Ways that Adult Learners are Diverse:

  • Culturally
  • Visual, kinesthetic, audial
  • Participators / observers
  • Active / Passive
  • Writers / Listeneres / Readers
  • Backgrounds and experience they bring to the learning
  • Workplaces
  • Gender
  • Experiences
  • Interests / Passions
  • Language
  • Age
  • Multiple Intelligence strengths / learning styles
  • Teaching level
  • Beliefs
  • Specialist skills
  • Attitudes
  • Personalities
  • Physical needs/Health
  • Energy levels
  • Conscripts or volunteers
  • Career aspirations
  • Family commitments
  • State of mind on the day
  • Self esteem
  • Expectations
  • Motivation
  • Private / public sector
  • Gifts and talents
  • Work ethic
  • Prior knowledge
  • Roles
  • philosophy
  • Educational

Strategies for engaging diverse adult learners...

- Welcome
- Timetable structure, learning outcomes;co-construct and prioritise
them
- physical needs (water, food, fresh air, light, toilets)
- agreed protocols e.g thanking each other at the end of the task
- giving everyone a voice (early opportunity for people to hear their own
voice)
- karakia, whakatauki (using a metaphor)
- Structuring
- giving information visual, verbal and on paper
- range of activities, 80%learner 20%presenter
- choice in activities
- multiple pathways
- using the knowledge of individuals in whole or small group
- energisers e.g. bus stop, give one/get one
- using wait time
- evaluation and reflection format (allow time for that)
- ask for feedback throughout the session and adjust accordingly
- use post its and charts that can be added to later, use the online
area so contribution and reference to can be ongoing
- allow talk time
- use graphic organisers
- grouping; proximity, variety of participants and group size, allowing
choice of groups at times
- Presentation
- provide take aways
- Use a variety of approaches ie learning styles-and use strengths of participants.
- Acknowledge where teachers have been prior to workshop eg working with difficult class I tidying up, organising reliever etc
- Sharing prior knowledge, stories etc
- Offering choices
- Food, mints, water, brain food
- Competition, certificates, rewards
- Learning intentions displayed and explained
- Agenda and timetable set by group, displayed and re-visited
- Reflection time
- Getting to know each other time
- Variety of groupings using a variety of methods
- Using a range of activities and tools
- Wait time!!!
- Climate setting - venue, physical environment, furniture arrangements,
room temperature, lighting
- Use of language
- Non-verbal communication - notes
- Setting norms/values/expectations
- Acknowledging contributions, positive affirmations
- Engaging participants prior to meeting - asking focus questions etc
- Plenty of movement to energise
- Keep distance between groups to minimise distrations
- Break times scheduled
- Workshop information available online, wikis for all to contribute ideas
and feedback
- Humour
- Role plays
- Foraging
- Having challenges for everyone
- Using people's names
- Chart work which can go into a wiki space so conversations can continue on line after the meeting
- Post its and ideas on a post it s Board online for a brainstorm review on a topic for staff
- Knowing right process to use for situation or topic e.g pinwheel for generating ideas
- Giving people choices
- Peer support through kaiako profiles
- Mentoring
- Climate settings: Using aspects of enjoyment eg food, fun eg YouTube funnies, icebreakers,
- Something for everyone to take away
- Respect everyone remembering - What does it look like? Sound like? Feel like?
- Acknowledge and thank everyone for contributions
- Careful and thoughtful groupings eg., pairs for peer support, random and engineered grouping
- Changing the setting and strategies used eg energizers, to support the diverse learners
- Being flexible
- Changing direction
- Variety of activities: Provide visual, audio, kinesthetic ways of learning, both during and after the workshop eg, workshop notes on a wiki, on-line,
- Critical friend group process
- Translating written material into other languages
- Get to know the participants before hand
- Send out reflective questions, expectations, intentions and agendas before the workshop
- Bus Stopping to enable those participants who won’t contribute verbally to add their ideas.
- When presenting – using powerpoint truly effectively – not getting caught up in ‘powerpointlessness’ (Jamie McKenzie)