Make Learning Fun for Adults by Using Creative Training Strategies
If you make learning fun for adults that does not mean that your training sessions are ineffective. In fact, brain-based learning research indicates the usefulness of adding novelty. For example, you can use elements like learner engagement activities, color, music, sounds, and other active approaches. These can contribute to learning when you use them effectively. Just remember that anything that you say or use in a session should contribute to accomplishing your stated learning objective. Do not use an activity or training aid just because it is familiar to you or can provoke a laugh. Adult learners typically consider these a waste of time.
For years, adult learning environments were traditionally modeled after academic classrooms with rows of tables facing the front of the room. The teacher or professor was the center of attention. Because most trainers were exposed to such configurations, they often model their own adult learner classrooms in the same fashion. Thankfully, many trainers and adult educators have discovered creative training or accelerated learning techniques. These can help create environments where adult learners actually enjoy their training experience and learn more.
Following are easy to apply creative training ideas that can potentially enhance learning outcomes to help make learning fun. By adding a bit of novelty and competition, you can potentially motivate some learners.
Spin to win –
Add excitement and build an atmosphere of fun through the use of large prize wheel spinners. Use these for review activities in which you list key concepts on the wheel spokes. Once a participant spins they have an opportunity to describe or explain the concept and win a small prize. You can also use a spinner to list a variety of small prizes that participants who correctly answer questions or volunteer get to spin and win.
Cash in with play money –
If you are doing cashier or financial related training, use realistic-looking play money to simulate actual currency and add a sense of reality. You can also use play money to reward participants who volunteer, correctly respond to your questions, and arrive in class or return from breaks on time. At the end of the session, learners can use their money to buy small session-related items that you provide. These small mementos will often end up on a desk or bookshelf in an office or at home. When the participants see them, they are potentially reminded of the session and its content, thus reinforcing the learning.
These creative training ideas, along with many other ways to make learning fun and engage learners, are from Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners.