EASA Aviation Training for Trainers - Facing the Challenges of Training an Adult Group

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EASA Aviation Training for Trainers - Facing the Challenges of Training an Adult Group                                                                      

Sofema Online (SOL) www.sofemaonline.com Considers the key challenges which face aviation instructors engaging with adult groups


There are lots of examples of theories and ideas regarding how people learn. You may even come up with your own theories :) never the less it is important to understand that all people learn differently so they have to be an integral part of the process.

Training an adult group comes with its own unique set of challenges.

Unlike children or teenagers, adults have already developed their own attitudes, beliefs, and habits, which can make the training process more complex. Key challenges include

>> Diverse Learning Styles: Adult learners have diverse learning styles and preferences. Some may be visual learners, while others prefer auditory or kinesthetic approaches.

>> To overcome this challenge, trainers should incorporate a variety of instructional methods, such as presentations, discussions, group activities, and hands-on exercises.

>> By catering to different learning styles, trainers can engage participants more effectively and promote better comprehension and retention of information.

Varying Prior Knowledge and Experience

Adult learners bring different levels of prior knowledge and experience to the training session. Some may be beginners, while others may have advanced skills.

>> Trainers need to strike a balance between meeting the needs of both experienced participants and those who require more foundational knowledge.

>> Pre-assessments or surveys can help trainers gauge the participants' expertise levels and tailor the training content accordingly.

>> Additionally, providing supplementary resources and offering one-on-one support can help address individual learning gaps.

Resistance to Change

Adults may exhibit resistance to change due to entrenched beliefs, habits, or fear of the unknown.

>> Trainers should acknowledge these concerns and create a supportive learning environment that encourages open dialogue.

>> Engaging participants in discussions and sharing real-life examples can help them see the benefits of adopting new practices or skills.

>> Providing clear explanations about how the training aligns with their personal or professional goals can also motivate adults to overcome their resistance and embrace change.

Time Constraints

Adult learners often have busy schedules and competing priorities, which can make it challenging to dedicate sufficient time and focus to training.

>> Trainers should consider offering flexible training formats, such as short modules or online resources, that participants can access at their convenience.

>> Breaking down the training into smaller, manageable sessions can also make it easier for adults to fit learning into their busy lives.

>> Additionally, highlighting the immediate relevance and applicability of the training content can help participants prioritize their time and commit to the learning process.

Engaging Self-directed Learners

Adults are often self-directed learners who value autonomy and independence. Trainers should leverage this characteristic by

>> Providing opportunities for self-reflection

>> Goal setting

>> Self-paced learning

>> Incorporating interactive activities

>> Case studies

>> Problem-solving exercises

Motivation and Relevance

Adult learners are more motivated when they perceive the training as relevant and applicable to their personal or professional lives.

>> Trainers should clearly communicate the benefits of the training and emphasize how the skills or knowledge gained can directly impact participants' success or well-being.

>> The teaching of Adult “Learners” requires different techniques when compared to the process of teaching children for example.

>> Pedagogy is the term given to teacher-centered educating, where we assume or expect that the teacher is the expert and determines both the content and the delivery process. (Note - This is not typically applied to adult learning.)

>> Such a process is essentially a one way communication from “expert” to student and the challenge with continuing this process with adults is that they have an in built tendency to challenge.

>> Adults often have preconceived notions regarding what the training should consist off, any deviation can provide even a negative experience.

>> It is typical to find that adults have previous knowledge of the subject matter, an effective instructor will capitalize on this by asking questions and by recognizing that you can draw on this knowledge.

>> Communication is essential to share course expectations, learning objectives, together with the expected learning outcomes for the course.

>> Adult’s benefit strongly when the subject matter is relevant interesting and practical.

>> Instructors should use connected and focused learning activities, ask questions which generate a response and provide as many practical examples as possible.

>> When we consider the styles associated with adult learning we understand that adults primarily learn through at least one of four general learning styles: visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetics.

In conclusion, sharing the reason and rational is more effective than simply Delivering information (teaching or lecturing). The more relevant the involvement the more effective is the training.

Next Steps

>> Please visit www.sassofia.com and www.sofemaonline.com – to register for a program enroll through the website or email [email protected] with any questions, comments or observations.



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