Effective Strategies Teaching Online To Adult Learners
Teaching is a difficult process especially when teaching adult learners. There are endless examples, both individual and universal, where you might have noticed that it requires a certain level of skills, expertise, and mastery to effectively deliver your message and learning.
Most of you have probably experienced that. Just observe the popular politicians and revolutionaries throughout the history of humanity, the likes of Winston Churchill, Fidel Castro, and John F. Kenedy, you will find they had one thing in common: their ability to deliver a message to the masses. And this is essentially what you need to do in teaching.
This entire post is all about ensuring that. You can learn the strategies, smart tips, and tricks that are actually effective in teaching adult learners.
Seven effective strategies that you can implement right from your next class to teach adult learners effectively
1. Create Relevance
The very first thing you need to understand is that teaching adults is different from teaching kids, teenagers, or young adults at graduate college. Adult learners are more sophisticated, sensible, mature, and self-driven than the young lads. Keep in mind that they are shy too, as life has already taken a good toll on them. So, you need to treat them like adults.
In the very first lecture of your course, you need to explain to your learners how this course is relevant to them, learning will benefit them, and the outcomes this course has for them. Once the adult learners have a clear picture of what they will get out of the course, half of the job is done because you have the attention of the learners.
2. Passion is the Key
The mind space you are in matters a lot when it comes to jobs like teaching because you can’t just simply hide for a very long time what is going inside your head, especially when you are interacting. If you are not passionate or interested in the course you are teaching, or if you have any sort of doubts about the value the course adds, it is hard to make your adult learners believe that their course is important. To put it simply, if you do not care, no one will care. Lack of passion can even put off those who were initially really into learning. Once you have covered these two basics, it comes to smart tips and tricks that are just there to make your teaching highly effective.
3. Keep Students Engaged
The average attention span of a healthy adult is from 10 to 20 minutes. Considering the age of social media where the younger generation scrolls down through hundreds of posts, consuming fresh content every few seconds, their minds have got used to a variety of content to stay engaged. Well, you need to put a lot of effort into keeping your students engaged in the lecture.
Fortunately, there are many ways to do that. The best way is to ask questions to the students; you can also crack a joke when you see some sleepy faces, you can energise the whole environment by conducting a debate, or telling a short & crispy story isn’t a bad idea to switch the mood.
4. Encourage Students to Ask Questions
It is very important for a teacher to set up a risk-free climate if you want true learning to happen. Especially with adults, who are too shy to ask questions worrying about how others will judge, you need to set up an environment that encourages students to ask questions. If you find your adult learners are too hesitant to ask questions, you can just answer the commonly asked questions by yourself that students tend to ask and later ask if someone has any similar questions in mind. Once a student asks a question, it is always a good gesture to appreciate the questionnaire and then answer it.
5. Encouragement is Required at Some Time or Another
When you are teaching adult learners, you need to understand that they are the ones who are managing many things simultaneously. And it is not difficult for them to shift focus from learning or even just feel discouraged when things are not falling at the right places. You need to encourage your students when they are feeling down. You can provide them with moral support. If they have issues grabbing the pace of learning, find creative ways of learning for them by unearthing their learning style. Make sure you learners practice what they learn, assess their own learning, and reflect on their learning.
6. Do Not Panic If Things Go Haywire
There are times when things don’t just go the way you expected and sometimes without any solid reason. These are the times when you should not panic; instead, calm yourself. Just switch from the serious learning mode and have fun with the students. Allow debate, exchange of ideas, and activities that loosen up the atmosphere a bit. Think of various games and ideas that make it fun and enjoyable when you are feeling things are not going right. Always have a backup plan for every scenario. Or you can simply take the break as well.
7. Use Creativity
Use a variety of teaching strategies and creative ways to make the learning amazing. There are various learning styles such as visual, kinaesthetic, aural, social, solitary, verbal and logical. Learn more about these learning styles and implement strategies that help you teach creatively.
Interactivity is very important when it comes to learning. There are many studies that show visual learning is one of the most effective ways of teaching. You can use videos, motion graphics, images and 3D diagrams to teach.
You can increase the percentage of learning with interactive video. There are many interactive videos creating platforms that allow you to create videos where your users ask you questions; you can ask them to write their comments on the subject, and share feedback at the same time. Cinema8 is one such interactive video platform that allows you to create similar videos. Use a combination of various interactive techniques.