The Best Way to Help Adult Students Remember Content
You and I have been there. We’ve taught a great lesson then started the next lesson only to realize our learners barely remember what we talked about in the previous lesson. Frustrating, isn’t it?
Before you start pulling out your hair, let me tell you a secret: It’s normal. What—normal?! Yes, you got that right. You forget things, too, don’t you?
What I’m saying is research shows the brain forgets due to interference. For example, brain memories and information sometimes interfere with each other and cause learners to forget. OK, so instead of dwelling on interference and forgetting, why don’t we focus on how to prevent it? On how we can help learners remember content?
What you can do to help adult students
So, here’s what can we do. We can create regular practice and review opportunities for learners since these are critical to reinforcing students’ learning. And we need to focus on creating effective and consistent practice even after learners show an understanding of the content.
Repeated practice is by far the best remedy against forgetfulness. To quote educational psychologist Dr. Daniel Willingham, “Anticipating the effect of forgetting dictates that we continue our practice beyond the mastery we desire.” What that means is that because we know we are going to forget things, we need to…
Similarly, learners need to practice and connect new material with old ones. Doing so regularly will help adult students create long-lasting knowledge and memory. Isn’t that what we all want? As Dr. Willingham says, “As teachers, we want long-lasting knowledge, not just knowledge for a few days.”
Let me ask: What will you do to help your adult students remember class content? Now, go change your learners for the best!
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PS: A few blog posts that you might have missed:
- How to Hit an 80% Adult Student Retention and Completion Rate
- Top Interview Questions to Help You Identify and Select Excellent Adult Ed Instructors from a Pool of Candidates
- One Thing Adult Ed and Workforce Teachers Don’t Do that Makes Learners Quit
- Simple Action Steps that Make Adult Ed and Workforce Teachers Standout (Looking Like Experts on Adult Learning)