The ideal outcome for any class, whether it is a college course or corporate training program, is to have students demonstrate that they were able to meet the course objectives, which could include several factors such as the acquisition of new knowledge or the development of specific skills that are academic or job related. In other words, it is expected that students will have learned about a subject or learned how to do something as a result of their involvement in a class. Yet the reality for many classes is that some students will simply go through the motions without actually learning anything, even if they have written a paper, participated in the class discussions to some degree, or passed a required test.

What experienced educators know is that learning takes place not just in the classroom but within the mind of their students and that is where the focus of educating adults needs to begin – on the mindset, attitude, and mental capacity that every student has while they are participating in class and working through the course materials. The optimal class conditions could be well established and the right materials provided but then there may be students who still do not connect with the class. Active involvement by students does not occur automatically, it requires guided instruction through all aspects of the class and with all learning activities. A highly engaged instructor is needed to work with students and monitor their ongoing progress, to ensure that they are not just present but their minds are fully engaged in the learning process. adult classifieds

The Mind of an Adult Student

Cognition is a word that refers to how the mind receives and processes information. The mind is in control of the flow of information and knowledge, which must always be a consideration when a course is developed and delivered to students. The classroom conditions and environment established by the instructor will determine the initial perception and mindset students develop about their course. This means that students will either begin from a mindset of being willing or resistant to being involved. Once the class has begun and materials are delivered to them, they are initially passive recipients of that information. The method in which the course was designed and the content is delivered will have a direct impact on how the mind is engaged and the information is received, processed, and filtered. Other factors such as attention span, focus, and academic preparedness will further influence their mental capabilities or cognition.

Initially when information is received the mind stores it in working memory, which has a limited capacity as to how much it can hold. When there is a lot of material to review or take in during a class discussion there may be a point when the mind filters out and discards some of the information. The purpose of a class is not just to give students knowledge about a subject but work to ensure that it is retained in long-term memory. This requires students to engage their mind in the subject being studied and place the information in a context that is relevant to their existing knowledge, background, and experience. If class discussions and learning activities are successful in helping students retain knowledge it then becomes stored, categorized, and organized in long-term memory, which means it can be recalled and utilized at a later time.

The Context for Learning

When a college class is developed it is meant to provide students with the right amount of information, materials, and resources; with planned activities that are designed to get students involved in the learning process. However, it is not uncommon for students to finish a class and forget a significant amount of knowledge acquired, if there was no consideration given as to how students will process the information they have been given. This means they must transform from passive to active learners as they are involved in class. While this is partially a matter of how the course was designed, which can be beyond the control of most instructors, the method of delivery can also have an impact on the retention of knowledge related to course subjects and topics. The role of an instructor is to bring that material to life and help students work with it so that they are able to understand, comprehend, relate to, and connect with it in a meaningful manner.

In contrast, the type of corporate training developed is typically based upon specific needs and those can be performance-based, individually-based, or related to organizational goals and business needs. The type of training classes developed can be further classified as to whether it is essential or non-essential. Anything that must be learned immediately or relatively quickly is essential in nature and any topic or skill set that is developmental in nature or simply an elective may be considered non-essential. The standard approach for training classes is a traditional classroom lecture; however, this is starting to change as organizations acquire learning management systems. The nature of the training and what must be learned will determine if the instructional method used can be flexible. For example, it could be possible to deliver some soft skill training classes online. Regardless of the format the instructional strategy may need to include