Quickly discover the benefits of holistic learning for adults as well as three popular techniques.
Whether studying online or in-person, adult learners typically exist outside of the traditional academic bubble. Adult students often embark on self-driven educational activities without the support systems and social networks afforded to younger students matriculating at a school or university.
But, there’s a different approach to adult learning that accounts for adult students’ emotional and social needs in addition to academic ones—holistic learning. This learning method is an integrated approach to all aspects of a learner’s personality to facilitate more effective outcomes.
Here’s how you can develop a holistic learning and development process for adult learners.
Learning isn’t just about certifications and exams. Holistic learning and development encourages students to engage with every aspect of their personalities for psychological, social, and emotional growth. That could include using creative skills to overcome learning challenges or communicating with other students.
While holistic education is often associated with younger generations due to the immersive format of college experiences, there are measurable benefits to using this approach for older and/or non-traditional learners.
Holistic learning and development helps adult learners continue to improve their communication, self-awareness, critical thinking, and decision-making skills.
One notable positive of holistic education is its breadth, allowing adult learners to connect with their chosen subjects in a variety of ways.
Let’s take a look at three popular holistic educational techniques:
This learning approach is where adult students explore different educational styles before choosing the method that is most effective for them.
Examples of experiential learning techniques include visiting an animal shelter as part of a veterinary program, discussing legislation with a group of attorneys, or a new hire shadowing a colleague in the workplace.
This technique enables adult learners to break free from a conventional classroom or lecture approach and learn at their own pace and style.
Self-guided learning might include hybrid programs that balance online and onsite learning or hands-on apprenticeships or training programs.
Independent research allows adult learners to investigate a topic of interest. This approach can encourage self-motivation and enable students to explore their passions.
Examples of independent research are open-ended assignments that allow students to apply a learned skill or concept to a larger situation or a student seeking materials outside of a particular course to understand the subject better.
Whether you’re an educator looking to support inclusion or an institution that needs to foster collaboration, technology can help you provide the best holistic learning and development program for adult and non-traditional learners.
Here are a few examples of tools that can help you deliver this experience:
- Video conferencing software allows adult learners to engage with program members, instructors, or other learners wherever they are.
- Learning management systems allow adult students to access course materials, submit assignments, and communicate with instructors through a customized digital platform.
- Student engagement platforms can increase enrollment, engagement, and productivity.
- Gamification software offers a unique approach where adult learners can play interactive games to cement concepts as they learn.
If none of these tools sounds quite right for your needs, explore other tools and read user reviews on Capterra to find the best fit.