Exercise 4: Principles of Adult Learning


Use this exercise to begin planning ways to teach your vocational rehabilitation (VR) team by applying the principles of adult learning.

Video Transcript: Worksheet Question 4

Chart shows topics for teaching on the left, and ideas for creating useful and relevant teaching on the right.

  1. For example, if you start by presenting a case study of another organization and how it implemented a new service, you might want to then engage your learners by asking how that service would help your clients, what aspects would work well, what challenges might occur, and how they could see adapting the service to fit their work environments. Teaching skills and giving learners a chance to practice them also are key parts of adult learning.
  2. You might want to take a sample case and work through a new form together, demonstrating proper use.
  3. Alternatively, you might want to model and discuss a coaching technique and give learners an opportunity to practice with each other.
  4. In my example, I might introduce the case study by sending it to the VR counselors to read in advance. If we were having a formal meeting, I might spend a few minutes presenting it myself. Next, I would highlight the parts that most relate to our organization and clients, which will help them relate it to their jobs and opportunities to serve our clients’ needs better. Next, I would want to get concrete about what the actual skill is: When and how should it be done? What does that look like? Finally, I would build in a chance for the counselors to practice it with each other or me.

Take a few minutes to go back to each learning point and think about the most effective way to help your learners take them in.


Next: After completing this exercise, continue to Exercise 5.