3 Mistakes to Avoid with Adult Learners


It's no surprise learning as an adult is very different than learning as a child. While we tend to have less time and decreased neuroplasticity, we do have one major advantage—our ability to draw upon our life experiences.


Based on the three main models of adult learning (behaviourism, cognitivism, and constructivism), here are three mistakes to avoid when planning learning programs for HCPs.

  1. Didactic presentations: Given the busy lives HCPs lead, it’s important to minimize lecture-style presentations and instead, center learning around problem-solving that actively engages participants.

  2. Knowledge without context: Adults learn by integrating new information with existing frameworks of knowledge to either reinforce or change their perception. Use HCP practice to your advantage through case-based discussion that is practical and relevant to their practice and allows them to make use of their professional experience.

  3. Lack of feedback: Receiving positive or negative reinforcement and having opportunities for reflection helps shape learner behaviour. Script concordance programs that allow HCPs to benchmark their decisions against expert panels and/or their colleagues provide real-time feedback for HCPs to integrate into their practice.

Learning as an adult is a complex process that requires thoughtful planning—avoiding the mistakes above will help you not only maintain engagement during learning programs, but also create a memorable experience that draws HCPs back for future events.


-Bhuvna Dalal

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