CPI’s Powerful Adult Teaching Methods

January 31, 2023
Two pairs of hands clasped together.

During your Instructor Certification Program, you learned that adult learners have a variety of learning styles. Some adults are visual learners and learn best by watching and seeing. Some are auditory learners and learn best by listening and hearing. Still others are experiential learners and learn best by touching, doing, and participating.

Everyone’s style of learning is unique, but most people benefit from a mix of visual, auditory, and experiential teaching methods.

Most adult learners appreciate an interactive teaching format offering discussion, group work, activities, experiences, and simulations. Learning increases as content is conveyed, not only through interactive lectures, but also from participating in activities.

The Verbal Intervention™ training curriculum incorporates visual, auditory, and experiential teaching and learning methods into all program components. Some aspects of the training involve lectures covering new content. CPI workbooks promote a guided note-taking technique because participants who actively take notes are more engaged in the material.

Some sections of the curriculum incorporate electronic visual aids. Some involve interactive discussion and dialog, while others require participant involvement in experiences and simulations.

An interactive training format is ideal for adult learners because it draws out the knowledge, skills, and experience of participants. A proven training style used throughout the Verbal Intervention™ program is captured in CPI’s Demonstrate–Participate–Explain model when facilitating activities. In this model, you:

  • Demonstrate the concept or skill for participants.
  • Facilitate their participation in practicing the same concept or skill.
  • Briefly connect the concept or skill to training objectives.
  • Transition to the next relevant lecture, discussion, or other activity.

This method allows participants to first see a concept in action, then experience it themselves, and finally explore it in more depth during interactive lectures and discussions.

Keep lectures concise, clear, and simple. Follow this order to assure that a term is clear before you give the definition, and to ensure that the definition is clear before you give examples. It’s helpful to invoke CPI’s Term–Definition–Example model. In this model, you:

  • State and define the CPI term.
  • Allow participants time to write the definition’s key words in their workbooks.
  • Provide workplace-relevant examples of the concepts identified.
  • Ask participants for their own workplace-relevant examples of the concepts identified.

This method helps in keeping the information highly applicable to workplace realities. It reinforces the guided note-taking technique incorporated into Participant Workbooks.

The hallmarks of CPI training programs include:

  • Extensive levels of interaction.
  • Clarity and simplicity of Certified Instructor and participant resources.
  • Immediate and realistic application of concepts and skills.

Both of these powerful CPI teaching formulas consider the variety of adult learners participating in our training. These techniques maximize retention for adult learners.

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