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I’m often asked how to build the adult learning principles into a live online event. I love hearing this question! Just because we’re delivering content differently, doesn’t mean we should forget about the best practices we know make a difference for our learners!
Here are a few ways to weave the adult learning principles into your next virtual training session:
Benefits & Time Orientation
Make sure there is value for all participants. Know your audience. Let them in on the objectives and survey them to learn about their priorities. Be sure to emphasize the content that addresses their currents needs. Also, during the session review, ask learners what resonated with them and how they will use it back on the job. This way they can connect those dots right on the spot!
Experience & Relevance
Remember, learners are one click away from disengaging. Use relevant examples and lean on the experience in the group to elevate engagement.
Self Esteem & Self Direction
Utilize pre, post, and intercession work to deliver content that is less complex or a lower priority, allowing learners that self-direction. This also sets them up for success in the live session because they already have some background information. Weave practice time into the live virtual session. Break content up into small digestible chunks that allow learners to build on their new knowledge and skills one success at a time.
It’s all about participation and motivation in the virtual classroom! Use a variety of methods to keep your trainees actively engaged. Consider combining active tools with passive tools in the virtual classroom. For example, pair a passive tool, like watching a short video, with an active tool that has learners responding to questions using a poll or chat throughout the video. I like to use simultaneous interactions more frequently to keep everyone engaged. The chat pod, polls, and annotating on the whiteboard are all examples of simultaneous interaction because the learners can all respond simultaneously. Finally, keep your class size small. I recommend 12-15 as an ideal size and call on learners by name to encourage more participation.
Keep these seven adult learning principles in mind when you are designing and delivering your live virtual events and you will see your learners’ motivation and engagement skyrocket!
If you want to experience these principles in action, join us in an upcoming virtual classroom workshop that fits your developmental needs. In our How Adults Learn workshop, you’ll explore a simple “recipe” for learning that will help your participants get the most out of training and help you exceed their expectations.