Tips for Teaching Adults

Tips for Teaching Adults
I teach working adults how to shoot and edit videos for their work.   After every class, I feel I can do something better to make the class more fun, exciting and memorable.  So here is a list of tips I gathered over time.
  1. Adults learn best when they understand why something is important to know or do.
  2. Tell them to write in one sentence what they want to learn and tell their table group what they wrote.
  3. Pair them up to tell each other three facts they already know about the topic.
  4. Get them to read the list of learning objectives and select the most important to them, then allow them tell their table group why they made the selection.
  5. Adults learn best when they have the freedom to learn in their own way.
  6. There are three general learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic.
  7. To know which student has which learning style, use style assessments online.
  8. Incorporate the specific learning style techniques into the class.
  9. Use images to teach content. Visual learners tend to be the most common.
  10. Get them connected to the content with their existing knowledge and learning goals.
  11. Adults learn best when learning is experiential.
  12. “All learning is experience. Everything else is just information.” ~ Albert Einstein.
  13. Engage everybody in the class, and don’t leave the quieter ones out.
  14. Give every individual a chance to speak and practice their new skills.
  15. Get them to write notes with pen and paper. Adults remember what they write better than what they read or what the instructor writes.
  16. Make them actively review content or actively practice skills at least six times and in six different ways.  Practice makes perfect permanent.
  17. Pair them up and take turns to explain concepts or demonstrate skills they have learned during the class.
  18. Think of games and ideas that get everyone involved and make the class fun.
  19. Adults learn best when the process is positive and encouraging.
  20. Give words of encourage, so they do not feel intimidated learning a strange new topic.
  21. Give your older students more time to respond to your question, as the may take a little longer.
  22. Smile and show a happy, pleasant face to get the whole class relaxed.
  23. Activities keep people energised, especially activities that involve getting up and moving about.
  24. Get them connected to other fellow learners in the class.
  25. Encourage them to ask questions.  Say: “Does anyone have any questions?”
  26. Answer any questions that may arise during a lesson, rather than wait until later.  Otherwise you may lose their interest.
  27. If the class veer off on the different path, remember to bring them back on the topic.
  28. Teaching adults is not the same as teaching children.
  29. Keep the topics of the class relevant to the age group.
  30. Talk about topics that are inter-generational to narrow the generation gap.
  31. Let students share their life experiences whenever appropriate.
  32. Have an interest in your own subject.  Be passionate. Adult learners can detect it and reflect it.
  33. Adults learn best when the time is right for them to learn.
  34. “When the student is ready, the teacher appears” ~ Buddhist proverb.
  35. Develop the kind of teaching that changes lives.  
  36. Inspire confidence and passion in another human being. 

Do you have your own tip for teaching adults? Please share in the comment box below.

Adrian Lee


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