2.2 Methods of Facilitating Adult Learning
A facilitator makes a choice of a method to use in a given situation depending on a number of factors that determine which method is suitable and which is not. It is useful for a facilitator to be able to use a variety of methods so as to make an appropriate choice for every situation. This topic will for this reason introduce a number of methods suitable for adult learners, taking into account factors affecting the selection of each method.
By the end of this topic, the participants should be able to:
• Describe the various methods of helping adults learn.
c) Time: 2 hours 10 minutes.
d) Learning Aids: Newsprint, markers, blackboard, chalk, diagram showing how participatory different methods are.
e) Procedure and Learning Points:
1. [20 min.] Brainstorm on the methods known to the participants. Then facilitator presents the other methods not mentioned by the participants followed by a short discussion.
Learning Points: Some of the likely methods of instruction are:
2. [40 min.] Participants go in groups of 5 - 7 to work on the following task: “What are the advantages and disadvantages of facilitating adults to learn?”
(i) Lecture Method:
A straight talk without much interruption. Often used when introducing new subject matter or when the audience in large enough. A lecture should be of 30 minutes or less and it should be followed by any of the other techniques listed below.
(ii) Group Discussion:
A face-to-face conversation or deliberation on a subject of mutual interest among two to 15 people who know one another. Sharing or exchange of ideas and information is encouraged among the members under the guidance of a leader. This technique emphasises participation of the members - who should be given adequate time and guidance during the discussion. Groups help to digest the ideas introduced through the lecture technique.
(iii) Case Study:
Is a written or verbal presentation which is used to illustrate or make clearer theoretical points which are introduced to the learners during a lecture.
Is a technique that is applied by an instructor to explain how skills in handling certain materials and equipment are acquired. It involves a pre-demonstration when materials are prepared. It is followed by a post-demonstration when the trainees attempt to practice the skills acquired.
(v) Role Play:
Is used in training when learners are given specific roles to play which depict a certain character that is important in behaviour changes.
(vi) Study Visit:
Is used when participants are taken out for observation to live cases. For example, farmers from one village are taken to a harm Institute. The visit is followed by a discussion.
Is used when participants are due for practice. Participants are asked to try out any or all the other methods under the guidance of a trainer.
3. [40 min.] In plenary, groups present their work.
4. [5 min.] Wrap up. Choice of a method to use depends upon its advantages and disadvantages that have been identified.
f) [20 min.] Assessment:
Present the following diagram and participants complete it.
Note: The Lecture is the least participatory (least learning) and Simulation is the most participatory (most learning) to the learner.
Ask participants to design an assessment form which they will use to assess how participatory a given method is.
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