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Facilitating Adult Learning Groups

In this free online course, you will learn how to facilitate a non-academic, adult learning program.

Publisher: Leigh Faulkner
This free online facilitation course will introduce you to the field of “andragogy” - the theory and practice of education for adults - and show you how to lead diverse adult learning groups, particularly learners from the same workplace. You will learn how to identify learners’ needs and to structure a learning environment to meet those needs. If you want to expand your understanding of this fascinating field, this is your chance - start now!
Facilitating Adult Learning Groups
  • Duration

    1.5-3 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






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Adult learning has unique features and characteristics that require a tailored approach to provide an effective, satisfying experience for learners – and it is the facilitator’s role to prepare and manage that experience, evoke participation, and manage the group journey. To start with, learner diversity is an important feature that must be given attention: learners may differ by race, ethnicity, disability, thought, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and economics – all of which can influence your program choices as a facilitator. At the same time, learner diversity also brings a wealth of experience and world knowledge to the learning situation. You will go on to learn about “andragogy”, the theory and practice of education as it relates to adults. This will clarify the principles of adult education, the characteristics and needs of adult learners, as well as the competencies that mark the facilitator as a professional.

As you complete this course, you will examine the practices that are available to you as a facilitator to support the goals you and the program learners have set. Collaborative learning is an educational method where two or more learners work together to learn something. This relates closely to the theory of constructivism, that learners construct their own knowledge, as well as the theory of social constructivism, that learners work together to construct knowledge. This leads to the problem-based learning method, an approach used to structure the adult learning environment in order to help the learners develop flexible knowledge, problem-solving skills, self-directed learning, collaboration skills, and intrinsic motivation. Careful selection of problems relevant to the learners’ work and life situations can help to ensure learner “buy-in.” The course also delves into the development of “metacognition” – the process of thinking about your own thought process – an important skill for learners to develop since the capacity to evaluate your own thinking frees you from dependence on others. Lastly, the course looks at assessment as a rewarding experience. Moving away from the traditional “pass-fail” approach of summative assessments, you will learn about formative assessments, and how they can enhance learning and positive social and attitudinal outcomes.

By the end of this course, you will have an understanding of the characteristics and needs of adult learners and how those characteristics and needs must be, and can be, taken into consideration as you facilitate non-academic adult learning groups. You will not only understand how learner diversity impacts the choices you must make in designing and implementing your program, but you will also have a deep understanding of collaborative learning theory and practice and the ways that communication at several points in the learning process aids in knowledge construction and skill acquisition. So if you are working with adults, or would like to explore the potential of adult learning, “Facilitating Adult Learning Groups” is designed to help you “master the art” of facilitation of non-academic adult learning groups – and it is all within reach in this free course.

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