In the contemporary world, adult learners comprise of a significant number of academic students. Several methods have been initiated to enable adults continue in their pursuit of academic and scholarly excellence. Unlike young boys and girls, adults face a daunting task balancing between the demands of their normal daily lives and the pursuit of education. Many educational institutions have realized that a significant number of adults who are able and willing to learn miss out on academic excellence opportunities. Most of the adults are often held back by personal and family obligations that make it difficult for them to attend regular classes. The management of time is, therefore, a critical factor in ensuring the success of adult learning.
Level of motivation and commitment to learning
Adult learners are usually highly motivated to learn. Majority of the adult learners often have a motivational story behind their decision to go back to school. These may include the increased intensity of competition for the existing jobs, high societal regard for learned individuals, acquisition of knowledge and technical skills among other compelling reasons. As a result of these reasons, the problems of student under preparedness associated to regular students are taken care of. This gives the teachers more time to concentrate on covering the curriculum. However, there are isolated cases of adults who are not motivated to learn. A point of case is an employee who has been advised to go back to class to improve his knowledge due to the adoption of new operational procedures by the company. Such an employee may feel constrained rather than motivated to learn if the company does not come up with sufficient enticement. Generally, adult learners seem to observe good classroom etiquette. This improves the quality and efficiency of learning by creating a more enabling environment for teachers to do their work.
Prevalence of online learning
Online learning is a trend that has greatly impacted on access to education. From the typical classroom scenario that is associated with the physical presence of a student, online courses have enabled many adults to attend classes that favor their time schedules. Online courses have provided a solution for the working and family tied adults who cannot manage to attend regular classes because of clashes with their regular routines. In the United States, a good example of such a trend is the use of virtual classrooms by the American soldiers. These classrooms refer to a digitized form of learning whereby soldiers from all the war fronts are able to get meaningful learning by simply going online. It is essential that a favorable learning environment is created for the students to excel in their academic endeavors. This is because adult learners, despite being in class, also have other obligations outside the class. Therefore, it is vital that time spared for class work should be taken seriously. A proper study schedule should be prepared to help the student plan well for studies.
Importance of choosing an important time to study
An integral element of adult learning is finding the most appropriate time to study. Often, adult learners have a myriad of things to do. Creating the most suitable time to perform their class tasks and assignments can prove to be a critical success factor in this regard. This duration of time has to be characterized by minimal disruptions. For a working lady, for instance, this can happen during the night when she has come from work and the children are off to sleep. This should help the student to gain a good grasp of the content by narrowing down his or her concentration on the matter in hand. Most studies have proven that students who are able to isolate other aspects of their engagements from their studies understand what they are being taught reasonably well.
Role of proper planning of learning activities
It is important for students to plan for their studies. Planning can be described as the process through which ways of reaching the intended future goals, objectives and targets are decided presently. Proper planning often leads to a favorable outcome if the set schedule is strictly adhered to by the student. By deciding where the student wants to be in the future now, the student can pursue studies in a more organized and coordinated manner. Time schedules for reading, discussing and revising are often encompassed in such plans. Planning is thus an essential success tool especially for the adult learners, most of whom have engagements out of the class.
The ability to make reasonable compromise
Sometimes, there is barely enough time to do something exactly as one would wish to. This is particularly the case when exams finally arrive. The student may have a good comprehension of the question asked, but the limitation imposed by time may force him to compromise quality for efficiency. This is because examinations are by their nature constrained by time and should the student decide to answer the questions with exactness then there may not be adequate time to have a look at the other questions. It is, therefore, vital that the student approaches the examinations in a tactful many that will see him or her attain the maximum score possible.
Making use of existing tools
Given the several tasks that they are expected to perform, it is important to closely monitor the assignments that have to be done. This can be effectively achieved by making use of some instruments such as a notebook or journal to ensure that the student keeps track of all obligations. Such tools must be checked updated on a regular basis. They should organize and prioritize the work of the learner so as to help them avoid continuously postponing their work. Maintaining a notebook or a journal can help adult learners to recall their commitments properly. In addition, they can assist in saving time that is often wasted by students to make up their mind on what to do.
In summation, a single day has got only 24 hours. Most adult learners have so many things to do apart from learning. However, the importance of academic and scholarly success has seen them sacrifice part of their time to study. It is thus only fair that such time is utilized efficiently so as to maximize on their efforts. In recent times, the emergence of more creative forms of learning particularly suited for adults has been witnessed. Adults need to manage their time properly to ensure that they achieve their academic and scholarly goals.
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Connelly, J., & Forsyth, P. B. (2010). The study skills guide: Essential strategies for smart students. London: Kogan Page.
Military Advantage Team (1999). Study Skills for the Online Adult Learner | Military.com. Retrieved March 26, 2014, from http://www.military.com/education/keys-to-success/study-skills-for-the-online-adult-learner.html
Simon, L. (2010). New beginnings: A reference guide for adult learners. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.