With those facts in mind, preceptors of adult learners can maximize their impacts by considering and addressing the following key questions:Thank you to UBC’s Teaching & Learning Strategist, Bill Upward, for the Teaching Tip! Learn more in the Spring 2019 Preceptor Newsletter!
While children and adults share many learning characteristics, adults are unique in a number of ways. Adults typically take training by choice and usually need to fit their learning around other life responsibilities (work, family responsibilities, etc), As such, they prefer efficient, practical learning experiences that help them solve real-world problems. Adult learners bring a wide range of experience to their learning and appreciate when this experience is recognized and utilized. They usually want to be actively involved in their learning, with opportunities for input, choice, and self-direction being valued attributes. Interestingly, adults can be surprisingly tender learners who benefit from the establishment of a safe learning environment where risk-taking is encouraged, feedback is offered sensitively, and mistakes are not overly punished. Adults also appreciate learning from peers, often in informal settings where they can interact socially.