Strategies for Generating Engagement and Enthusiasm in Adult Learners
Take the time when you are designing your lesson plans to think about how you will get buy-in from your adult learners. This relates to principles of adult learning (andragogy) and also taps into the brain-based learning the concept of engaging learners. Here are some Strategies for Generating Engagement and Enthusiasm in Adult Learners…
Generating Engagement and Enthusiasm in Adult Learners by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Brain-Based Adult Training Author
Here are six simple strategies that can help in getting your learners involved during your training sessions.
Elicit questions, comments, or suggestions.
Before participants begin an activity, take the time to ask if everything is clear and to determine if all their questions related to the activity be answered before they begin. To ensure that your visual learners understand instructions, put them on a flip chart or slide, and leave them displayed during activities. This allows everyone to refer back to them as needed.
Allow adequate time for the successful completion of activities.
Little is more frustrating to adults that to be assigned a task only to have someone stop them before they have time to complete it. When this occurs, most participants will feel like they have just wasted time and that sticking to a schedule of events is more important to you than their learning. Cutting time short or rushing learners though activity can also cause them to reluctantly participate in future activities.
Provide the tools and support learners need to be successful.
Keep in mind that one of your primary roles in a session is to facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge and to help participants learn. This includes being available to answer questions as you wander through the session to listen in on conversations during activities. This helps ensure that everyone is on task and focused on the correct learning outcome for the activity. Often, facilitators use group activity time to prepare materials, get ready for the next learning segment, or do other tasks. As a result, they lose control of their groups. You should avoid this behavior and stay focused on your learners.
Take time throughout the session to provide positive feedback on learner performance. Using small rewards can also help in this area.
Hold an end of activity review.
In addition to using periodic interim reviews during a session, build in a thorough review of activity objectives at the end of it, Also, point out how each learning outcome was accomplished during the activity.
Conduct a follow-up discussion.
Take time after every activity to answer questions and to facilitate mental bridging from the classroom to the workplace. This helps ensure all learners “get it” and know how to potentially apply what was learned. Simply asking questions such as, “How can you apply this on the job” is a sound means of helping learners reflect on the application of learning.
Need More Strategies for Generating Engagement and Enthusiasm in Adult Learners? For creative ideas on engaging learners and making your learning environments more fun and interactive, check out The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning.