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The Top 6 Things You Need to Know About Teaching Adults
Remember this quote? “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
From my perspective as an educator, curriculum designer and course developer, putting together a course is not simply dumping a lot of materials into a website and hoping to make a fortune selling it. Instead, there is a science behind learning and teaching and when we tap into this we ensure our courses will really make an impact. If you are thinking about using the internet to connect with your clients, let me share some tips with you today that will help you keep your customers interested and engaged.
I help women like yourself create dynamic online courses that will make good on your promise to help your customer. These tips will help your customers actually remember what it is that you are so excited about sharing with them. My teaching tips below are based off of how adults actually learn and how we make sure what you teach “sticks.”

The Top 6 Things You Need to Know About Teaching Adults

1. Adults need to know why

Make sure you clearly explain how you can help. Explain your expectations of them early and clearly and tell them what the course will look like and what improvements they can look forward to.
Tip: Provide a friendly introductory video where you state all of this up front. It should be as clear as a bell.

2. Adults have a strong self-concept

A strong self-concept is a way of saying that your clients will be self-directed and don’t like to feel you are forcing your ideas on them. (That is why compliance training can be a FAIL).
Tip: Always offer them choices for discussion topics or a variety of ways to respond to your requests for completed assignments (written, video, audio, etc.).

3. The role of experience is important

Adults bring with them a wealth of experience. Acknowledge their ideas and prior experiences whenever possible.  Recognizing them whenever possible will bring out amazing results.
Tip: Make sure you allow time for reflection. As they read or listen to you they will make connections with previous learnings they have had in their life and will want to reflect. This is where online discussions are golden. Refrain from using yes/no questions. Use “what” or “how” to start your questions and support them by offering a safe place to share.

4. Adults have a readiness to learn

Personally, this is one of the reasons I enjoy working with adults. Make your resources and materials relevant and current. Take advantage of their readiness as they will be more open to accepting or understanding your teachings. As soon as they see the learning will help them with real life situations, they will SO appreciate you!
Tip: Early in your relationship ask your students what they expect from you and how you can best help them. Ask them to demonstrate HOW they will apply what they learned from your course in their daily life.

5. Adults are problem centered in their desire to learn

Adults are motivated by learning how to solve real-life situations. They will construct new knowledge by taking what you share and solving challenges in their own lives.
Tip: Journaling is a great activity to encourage self-reflection and observations of personal progress throughout your course. They can use online notebooks like OneNote to keep personal journals. Encourage them to problem solve without you (when possible) and to use the group as a resource if they seem particularly challenged by your topic.

6. Adult learners are motivated

The most powerful motivators are internal. Adults can’t be motivated by the fulfillment of your expectations for them. If they value working with you and you continuously provide them with stimulating and thought-provoking materials, their motivation knows no bounds.
Tip: Even if they take away only one thing from your teaching, that one gem of knowledge can change lives. Support them and offer your best self to inspire and challenge them towards new goals.
Individuals have differences so not all rules will apply to your clients. Try adapting at least some of these tips and you can be confident your course will provide real value. I’d like to hear about results when you try this with your clients.

Hi, I'm Anna!

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