Teaching Adult: My Experience in Attending Diklat Kewidyaiswaraan Berjenjang Utama

When I was informed last week that I had to take another training for my rank advancement, I told myself that I would be alright. Last year I took Diklat Kewidyaiswaraan Berjenjang Madya, and the materials are almost the same as what I am taking right now at Pusdiklat Kementerian Dalam Negeri, except that this time there is an added course focusing on training consultation (the previous was focused on how to perform a research). For me, repeating a similar course over and over again is fine, for I can meet various facilitators with different approach
The participants of this training are mostly the same as my last-year classmates: senior trainers! What I learn more now is that adult learners are fundamentally different in many ways. And most facilitators have been left to their own devices to figure out how best to reach us who come to class with an entirely different set of challenges, demands and expectations, and generally at a much different level of maturity. Well, although my classmates were mostly older than me, I can name only a few that are really mature as their age, LOL.
What I want to share you all is things that should be kept in mind for a facilitator who will teach adult or even senior learners. Here they are:
• Treat participants like the adults they are. My fellow trainees are generally as sophisticated and experienced as the facilitator, and they benefit from realistic examples of skills they have experienced. That is why most facilitators use discussions to engage all participants.
• Be efficient with lessons and activities. Our class motto is “Move fast and don’t waste anyone’s time. We are on a training but we still have jobs to do, children at home and tons of responsibilities. We hate a course without information and useful activities. Our facilitators may be strict yet flexible, I mean diligent in his or her teaching goals and expectations, but so understanding about busy lives, illness and working late.
• Be creative: Teaching adults like in my class should be engaging and even entertaining to some degree. We have done various activities like paired discussions, small group discussions, singing together, group project, drills, debate, and so on.
To me, the key success in teaching adult learners is all facilitators must able to create a better environment for them, no matter what the subject material is.

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