Jump to content

Learning patterns/Best practices in training adults

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Best practices in training adults
problemWe need to train people to contribute to Wikimedia and in general, the trainees will be adults. The only experience many volunteer trainers have is from when they were being taught as children. The result is that the remembered practices (good or bad) of their teachers will often be what they draw upon when they are training other adults. Those approaches may not be appropriate or effective..
solutionThere is a body of knowledge about how best to educate or train adults that involves some easily grasped principles.
created on5 September, 2014

What problem does this solve?[edit]

An untrained teacher volunteers to train adults in a new skill, such as editing Wikipedia or taking better photographs, but does not know how best to go about it. The difference between making a presentation and training a class of learners is not clear to the new teacher who falls back on giving a presentation instead of training. The other part of the problem is that WHAT to train is completely different from HOW to train.

What is the solution?[edit]

It is important to acknowledge the differences between making a presentation and training someone. Listeners to a presentation need only to be able to follow and understand, whereas trainees need to be able to DO something at the end of the session. Imparting a new skill (as a trainer) and learning how to do it (as a trainee) are both much more difficult than either explaining clearly or understanding generally. The measures of success are the trainees' competence and confidence at the end of the session.

Here are some best practices shared on outreach wiki for:

  • training adults (specifically adult learners’ existing knowledge, life experience and learning preferences);
  • deciding what to teach and why;
  • distinguishing between content and methodology (what versus how);
  • some considerations when teaching adult women.

General considerations[edit]

  • Outcomes and expectations
  • Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes (KSA)
  • Course content
  • Training methodology and a training model
  • Adult women trainees

When to use[edit]

Refer to best practices when confronted with a new teaching task, especially when you are not clear on the difference between content and methodology.


See also[edit]

Education Toolkit Learning Pattern
This learning pattern is part of the Education Program Toolkit.
Go to the toolkit.

Related patterns[edit]

External links[edit]