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Educating Adult Learners Efficiently

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When it comes to teaching adults, making sure they get the information they need in a way that will help them grow and expand their career path is essential. For teachers of adult education courses, it can be a challenge ensuring that students are not only receiving a quality education, but also keeping the new knowledge they are given. Here are some tips to help ensure that your adult learners are not only enjoying the education they're receiving, but also utilizing it.

Be Engaging

Children and adult learners are not much different in the sense that they all need to have material presented in an engaging way. Use charts and infographics as well as timely videos to supplement your class. Even informative lectures and podcasts can be great tools for older learners. The key is to use relevant information that is currently important and to present it in a way that will keep the class interested. Simply spitting out information is not enough to keep students on track and engaged with the material they're receiving, so try to keep it interesting.

Create a Community

Using social media to your advantage can be helpful for you as well as the entire class. Create a social media group and an online Twitter account where students can talk to each other, ask questions, and stay informed. When you create a sense of community for the class, it can help to make sure all members feel included and they'll actually care about what is happening with their progress. Adding a face to the class will give everyone a feeling of security and makes everything feel more personal, so include your photo and personal email address where students can contact you when they need to.

Other Tips

Here are a few other tips that can help your students retain what they've learned and be more passionate about their own success:

  • Use humor: Insert a little humor into your lesson plans. This is actually a great tool and can help adult learners remember facts and figures.
  • Get visual: By using graphs, charts, and graphics, students will be able to visually see what you're trying to explain, which can help them retain new information.
  • Use real-world situations: If you teach a class geared towards a certain career, use some real examples of the things they're learning. Explain how it will apply in the real world when they head out to find a job.
  • Get feedback: It never hurts to ask your students how things can be improved. Welcome their feedback and be sure to make the changes they suggest if it will help everyone benefit. 

If you teach adult education classes, such as those taught at NKU PACE, consider these tips as you prepare your lectures.