Principles of Adult Learning
Performance Improvement is an ongoing process
Adult Learning is Different
We are not kids anymore and we don't learn the way that we did when we were in grade school. We have changed, just as education in general has evolved. Rote memorization is of little use to us. To truly enrich the performance of an adult, a different approach essential...a style that speaks to us on different levels, via different channels and methods. Adult education is truly a science and an art.
Adults only learn when these conditions are present.
- Adults will only learn when THEY, themselves, decide to do so. One of the greatest obstacles in adult education is the adult himself. Top Gun facilitators are experts in engaging adult learners.
- Adults learn better from themselves and their peers than they will ever learn from a facilitator. Content and delivery must be constructed in such a way so that knowledge and skills comes from interactions with the content and with each other. Facilitators only create an environment for learning and keep the content flowing. Death by PowerPoint is just that...death.
- Adults learn best while being entertained. "Edu-tainment" is our specialty. Boring = bad. Lively = performance improvement.
The Five "E"s of Adult Learning
For adults to learn, they must have:
- Engaging activities - Learners cannot be passive. They must be engaged and that is the responsibility of the facilitator, the content, and the instructional designer. There is no such thing as "passive learning" or learning through osmosis in adult education. Be dynamic and engaging or save your money.
- Emotional Investment - Learners must be connected to the topic, meaning an emotional one, for a learning event to occur. There has to be a driving force to learn, even if it is created just for the purpose of that workshop. A little friendly competition frequently works.
- Evidence - Words are not enough to move an adult to change. There must be tangible, believable evidence that suggests there is value in learning or doing something different.
- Examples - We have all heard the phrase, "I'm from Missouri: Show me." Modeling is the key to understanding and internalization. Daily job aids and tools are a must.
- Entertainment - We believe the best time to establish an idea in someone's mind and have him retain it is the moment he stops laughing. We work hard to be entertaining when appropriate.
The Blended Learning Approach
Top Gun utilizes a blended learning approach. This means we leverage all different types of learning mediums, including on-line lesson plans, documents, instructor-led workshops, game-based learning, and coaching. We ensure that the style, approach, and content are designed for the learner, while remaining cognizant of cost and retention rates.
These are the Principles of Adult Learning we embrace. If they resonate with you, call us. We would like to discuss them with you.