our Train-the-Trainer courses today, or, if you have any questions call 1-800-815-9980 to speak with a Health and Safety expert.

Train-the-Trainer Courses

Written by Jennifer Miller | Curriculum Development Coordinator

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