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Very inexperienced adult learners


Hi, can anyone give me any advice as to what kind of training I could give to a group of adults who have not had any experience in training since school or very little.

Sarah Price

5 Responses

  1. A little more info pls!
    Hi Sarah, some context here would be very useful. What has prompted this request and how did you get to be involved? Are they having to change jobs and therefore get some skillsets up to speed pronto? Are we looking at interpersonal skills? IT skills? Sorry! Lots of questions but there are too many gaps here to give an appropriate answer. Thanks! ūüôā

  2. No inexperienced adult learners..

    I would like to know the context too, but I don’t think there is such a thing as an inexperienced adult learner.

    We learn at every minute of every day in this big classroom of life, therefore they already know how to do it..

    We as trainers just sometimes do not realise the best way to tap into the ‘life’ experience our users have and therefore have not yet worked out the best intervention to suit the task and the learner.

    It is true in the world of e-learning that we have inexperienced computer users and they struggle to know how to cope with e-learning.

    In the same way we have ‘delegates’ that know how to be taught, but have not evolved their own techniques as to how to learn on their own, we as facilitators can assist.

    There is an emotional significance for every group undertaking learning, we need to become more experienced in finding it and delivering material to suit.

  3. I think you may wish to think about ‘coaching’ and not training.
    The reality is that without an understanding of what knowledge you are trying to impart and how many people you are trying to teach, it is difficult to tell if coaching techniques would be better or if you need to use training.

    Basic rules of training are make sure that the group sees the aims and objectives, that they all agree that these are aims and objectives that are common to their needs and then ensure that at regular intervals they can see that they are getting closer to their objectives.

    With coaching it is about teasing the information out of the group, even more so that using the classic questioning techniques in a training course. Coaching does rely on the fact that the knowledge is in there somewhere it is just a case of getting them to tell you what they need to do.

    Please feel free to post more information on your training need and lets see what the wider advise is.

    Mike Palmer
    Knowledge Delivery Manager

  4. Practical tips for new adult trainees
    I agree with the other ocmments made but would like to make a couple of practical suggestions too on the assumption you are not doing highly technical training.

    I have dealt with a similar target group but with the following characteristics – low school achievement, high level of cultural diversity, some with English as a second language, mixed levels of literacy. New trainees are nervous and afraid of failure.

    With the training, we made it games/activity based, used teams, a focus on group work, and kept it very low tech.

    I recommend you build in early success, keep modules short and change the pace across the day. Reduce/eliminate written work – even in a group setting if literacy is an issue – get them to do diagrams, pictures etc.

    As thee adults became more used to the training environment, we moved them along to more sophisticated training tools and methods but all in plain english. For example, Ishikawa, nominal group technique, brainstorming, role plays etc are examples of tools which we used successfully but without any jargon, after we had got them used to the training enviroment.


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