As more companies and organizations transition into a technology-based format for training (like eLearning), it’s important to consider how this migration impacts the trainees—typically adult learners working within a business setting.
In this post, we’ll look at the roadblocks, the benefits, and a few best practices for adult learners and technology. Using this information, you can keep your team motivated (and even excited) to begin their eLearning trainings.
First, let’s confront the major obstacles.
Knowing the Roadblocks
Studies found that adults were frustrated (and some ultimately stopped their eLearning) for a culmination of reasons.
Pressure at work was the biggest factor, while lack of instructor support, time constraints, and difficulty of use were also culprits. Keeping these factors in mind as you design eLearning courses will help you confront these issues head-on.
Keep in mind:
–Chunking helps break lessons into smaller, more digestible chunks and makes for easier starting and stopping points
-It can be helpful to have an instructor available for learners to address various issues and sometimes to facilitate conversation and group feedback
-Time is limited for your trainees—so courses need to be as succinct as possible
–Make navigation simple so learners aren’t hung up on getting through the course
Promoting the Benefits
Adults respond to value, so it’s important to discuss the benefits of technology-based training before eLearning even begins. Leadership should ensure that adult trainees understand the value of a technology-based format before training starts so learners enter with a positive mindset.
Be sure to talk about:
-Increased flexibility for learners
-Access to expertise
-Reduced feelings of isolation
-Autonomy and self-direction
All of these opportunities provided by eLearning should be leveraged and showcased as positives that empower the adult learner—not hinder their training experience.
Following the Best Practices
You can promote an adult’s willingness to learn via technology by following a few best practices. These are a product of the concept of andragogy, made popular by Malcolm Knowles.
Create a welcoming learning environment that is user-friendly.
For example: Before your eLearning course begins, provide a quick lesson for users that shows them how to navigate pages, demonstrates how to access the menu, provides a glossary of terms, and reviews the content they’ll be learning during the course.
Be authentic and show respect for your learners.
For example: Acknowledge that you’re working with an intelligent learner base by building upon existing knowledge and by using real-life scenarios that put lessons into relevant situations.
Collecting feedback from participants will help you improve your courses over time, and also gives the learner a voice within his or her training experience—which shows that their unique opinions are valued.
Empower Adults Learners and Technology in Training
When the transition into increased technology for training is discussed with a team before it’s implemented, you’re setting yourself up for success and creating a sense of trust with your audience.
Be sure to review the roadblocks, promote the benefits, and follow best practices for eLearning success with your adult audience.