Join Jeff Toister for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the importance of adult learning, part of Instructional Design Essentials: Adult Learners.
>> To understand how adult learning principles play a role in good instructional design, it's helpful to look at an example. Imagine a group of new managers are given a choice of two training programs. Each class covers five fundamental manager roles. Both are online and self-paced. Based on a short introduction to each one think about which of the following programs most participants would prefer. Here's the first example. >> The five roles that every manager must know and understand. Producer, achieve goals and accomplish results for the company through the tasks and work that you do.
Administrator, oversee systems, policies and procedures to ensure the company is running at peak levels. Innovator, use creativity and ideation to delineate new opportunities to improve the business or resolve problems. Mediator, help your people work through conflict between themselves and with employees in other departments. Culture builder, create a positive work environment that engages employees and aligns with the company's objectives. >> Now, here's the second example. >> As a manager, you'll play a few different roles. As I go through the five primary roles, think about how you play them over the course of your work week.
The first is producer. You must produce the desired results and achieve the organization's goals through projects and tasks. Second is administrator. You must administer systems, policies, and procedures so that the organization runs efficiently. Third is innovator. In order to enact change that serves the organization's future, you'll need to be creative and innovate new ideas or solutions. Fourth is mediator. Not only will you need to help your employees work through conflict, you'll also mediate any tensions between the employees needs and the organization's.
And fifth is culture builder. You must build a work environment and culture that values it's members and supports the organization's goals. >> It's a safe bet that most participants would prefer the second program, but why? Let's see if we can identify some specific reasons why the second program was more engaging. If you'd like to try to create your own list before seeing mine I invite you to pause the video now, you can also re-watch the two examples while taking notes. Okay, let's look at a few differences between the two training programs.
The second example was more visually dynamic. The presenter in example number two was more engaging. The onscreen text was also simpler in the second example. These are just a few examples. And you may have come up with even more. What's most important is that the differences between the two examples reflect the impact of adult learning principles. Adult learning principles are the concepts and theories that tell us how adults learn. Understanding these principles can help us design training that's more engaging and more effective.
No matter what type of learning you design, whether it's classroom-based, e-learning video, or blended, applying adult learning principles can make it better. These concepts aren't just about designing training that's more appealing to learners. You can use them to accelerate the learning process. Understanding adult learners can ultimately help you design training that gets better results. While completing this course, try to think about your own needs and preferences as an adult learner. Understanding how we learn can provide us with insight about helping others learn.
As you'll see throughout this course, one of the fundamental principles of adult learning is that adults must play an active role in their own learning process. You might start by reviewing the course description and writing down a few specific learning goals. You could download the Learning Plan worksheet to use as a guide. Having this list of goals will make it easier to spot the specific concepts that are most important to you. It will also help you make decisions about how you can apply these concepts to your own work.
- Adult learning theory
- Understanding the four stages of learning
- Comparing active vs. passive learning
- Overcoming learning barriers
- Turning theory into practice