In part 1 of this series, we touched on how a seminary education is increasingly pursued by individuals working in the ministry who approach theological education as a logical step in their professional career progression. So how can you ensure you’re supporting the mature learner at your seminary? If you’re looking to better leverage e-learning strategies and your learning management system (LMS) to support your audience of mature learners, check out these top six handy tips:
- Brush up on e-learning course design
- Online course design delivery is not as simple as putting classroom-based lectures and PowerPoint presentations up on the web for people to access. Make sure to invest in the right e-learning expertise to make the online experience engaging and accessible to all.
- Offer up quick access to learning materials
- Mature learners are pressed for time but are highly committed and passionate about learning. Make sure learning resources are easily available to them at the time of need and consider offering up dynamic content such as video for easy consumption.
- Use LMS analytics to help adult learners set and progress toward goals
- Adult learners return to further their education often for very specific reasons. They also have limited time and money to achieve their goals. They need to know that their studies can be managed along a concrete timeline leading to their clear, intended outcomes (e.g., credentials, certification, degree).
- Offer learners opportunities for collaboration and communication with peers and instructors
- Collaboration should be simple and intuitive in an LMS. All interactions and engagements should be easy for learners to do wherever they are—at home, riding in a car or waiting in an airport. Feedback, the essential ingredient to student success, can take place in real time or recorded using various audio and video tools, instant messaging, and email, or embedded within an assignment or free-standing.
- Give them safe ways to practice their new skills
- With limited time and resources, adult learners want their education to be efficient and align directly with their expected outcomes. In other words, they are there for a reason and require real-world training, hands-on experience and a safe environment where they can practice their skills that meets their specific time and budget requirements.
- Provide personalized learning pathways
- Regardless of the medium, the job of educators is to engage with students in a meaningful way, providing content and feedback that is truly relevant to their students’ needs. Designing and providing a personalized, flexible learning path is incredibly important so students remain highly attentive and engaged in their studies. Relevancy, utility, not wasting time—these are the hallmarks of adulthood. Being learner-focused will always give an institution an added advantage.
Interested to learn more? Download our eGuide, The Art and Science of Helping Adults Learn.