Adult learning styles
The way in which adult learners process and remember new information can vary. Whether formal or informal, the primary learning styles should be considered. The four styles are:
- Observation – finds the learner performing tasks after they have observed the complete task being performed by another employee. Role modeling is an example of this style of learning. The manager or an experienced employee demonstrates the proper way to complete a task, explaining throughout the demonstration.
- Participation – involves the learner from the beginning; they actually perform the new tasks with the supervision. Role playing is an example of this style learning. The employee participates in a scenario appropriate for the task being learned. The learner attempts to demonstrate proper behavior as they go through the steps required to complete a task.
- Listening – when the learner listens to an explanation of how the new tasks is to be performed. In addition, listening frequently occurs when a learner overhears another employee complete a task. Relying heavily on their sense of hearing, they process the information and physically perform the task afterward.
- Reading – involves the learner and some sort of printed material. Instructions are read, and then the task is performed upon completion of the materials.
Effective training programs frequently use all styles to ensure each attendee will be provided with their own individual learning advantage. When a program is based on only on learning style, some attendees may be at a disadvantage.
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